SEC; 2014 And Still Overrated
Before I had logic. Now I have proof. Creation Date Tuesday, 09 December 2014. Hits 2583
We've heard it time and again. Find anyone who follows college football or listens to sports talk radio and ask them which conference is the best conference in College Football. Without a doubt, they will say "SEC". And if they don't? They will. much like myself, be branded a hater. Now to be clear, I am not going to lecture you about which conference is the best. While I personally would say the PAC 12 this year is the best, I'm not going to try to convince you of that. What I am going to do is absolutely destroy the logic behind the knee-jerk "SEC" answer, but this time with facts and numbers. The bottom line? The South Eastern Conference is not nearly as good as you think they are.
Now, without getting to deep into the erroneous statements of SEC supporters, I'm going to address a misconception so common that you will hear it stated as if it were a fact by not just fans but paid analysts. They will say something along the lines of "Sure, _________ (insert school here) has a great record, but if they had to play that rigorous SEC schedule they would have more losses. Now of course, that statement is speculative. However, we don't really need to speculate anymore. In 2011, two teams moved from the Big 12 to the SEC. Let's take a look at how these schools have fared playing in the SEC.
First, let's look at their last 3 years in the Big 12. In 2009 they went 8-5, in 2010 they were 10-3, and in 2011 they finished with a record of 8-5. Upon moving to the SEC, they had an immediate drop off, perhaps fueling the fire of the analysts. In 2012 the were 5-7, however they bounced back in 2013 to finish the season 12-2, and as of the end of the 2014 regular season the Tigers are 10-3. This means that, without regard to the outcome of their bowl game, they have fared at least one game better in the SEC. Their final 3 years in the Big 12 the had a combined record of 26-13. At the moment the are 27-11 in their first 3 years in the SEC.
At this point, it should be noted that Missouri was not exactly a powerhouse in the Big 12. In their last 3 years there they finished ranked 6th, 4th, and 5th in the Conference. Add those up, divide that number by 3, and you will get 5. Meaning they averaged a ranking of 5th in a Conference of 12 teams. Middle of the pack. In fact, how long had it been since Missouri had won a Big 12 Championship? Never. Their last championship was when the Big 12 was the Big 8. 1969 to be precise, and that was a shared championship. Their last outright title was in 1960, but that was awarded after the fact. They lost to Kansas that year, but it was later deemed that Kansas had used an ineligible player so Missouri was awarded the Championship. That aside, how many Big 12 Championship Games had they played in since 1969? 2. Yes, in their final 42 years they appeared in the same number of Big 12 Championship games as they have SEC championship games since their move 3 short years ago.
Does an of that sound like Missouri is cracking under the pressure of that brutal SEC schedule? But, than again, this is the SEC East we are talking about, and everyone knows the SEC West is where it is at. Why, if the Big 12 sent a team to the SEC West they would get absolutely slaughtered. Right? Well, not exactly.
Texas A&M Aggies
In their final 3 years in the Big 12, Texas A&M went 6-7 in 2009, 9-4 in 2010, and 7-6 in 2011. After moving to the SEC West they have gone 11-2 in 2012, 9-4 in 2013, and as of the end of the regular season they are 7-5 in 2014. That leaves them with a combined record of 22-17 in their last 3 years in the Big 12 which has improved to 27-11 in their first 3 years in the SEC.
Like Missouri, Texas A&M wasn't exactly the cream of the Big 12 crop. Their last 3 years the finished 8th, 5th, and 7th respectively. Add those up and you get 20, divide that by 3 and you will see they averaged between 6th and 7th in a Conference of 12 teams.
But perhaps the most damning piece of evidence against the SEC bias is how that has affected these two teams in the national rankings. Remember, both teams have improved since the move. They combined for a record of 48-30 their last 3 years in the Big 12, and together they hold a record of 54-23 in the SEC. So, let's look at the final BCS rankings for their last 3 years in the Big 12 and their first 2 years in the SEC, and the Playoff rankings for this year.
- 2009 Both teams finished unranked.
- 2010 Missouri 12th Texas A&M 17th.
- 2011 Both teams finished unranked.
- 2012 Missouri unranked, Texas A&M 9th.
- 2013 Missouri 8th Texas A&M 21st.
- 2014 Missouri 16th Texas A&M unranked.
Now, for those of you keeping score at home, their last 3 years in the Big 12 they had a worse record and they only finished ranked once each. Their first 3 years in the SEC they have a better record and have only finished the season unranked once each. Both have a Top 10 in the Nation finish in 3 years in the SEC, and neither have any in their last three years in the Big 12.
Those are the numbers. They are factual and correct (see links below). Do you now see why I roll m eyes as soon as I hear "Yeah, but if they had to play in the SEC...". Hogwash, my friends. Every time that statement is made it is speculative, but the facts where they can be applied show the exact opposite result. Teams moving to the SEC from other conferences have better records in the SEC and, as a result, have higher rankings.
Now, we add in the SEC favoritism factor. This year, both Oregon and Alabama have 1 loss, yet Bama is ranked over Oregon. Why? Well, they only have one loss in the brutal SEC. Hell, FSU is undefeated and ranked third. Why? Well, can you imagine how many losses they would have if they played in the SEC? The facts, my friends, show this logic to be extremely flawed.
If you're going to have a discussion about the best conference in college football, than you had damn well better include the SEC in the discussion. They are damn good. But let's use the facts, shall we? Let's not ignore the fact that two Big 12 teams have found the SEC easier to play in than the Big 12. Let's not ignore the fact that their recipe to a top 10 finish included moving to the SEC and playing that "brutal" schedule.
- Missouri Record
- Texas A&M Record 2009 - 2013
- Texas A&M Record 2014
- Big 12 Rankings
- 2009 Final BCS Rankings
- 2010 Final BCS Rankings
- 2011 Final BCS Rankings
- 2012 Final BCS Rankings
- 2013 Final BCS Rankings
- College Football Playoff Rankings