Why pick on the SEC?

Kyle King has added another response to his debate with College Football Resource over whether the SEC is in the midst of a dramatic shift in offensive philosophies. Much of it mirrors a discussion between Heismanpundit and me here at this blog.

I’m not really interested in rehashing this argument (although I’d like to see if CFR has any counterpoint to what Kyle has posted), but I do have a question to ask that’s inspired by this discussion: why are CFR and HP so focused on the SEC?

In other words, why is there a perception that there is something lacking about offenses in the Southeastern Conference? Are, in fact, SEC offenses less successful than offenses from other conferences?

I took what is by no means an exhaustive look at one aspect of this to see if I could get any idea of how valid the concept of underperforming offenses in the SEC actually is (I’ve said I’m too lazy to be a stats geek). I took the 2006 offensive rankings of D-1 schools for points scored, sorted the rankings by conference and averaged the school rankings for each conference for comparison purposes.

What I got for the BCS conferences might surprise you a little.

BCS CONFERENCE AVG. SCORING RANK

Big XII………………………………… 39.50

Big East………………………………. 50.00

Big 10…………………………………. 52.45

SEC………………………………………53.33

PAC 10………………………………. 55.20

ACC……………………………………. 72.42

Looks to me that if any conference should be chasing after offensive coordinators, it’s the ACC. Overall, though, it’s hard to see much difference between four of the BCS conferences’ offensive results – including the SEC and the PAC 10. So, again, why the focus on the SEC?

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UPDATE: Boredom led me to run the numbers for ’05 and ’04, as well. Here’s what the running averages look like for 2004, 2005 and 2006:

  • Big XII – 51.17; 54.50; 39.50
  • PAC 10 – 50.50; 37.20; 55.20
  • Big East – 43.50; 64.88; 50.00
  • Big 10 – 62.09; 37.64; 52.45
  • ACC – 66.92; 71.00; 72.42
  • SEC – 56.58; 71.58; 53.33

Maybe I’m missing something, but the ACC still seems to be the most putrid looking of the bunch.

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