Growing up, you always recognize the toughest kid in the class. Nobody challenges him.
But you always hear stories about the guy either in the neighborhood next to yours or two schools away. If you think you’re tough guy is strong, wait until you get a load of the guy at your school’s rival. That dude is really tough.
The kid you haven’t met yet is the SEC in college football.
No matter what conference you are playing in, any SEC team could come in and run roughshod over your conference.
However, is it really true?
The crown jewel of the SEC is defending national champion Alabama, currently sitting at #1 in the country. Their signature non-conference win was against Virginia Tech, who currently sits at 6-1 and is in first place in the ACC Coastal DIvision. Of course, the ACC is more known as a basketball school.
The Hokies haven’t really defeated anyone of note, so no one knows exactly how good they are.
So, ‘Bama isn’t playing a very strong schedule to this date.
If the Crimson Tide is the lead dog in the SEC, LSU has to be #1A. The Tigers are 6-1, with a loss against Georgia. Their big non-conference win was against the Horned Frogs of TCU. who are sitting at 3-3 and in sixth place in the poorly named Big 12.
Auburn is 6-1 as well with their loss coming to Louisiana State. They have beaten Arkansas State, Western Carolina, and Washington State, a 4-3 team in the PAC 12.
Texas A & M, led by Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, lost to Alabama, and sports non-conference wins against Rice, Sam Houston State, and SMU. Rice is 4-2 on the season, but they aren’t going to a BCS Bowl game.
South Carolina was a top ten team coming into 2013, but a loss to Georgia ruined their dreams of an undefeated season. They’ve won the only game they have played outside of the SEC, defeated Central Florida by three points (28-25).
We don’t want to short change Missouri, the only other SEC team that is undefeated (along with Alabama). Their non-conference wins are against noted college football powers Murray State, Toledo, Indiana, and apparently associate SEC member Arkansas State.
Two other top flight SEC members, Georgia and Florida have played strong out of conference foes, Georgia playing Clemson and the Gators playing Miami of Florida. In both cases, the Southeastern Conference school lost.
This is not to take away from the seven straight National Championships won by SEC schools, but how do we know they are good this year? Because of reputation? We are saying that the only highly ranking out of conference game the SEC has won this year is against VIrginia Tech.
We are also not saying that other highly ranked universities have played difficult schedules, We can certainly point to Ohio State’s slate and see a lot of cupcakes.
People point to Alabama’s thrilling win over Texas A & M for example, but how good are the Aggies? As we’ve pointed out, they haven’t defeated anyone strong outside of the SEC.
And certainly the losses to Clemson and Miami don’t support the dominance of the SEC.
Come December and January, the SEC will have success in bowl games and once again proclaim their dominance even though a large percentage of those games are played in their backyards, and other schools who have to build their teams to play in bad weather will come south to play them.
The SEC might be college football’s best conference, but we say beating up on each other doesn’t support what the SEC hype machine spits out.