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SEC Football: Do They Deserve the Hype?

The SEC has won six BCS National Championships in a row. This year they will make it seven in a row unless the Notre Dame Fighting Irish can stop them. If you look at the BCS standings, you’ll find six SEC schools near the top (as in six of the top ten). Is it a bunch of hype as fans of other conferences like to portray? Or is it just that the SEC is better than everyone else?

Let’s look at some real facts to help determine whether it’s real or hype. The SEC has nine bowl eligible teams. Six of those nine have two or fewer losses. In the ACC, two teams have two losses, in the Pac 12 two teams two or fewer, in the Big 12 two teams have two or fewer, in the Big Ten two have two or fewer (one is on probation), and the Big East has two with two losses. That is three times as many SEC teams as the other five BCS AQ conferences.

Other conferences like to explain this by saying the SEC won’t play tough out of conference competition. Okay, let’s look at the SEC vs everyone else then shall we? How about the ACC? This past weekend, the SEC went 4-0 over the ACC. The Florida Gators beat the Florida State Seminoles, the top ACC team in Tallahassee 37-26 (and it was only that close because the Noles E J Manuel ran in a meaningless touchdown as time expired). The South Carolina Gamecocks beat the Clemson Tigers at Clemson 27-17, the Georgia Bulldogs throttled the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets 42-10, and the Vanderbilt Commodores beat the Wake Forest Demon Deacons in North Carolina 55-21.

Earlier in the year, the Tennessee Volunteers, who won only one SEC game all season, beat the North Carolina State Wolfpack, who went 7-5 and 4-4 in the ACC, 35-21. On that same weekend in the same stadium, the Clemson Tigers, who went 10-2 and 7-1 in the ACC, beat the Auburn Tigers, who were 0-8 in the SEC and lost all eight games by and averaged of over 20 points per game, 26-19.

If you really want to know how powerful the SEC is, how about this? The Kent State Golden Flashes are #17 in the BCS standings right now. If they beat #21 Northern Illinois in the MAC Championship Game this week, and move into the top 15, they will play in a BCS Bowl game with a 12-1 record. Their only loss this year was to the Kentucky Wildcats, who went 0-8 in the SEC. The score was Kentucky 47 Kent State 14.

Other SEC wins over outside competition include the Alabama Crimson Tide over the Michigan Wolverines, who are headed for the Capital One Bowl on New Year’s Day according to many bowl projections, 41-14. The LSU Tigers beat the Washington Huskies 41-3. Washington is projected for the Las Vegas Bowl after going 7-5. The Texas A&M Aggies beat Hawaii Bowl bound SMU Mustangs 48-3 and beat 9-3 Louisiana Tech 59-57. The Bulldogs have the Independence Bowl as a projected destination.

What were the biggest out of conference losses suffered by the SEC? The was the Louisiana Monroe War Hawks beating the Arkansas Razorbacks in overtime. But ULM is going bowling with a likely spot being the Independence Bowl. Oh, and those same War Hawks lost to the aforementioned Auburn Tigers too.  There was the Northwestern Wildcats 23-13 win over Vanderbilt. Of course Northwestern is probably looking at a New Year’s Day Bowl in Florida at either the Gator or Outback Bowl.

The Missouri Tigers, who are not bowl eligible, lost to the Syracuse Orange, who is bowl eligible 31-27. Mizzou was 2-6 in the SEC while Syracuse still has a shot at winning the Big East with a week to go and winding up in a BCS Bowl. Mizzou also went to Orlando and beat the UCF Knights, who are playing for the Conference USA Championship this week 21-16. The team UCF is playing for that championship, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, lost to Arkansas 19-15.

OK, here we go. The biggest win anyone had over the SEC this season was the Texas Longhorns over the Ole Miss Rebels, who are bowl eligible at 6-6 and likely headed for the BBVAA Compass Bowl or the Liberty Bowl, 66-31. So that’s all you got. So is the SEC over-hyped or are they just that good? They are just good, so everyone else, stop whining.

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