If you're on facebook, twitter, listen to national sports shows or care to read non-SEC blogs, the narrative you've likely seen the last few days is that Oklahoma killed the beast. As I sat there Thursday night and watched twitter unload seven long years of SEC frustration out on Alabama I began to laugh and enjoy being the villain. I quickly concluded that many Big 12, B1G and Pac-12 fans were enjoying Bama's loss as much or more as their own team's successes.
But is it really SEC hate that spilled over Thursday night or are the cross-hairs pointed directly at the Crimson Tide?
Do you think those same fans would be just as excited had LSU lost? Did the SEC's brand automatically drop by 100 points when Georgia lost to Nebraska? Or when A&M needed the program's greatest comeback to beat Duke?
I guess in the eyes of SEC haters, Alabama's loss confirmed what everyone already knew was true all along- the SEC was and is overrated. Forget the past seven titles and ignore all the bowl victories, the SEC, by one single loss, has officially been dethroned.
Oh and if Auburn loses to Florida State on Monday expect the OVERRATED and S-E-C chants from our rivals to grow even louder. Fine, winning back to back to back to back to back to back to back national titles will do that and we (SEC fans) we have to live with defeat and the taunting that comes with it. I rarely defend the SEC or thump my SEC chest but today I find myself defending our conference from those who wish to dance on our grave after a single loss...
So, what Does Alabama's Loss Mean to the SEC Brand?
Excuse my unprofessional french, but not a damn thing. The SEC is still the biggest name in college football and one down year does little to change that. It was obvious after three-four weeks of the season that this wasn't the same SEC as in years past. Alabama was heralded all year long as the best team in the country and that simply wasn't true. Shucks.
What does it say about a conference when Auburn, a team that didn't win a single SEC game in 2012, wins the SEC and is now playing for national title? No doubt that Auburn, and Missouri in the East, have improved dramatically, but it's also possible that the conference slate wasn't the gauntlet it normally is.
Bob Stoops wants us all to believe that the media created the SEC narrative and now with Alabama's loss he was somehow vindicated. Meh.
Maybe the SEC wasn't the best conference in college football this year. It's certainly debatable and it's possible the rest of the country finally gained ground. Traditional powers like Florida, Tennessee, Georgia, and even LSU had disappointing seasons and Alabama, for all of its success from 2009-2012, has work to do if it wants to return to its place atop the college football world.
Still, until a conference reels off seven championships in a row or Alabama is promoted to the NFC East (/sarcasm font), a Sugar Bowl loss by Alabama does little do diminish the SEC brand.