PHONE'S RINGING -- IT'S URBAN ON THE LINE
7 national championships. No matter what type of logic or twisting of statistics the SEC will always be considered better because of 7 Nation Championships. Even if the B1G, Pac12 Big 12, ACC were to each win 1 championship apiece, it still isn't 7 in a row. It sucks but it can change.
Bingo, that is the end of the discussion right there.
You have to keep in mind, however, that at least one of those was manufactured by the sports media/voters. (LSU v. Bama in the Title Game).
Sports Media and regional bias are a big reason they continually make it over other 1 loss teams.
I am not discounting the results on the field, just how they came about.
The Ohio State University, College of Arts & Sciences, Class of 2006
The Ohio State University Moritz College of Law, Class of 2009
I think it answers the question "why" though. Why is there a perceived strength of the SEC -> it is because of that. Even if someone takes the LSU/Alabama, that is still 6. Further, in those 6 the other conferences had a shot to win and didn't. 2 of those time it was OSU not getting it done, and breaking our hearts. They still had to beat the best most times coming into the game at #2 (5 of the 7 times).
I know you're not discounting their efforts, but even if ESPN got them to the title game they still had to win the game. Save a few games they absolutely dominated the national title game. I think what it comes down to is that in the end no one remembers second place (except if you are OSU and you get annihilated, then you get reminded over and over), everyone always remembers the winner.
Ain't that the truth.
If i could target brain cells to kill off when I drink it would be everything after Ted Ginns kick return.
Thanks for yet another reminder.
Toledo - Ohio's right armpit
"A troll by any other name is still a troll".
What was worse for me was that I was up for work in the UP (automotive testing) and was gathered around a bunch of UM fans/coworkers that night at a bar. Ted Ginn runs the kickoff back and I start talking a LOT of smack about how this was going to be a butt kicking blowout. Yeah... it was... didn't hear the end of it.
Sure, sure. I agree. However, it's Bama (and while under Urbz, Florida, and to a lesser extent LSU) that is the juggernaut, not the "SEC." Arkansas, South Carolina, and Georgia aren't better because of that. Bama's strength of schedule shouldn't be upgraded because herp derp SEC speed, ermagerd SEC is so tough you guis. I think that's my biggest problem.
South Carolina finished ranked 8th in the AP last year after nearly losing a bowl game to what, the fourth or fifth best B1G team? Florida lost to Louisville for God's sake, and finished at 9, ABOVE LOUISVILLE WHO HAD THE SAME RECORD AND BEAT THEM! That's the SEC bias: assuming they are all as good as Bama because they play in the same conference.
I agree that the SEC depth as a conference is overrated. But I don't think people care, they only care about who won "the" game. Bama and a handful of others have came in and dominated "the" game. That is all anyone remembers, which leads to what you noted. But the top in the SEC each year has pulled the rest along, with Bama leading that pack year in and year out.
Agreed...it's not the SEC...it's the top 3 and everyone else. Until Ark, SC, and GA win a NC...then you can make that argument. As of right now...it's going to be the toughest conference bc of those 7 championships (Bama=3, LSU=2 and FL=2* with our current coach too btw). Keep that in mind at all times when considering tSEC as the best conference...thank you;-)
Edit* Almost forgot to add how Auburn paid for won the NC in 2011. Of course after paying to have the NCAA not investigate Cecil Newton taking any improper benefits (twice...once at Miss ST and again at Auburn). Not to mention a whopping one day suspension of Cam Newton. Also right before the biggest game of the year in the Iron Bowl, which IF Auburn loses...then they wouldn't have been in the NC game. Hmmm...nothing to investigate here;-)
"There's nothing that cleanses your soul like getting the hell kicked out of you."
"I love football. I think it is most wonderful game in world and I despise to lose."
Woody Hayes 1913 - 1987
But to that point we all agree on (the big 3, not SEC)...
The article states an ESPN creation of SEC dominance rather than a top 3 bolstering the SEC. Is ESPN a product of the top 3 or is the top 3 a product of ESPN? I think their performance in the title games points to the big 3 creating the attention, not ESPN.
All due respect, but I'd argue the ESPN hype machine (and other media outlets, for that matter) started in about midway through year 3 of this 7 year run. After our losses to UF and LSU in back to back years is when you started getting this stupid "SEC Speed" meme, and the suits at the Mouse talking about how tough the SEC was top to bottom. In all fairness, for a 2-3 year stretch there (excepting Kentucky and Vandy, of course), that was true. It certainly hasn't been the last 2 or so years.
I read this last offseason and actually planned on looking into some of the points he brought up, but I haven't found the time; specifically (forgive me if I misstate something here since I read the article several months ago) the part about SEC teams not dropping as far for losing as some teams from other conferences do.
It's something I began to notice a few years ago and it sounds plausible, but I'd like to dig into some polling history over the last ten years or so to make sure this isn't just confirmation bias on my part.
I actually read a little bit of this book while in a bookstore, it's quite interesting. The sec is better because the teams are better not because of any conspiracy. The south would be so much more enjoyable without the sec.
To quote the famous philosopher Rick :The Nature boy" Flair "If you want to be the man, you gotta beat the man." and right now no one is beating the SEC until Urban Meyer and the Buckeyes throw their hat into the NC ring.
Then buckle up, Space Mountain up ahead.
"Success - it's what you do with what you got" - Woody Hayes
Ahh, gotta love self-fulfilling prophecies. I think what stings the most is that the table is set for the SEC every damn year: perception indicates that it's the best conference, therefore they completely dominate the rankings. Then, they get to play championship games on constantly-favorable sites. Whether they've earned their distinction is ancillary--their title must be taken in the postseason. Unfortunately, until any conference is willing to invest the kind of dinero at the top like our buddies in the South, it could be a while before the SEC's supposed paper tiger crumbles.
Exactly! This year you only had Bama as a real contender. Florida, SCar, Georgia, LSU all proved they were overrated. And TX A&M was argubly still a BigXII team this year (first year in, no recruiting impact made by transition, so I discount their "SEC Strength."
Texas A&M proves all of the SEC's "if team X played in the SEC, they would finish no better than 7th!" wrong
If the sec would use the same rules as the B1G in recruiting and over signing, they wouldn't have 7 national titles in a row. They would be back to buying players and national titles.
Come on man, that sounds like nothing but sour grapes. The B12 is just as notorious in regards to oversigning as was the BE. And not every SEC school takes part in "oversigning". What it comes down to is there are better players in the south(or at least more elite players) and the SEC is willing to shell out the money for top tier coaches and high quality assistants.
Do you really believe what you just said? Lets put it this way, if the willingness to shell out money for top tier coaches and high quality assistants doesn't produce the wins, they get canned.
Just ask Gene Chizik ex Auburn coach.
I'm not sure what you are referring to. Of course the SEC oversigns as a conference, but only half the conference are habitual oversigners. The B12 and BE are also notorious oversigners....look it up. I never said it was fair to oversign, but its not the only reason the SEC has won the last 7 titles.
And I can't even begin to grasp your point about firing coaches who don't produce...that happens everywhere. It doesn't change the fact that the SEC pays more for coaches which in turn attracts better coaches. Its not that hard to follow.
Interesting article. I feel one of the biggest issues with college football is the preseason/early week polls. If you didn't do any polls until the 3/4th week of the season then it would be a better representation of the actual best teams in the conference. Last year, for example, everyone bashed Wisconsin for losing the second week to Oregon State however the Beavers finished respectable 9-4 on the season and they were ranked fairly high before losing to Oregon and Stanford.
The SEC is always so loaded in the preseason polling that any of their early conference loses can simply be blamed on "oh well they played a top 20 team" even if that team continues to lose 5 games that year.
The only thing I don't like is that even us Ohio State Buckeyes on this blog are buying into the idea that the SEC is a team. It isn't. A confederation of teams won the last 7 titles. That is impressive, but most of the teams in the conference have nothing to do with it. Ohio State has never lost to the SEC, rather certain teams within the SEC. A subtle but important difference.
"Because the rules won't let you go for three." - Woody Hayes
THE Ohio State University
The SEC is the best football conference AND it is overrated. Every year the SEC loses some bowl matchups like Florida/Louisville or LSU/Clemson or MSU/NW last year. However, as long as the SEC keeps producing the winner of the only game that really maters, the NCG, people will overlook the losses. The SEC is at the top right now, but not by as wide a margin as the World Wide Leader, and the chanting fans of Dixie like to think.
Two things , to me it seems like a bit of a conflict of interests btw ESPIN and the SEC. They are essentially a massive PR machine for the SEC, of which they reap massive ratings, and stack the board for the teams that they represent. Hopefully the new Fox sports network will be able to curb this a bit.
Thing two, I was was struck by the ridiculousness of the " oh well they played a top 20 team" statement about a game in the 2nd week, but I guess what would all the ESPIN analysts do if they didn't come out with rankings until the 4th or 5th week?
Not bitter though I think that TOSU might reap some benefits from a top 5 early ranking, and hopefully ride it to a National Championship where we can finally trounce some Overrated SEC team.
1) While the SEC is likely overrated in the media, its a stretch to act like we would easily "trounce" an SEC team in the title game(we DID in fact get trounced ourselves two years in a row). I just want the opportunity to be the team that halts this SEC title train.
2) ESPN is not responsible for preseason polls. The "ESPN" poll is the coaches poll and it has been around before ESPN. I do agree though that preseason polls are meaningless, but they aren't going anywhere.
1) I know I know.. the memories are cruelly gouged into my soul. I was letting myself be optimistic and perhaps naive, but wouldn't that just be sooo frickin' awesome?
2) While E-SPIN is not "responsible" for the polls , the fact remains that they have the biggest platform in regards to sports news, and that they are unabashedly biased towards the SEC.
I don't think it's so much that the SEC is amazing, it's more that almost everyone outside of the SEC has been really average lately. I can't be the only one that watched last season and thought, "Wow, this (to that point) undefeated KSU team is decent, but not exceptional," or "Hmm, this Oregon team is high scoring but they sure do allow a lot of points to opponents," or "Wow, this undefeated Notre Dame has had a lot of really average games against below-average opponents." Even Ohio State had some REALLY average games (Wisconsin, Purdue, Indiana -- made for exciting TV though!). Watching college football these days, it just seems like there aren't many great teams anymore. Even the good teams are too inconsistent to be considered great.
Alabama is the only team I watch from week to week and think "Wow, this is a GREAT team." The SEC has been getting a lot of talent the last several years. If you look at the top 10 recruiting classes over the last 10 years, there are typically 4 or 5 SEC teams in there every year. That doesn't mean those teams are necessarily going to be good TEAMS, you still have to develop comradery, competency, technical ability, etc. But frequently talent is all most SEC teams need to rise above the field. I think the difference between a 6-7 OSU team from 2011 and a 12-0 OSU team from 2012 wasn't talent, but excellent coaching and the sense of direction/purpose Coach Meyer brought with him. I think over the next few years, with Urban bringing in top recruiting classes, and having developed a coaching staff that knows what they're doing, OSU will be capable of challenging for a title. As mentioned, Alabama is the only team I look at these days and think "this is a GREAT team," the rest of the SEC has shown time and again that they're beatable on a given day (Hey Florida? Louisville says "What's up?") -- so in my mind, if OSU wants to be a great team, they know whose level they have to rise to. Not the SEC, but Alabama specifically.
I've been chirping about this crap for several years. I live in the "SEC"...Arkansas. And I hate the SEC. The ESPN bias is very real, and the thing about an SEC school losing to another SEC school and dropping only a couple of ranking positions while others freefall...is also real. What about it is NOT fact? The manufactured perception milked by the ESPN pundits isn't going anywhere, and once again, in 2013, we will see four SEC teams in the top ten. The fly in the ointment will certainly be Ohio State, and I have to believe that with the longest string of current victories in college football, and an undefeated regular season with a Big Ten Championship, to leave us out of the NCG would raise a stink unmatched by any previous overlooked teams.
I'm not saying that the discussion won't be had, that two one loss SEC teams deserve the shot over an undefeated Ohio State team, but there would be hell to pay, and I couldn't see other conference bigshots sitting still for a slight...knowing that their conference could be the next to be crapped on.
But this is what college football has come to. The good thing is that with the advent of internet feedback, loud noises against the ESPN/SEC machine CAN make a difference. Let's be active all year in not just hyping the Buckeyes, but logging some time on these ESPN sites complaining about the bias they show to their new stepchild. Eventually, the message will get through.
I mean, why is it ALWAYS ESPN that is to blame for the "sec bias"?? I'm not denying that ESPN hangs on the nutsack of the SEC(they do have an a monetary interest in the league), but so does CBS, ABC, SI, Yahoo, FOX, etc...its not an "ESPN" thing, its an issue across ALL media.
The only difference is that ESPN has a larger platform to proclaim their love, but you have your ESPN hate goggles on if you think ESPN is the only media outlet bowing to the SEC gods.
I'm with you that the myopic hatred toward ESPN (and ABC, since they're both Disney properties) is overdone, but it is worth mentioning that ESPN is far and away the largest entity and is pretty much unparalleled in shaping the narrative of sports. The argument could be made that whilst all other factions are in agreement, it was ESPN's steering of the narrative that largely spurred the "SEC is the greatest conference ever" sentiment that overrides college football.
I can agree with that statement.
Hodge, while I basically agree with what you're saying, in regards to this sentence:
The argument could be made that whilst all other factions are in agreement, it was ESPN's steering of the narrative that largely spurred the "SEC is the greatest conference ever" sentiment that overrides college football.
The argument could be made that whilst all other factions are in agreement, it was ESPN's steering of the narrative that largely spurred the "SEC is the greatest conference ever" sentiment that overrides college football.
Sure, ESPN is the sports Mother Nature and they are far and away the most visible of the sports entities, and they loves them some SEC football, but don't you think winning 7 titles in a row lends itself to the SEC being viewed as the greatest conference on the face of the planet? What other narrative would be more accurate?
Yes, by titles you are correct. The point that the aforementioned article was making is that the SEC as a collective entity is set up from the getgo. The vast majority of playoff games are played in their backyard, as well as the overriding sentiment that it's the best is the reason why the conference is always stacked with top rated teams. The media drives this hypothesis, and because they're the kingmakers in the BCS (at least largely so), it sets them up nicely to be always competing for the title--and (largely) on their own turf.
I'm not saying that the conference didn't earn every title that its won (it still had to win the games), the argument is that "SEC Dominance" has become so ingrained that it drives the already perception-biased sport to a repeatedly cyclical outcome: SEC vs. new challenger on SEC turf. The bottom line is that the conference is extremely top-heavy, and a lot (but not all) of their better teams are over-inflated for playing each other. It doesn't necessarily deserve the pedestal that it's been thrust upon (or at least not the height at which it stands), since there's a lot of mitigating factors that favor it.
The unfortunate reality is that all of this means nothing--it is what it is. To take the SEC down, you've got to beat them in the big games, and stop the self-serving machine that keeps thrusting them toward the top.
The three certainties:
Cincyosu defending espin
Sidenote: I once read an editorial in SI where a guy was writing about doping in sports. He said that the notion that death and taxes are the only certainties in life was false. He said many folks cheat death all the time. And we all know people cheat on their taxes. His conclusion was that the only thing guaranteed in life is cheating.
@ Tenn- okay, there are only 2 things then
Please tell me how I "defended" ESPN???
I admitted they have an SEC bias, and even agreed with Hodge in that their size makes their love of the SEC a bigger deal than other outlets.
The only thing I brought up were facts. ESPN is NOT the only media outlet that loves ESPN...fact. ESPN is not the driving force behind the ESPN(COACHES) poll...fact.
I have said NUMEROUS times during my "defense" of ESPN that I think they are very shoddy in their news reporting and are really only good for gameday coverage. Yet somehow I love ESPN because I don't buy into the conspiracy hype. It's very hypocritical that the ESPN haters can freely express their views, yet I get criticized for having a different viewpoint...one that many on here also agree with.
So please, explain how I am defending ESPN?
It's the sheer predictability of your involvement in seemingly any and every anti-espn thread or comment. As soon as someone bashes the network, we can count on you, almost as if you had an alert system, to appear within the hour to censure the bashers. True, you don't always give a full, unqualified defense of espn as a journalistic entity, but maybe we lose track of your nuance toward espn after witnessing the tenacity and endurance with which you attack the espn bashers.
Actually, if it were my job to "defend" espn on a site where most participants had negative to very negative views on espn in terms of its "editorial slant" (and I'm not suggesting that it is your job, either) . . . I would strategically concede certain points to make it seem as if I were a reasonable party, had no real dog in the fight, etc., while ultimately trying to undermine the bashers as much as effectively possible - i.e., I'd "pick my battles." Of course you're not doing that, but your readers are going to be more impressed by the overall thrust of your arguments than by a few concessions, whether the concessions are contrived or genuine.
Actually for all the ESPN jabs that happen here on a daily basis, I actually comment on the matter very little in comparison. I will admit that I do at times come across confrontation, but that is more a matter of me being impatient and not taking the time to proof read what I write sometimes. From day one, I have never gone out of my way to say "nice" things about ESPN. The only thing I actually like is their gameday coverage which, aside from Beth Mowens and Mark May, is the best around in my opinion. Other than that, I really don't think that highly of the network.
I will disagree that most on here, and for that matter OSU fans in general, hold a negative view of ESPN. I think those that "hate" ESPN are more vocal in their opinions, but most ppl I know and many others on here feel the same way I do.
CincyOSU: your reply was fair and thoughtful. I have appreciated your thoughts on this topic over the months and I agree that espn does a lot of things very well (of course, espn's excellence certain areas indirectly makes the biases more influential and pernicious because of their reach, popularity, etc.). Anyway, so now I am ready to take your espn-basher criticisms more in stride.
Before I do, though, let me clarify one last time: I never thought you were especially confrontational on the subject; only that you are such a die-hard apologist for espn and a persistent scold of espn-bashers. That was it. Your tone might have gotten sharp at times - I don't know - but mine does, too. The question always was - Why perform that role so often? And, maybe you're right that you only did it 1/10 times that an espn basher thread/comment appeared, but it seemed often enough to me.
But, hey, you've been gracious enough to hear me out even when I was being a bit rough with you, so it's all good. I'm hoping that one of the big media challengers to espn's cable sports empire will make for a more competitive playing field, but maybe that's wishful thinking (and, for that matter, maybe the challengers will also realize/decide, like espn, that playing good cop, bad cop with Ohio State is good for business).
not saying its a conspiracy why the SEC is so good, but Ole Miss being a target for top level recruits indicates something is definitely fishy down there
Overrated indeed. The run of SEC dominance really rests at the feet of two people: Urban Meyer and Nick Saban. Between the two of them they are responsible for 5 of the SEC's 7 consecutive NCs. They also hold a combined 8-1 record in BCS games, while the rest of the conference is a more pedestrian 9-7.
Yep! With LSU being another and Auburn buying a player the final one. NO OTHER SEC TEAM IS EVEN CLOSE TO THAT LEVEL.
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