Debunking the SEC Myth

I could beat the champ blindfolded,
not sure though if he wasnít blindfolded
- Author unknown

First, Iíll start out by giving the SEC some love. Yes, since 1998 as a conference they are 6-0 in the BCS Championship game. And yes, theyíve been represented by four different schools.

Tennessee, LSU, Florida, and Alabama have all won the Mythical Championship since the current BCS format was instituted 12-years ago.

But, that does not give them the God-Given right to automatically proclaim theyíre the best conference in the history of the universe, and all others must take a distant backseat.

If so, why would lowly Wyoming defeat Tennessee on their home field a couple of years ago? How do you explain Utah crushing Alabama in their Bowl game in 2008? There are many more examples, but letís get to the point.

Pundits would have you believe that just by merely showing up, the SEC is head and shoulders above everyone. Itís exactly that type of carte blanche analysis that is nothing more than a myth.

What if I told you that top-to-bottom, over the last five years, compared to other conferences, the SEC ranks in the lower half, when it comes to cumulative records against non-conference BCS opponents?

The SECís winning percentage in these games is exactly .500, while believe it or not, the Big Ten checks in at .549 and the Pac-Ten at .522! Even the ACC, in similar contests, ranks above the SEC with a winning percentage of .506.

And as far as the opponents winning percentage in these specific games, the Pac-Ten faced the toughest schedule as their foes had a winning percentage of .626, while the SECís degree of difficulty in these games featured rivals that had a winning percentage of .599,  3rd behind the ACC with a number of .626.

Now, what if I told you that if I took into account the entire history of these matchups since the current structure of the BCS was formed, the SEC fared even worse!?

Thatís right, since 1998 the SEC as a conference ranks 5th, behind the Pac-Ten, the ACC, the Big-Ten and the Big-12 when it comes to playing BCS non-conference foes during the BCS era. In other words, they are next to last, one from the bottom in this area. Did you know that? Are you surprised?

To be fair, the SEC record is very good in Bowl games, and they are #1 against non-BCS FBS teams during this area, but much of their gaudy record was accumulated against these lower tier Division 1A opponents, as the SEC plays these games at a higher rate than any other conference.

Finally, why is it that Auburn can give up 24 points to Chattanooga, and no one says a word, but if Boise State or TCU did that, it would be heresy?

My hat is off to Alabamaís accomplishments, but any number of schools could have traveled to South Carolina and LSU and gotten beat. Get it?

OK, Iím done splitting hairs. I want to leave you with this thought. We know all SEC fans and the media believe that their conference is the best in the universe, beyond all doubt.

To prove your point, do it on the field. Assuming one SEC team (letís just say Auburn for now) makes it to the BCS Championship game that would leave Alabama, LSU, Florida, et al, available to play Boise State or TCU in one of the remaining Bowl Games.

That is the only silver lining in this mess. Getting to watch Boise State lace them up against the Crimson Tide, or watch the TCU Horned Frogs take on Urban Meyerís Gators or LSU, would start to settle this argument.

Of course, SEC fans donít really want that, do they?

Itís more fun to perpetrate the mythÖ

(c) 2010