Have you heard that refrain about the SEC being down this year? I have.
Did you hear it last year? I did.
Did you hear it the year before that? I did.
Open your ears, and you'll hear it every year. Maybe one year it will be true. This ain't the year.
There's a reason that 2 of the top 2, 3 of the top 6, 4 of the top 9, 5 of the top 16, and 6 of the top 25 teams in the final BCS rankings are SEC teams. Part of the reason is respect, and while fans of the other conferences can and should lobby for a level playing field, logic decrees that you pay a little respect to the conference that is winning the championship every year and has never lost a BCS Championship Game.*
But there's a better reason: dominance in big games THIS REGULAR SEASON.
Let's look again at that BCS top 25, and have a look at the losses of each team in the top 25. It quickly becomes apparent that you won't find many losses by top 25 BCS teams to teams from other conferences.** In fact, there are only 7. And here they are:
Baylor 50, TCU 48
TCU 36, Boise St. 35
Boise St. 35, Georgia 21
LSU 40, Oregon 27
LSU 47, West Virginia 21
Alabama 27, Penn St. 11
South Carolina 34, Clemson 13
The next sentence needs to be shouted.
THE NON-SEC PART OF THE NATION HAD THREE OUT-OF-CONFERENCE WINS OVER BCS TOP 25 AND THE SEC HAD FOUR.
A little sauce: the three non-SEC out-of-conference Top 25 wins were by 1 point, 2 points and 14 points. All four of the SEC wins were by double digits.
Put another way: the average score of the three non-SEC out-of-conference wins was 40.3-34.7. The average score of the SEC out-of-conference wins was 37-18.
Put another way: the total margin of victory of all non-SEC out-of-conference wins over BCS top 25 teams: 17. Total margin of victory of all SEC out-of-conference wins over BCS top 25 teams: 72.
Just for extra sauce, we'll mention Tennessee's 45-23 win over AP #27 Cinncinnati, and Georgia's 31-17 win over AP #29 Georgia Tech (the BCS only goes through 25).
There's a moral in this story for you SEC types, many of whom I have heard parroting the annual "The SEC is down this year" refrain. The moral is that the media peddles that shit sandwich every year. Next year, take a sniff before you chomp down.
*That streak will end this year, although I don't think the anti-rematch crowd stopped to realize that.
**Michigan St. lost to Notre Dame, which of course is not in a conference.