SEC Hype Hits Home
Like a lot of college football fans outside of SEC country, I've found the constant fawning over SEC teams to be nauseating. Some of it is deserved. The best team in that country has come from that conference for the last six years and it could become seven. While that reflects well on the conference, it doesn't describe the league top to bottom. There are six excellent teams in the SEC this year (one of them having just arrived from the Big 12). There are eight which at best might be described as "meh". If the league has been a tad overrated, so what? This week we see evidence that the hype could cost NU a recruit. That makes the blood boil a bit.
Nebraska cornerback "commit" Jonathan Cook was quoted as saying, "I want to play in the SEC". "That's where the hard-nosed athletes are at. The SEC."
How do we define a "hard-nosed" school? Aren't they supposed to be able to run the ball? None of the top dozen rushing schools in the country play in the SEC. Texas A&M (just in from the Big 12) is tops for the Southeastern Conference at 13th. Alabama is next highest at 20th. You go all the way down to 35th to find another SEC squad (Florida). Nebraska, Ohio State, and Wisconsin all managed to average more rushing yards per game than any SEC school and Northwestern is just one notch behind the Aggies.
Perhaps someone should show Cook the hit that Kenny Bell laid on that Wisconsin player in the Big Ten championship game. Or he ought to try to get off a block by Quincy Enunwa. As a defensive back, there's no more hard-nosed assignment than taking on the blocking wideouts found in the Big Ten.
You understand the allure of a conference that won six straight titles. But the wind can change fast in college football. Prior to this most recent run, only four of the prior 29 national champions came from the SEC. Over that span, current Big Ten teams won seven national championships. Current ACC teams won nine. Current Pac-12 teams managed 4 and that's with fewer schools than the SEC.
It took just a couple of years for Auburn to fall from superpower to laughingstock. This SEC stranglehold on the title won't last forever. It may have ended already. Let's just hope the national media doesn't turn their lovefest into a self-fulfilling prophecy.