SEC, you’re not so tough.

I was going to lay out  a detailed rebuttal to Matt Hinton’s post yesterday about the current stratification of the SEC, but I see that Michael Elkon has beaten me to the punch (surely a sign that the World Cup has come to an end).  You should read ’em both, but Elkon’s last point is worth repeating here:

4. Unipolarity or bipolarity are the state of nature in the SEC. Florida and Alabama met in the first three SEC Championship Games. Florida and Tennessee dominated the conference in the 90s. Alabama dominated the conference in the 70s. The SEC is always good, but it often has periods in which one or two teams run away from the pack.

That’s exactly right.  Don’t forget that no teams other than Florida and Tennessee represented the SEC East in the SECCG until Georgia made it to the eleventh game in 2002.

On the other hand, you want to talk about how things look today, Matt’s summary is accurate.

But for once, there aren’t any equally talented outfits: Even the momentarily weakened, “reloading” editions of the Gators and Tide are more attractive than the alternatives. Actually, they’re far more attractive. Three years removed from finishing in the top two spots nationally, LSU and Georgia are both trying to ward off ever-encroaching “hot seat” chatter after back-to-back disappointments. Tennessee is in an unprecedented state of disarray on almost every level. High-flying Arkansas remains saddled with the league’s worst defense. Auburn, for all of its optimism going into the year, is still 5-11 in SEC games over the last two. South Carolina is, well, South Carolina.

If you’re a dispassionate observer of the conference, I think it’s fair to say that there are more questions going in to this season than any since 2002 (coincidently,  a year in which there were huge questions about how Florida would manage without Spurrier and how Alabama on probation would do).  That should make for a fun year, particularly if you’re someone with a rooting interest in a team that is hoping for a reversal of recent fortune.

********************************************************************

UPDATE: Some of the Vegas sports books are starting to publish over/under lines on wins (h/t Blatant Homerism).  I’ve found lines on eight of the twelve teams in the conference.

  • Alabama:  10
  • Arkansas:  8.5
  • Auburn: 8.5
  • Florida:  10
  • Georgia: 8.5
  • LSU:  7.5/8
  • South Carolina: 7
  • Tennessee: 7

If the Vols win seven games, Derek Dooley ought to get some serious consideration as SEC Coach of the Year.  If South Carolina wins seven games, Spurrier ought to give some serious consideration to retirement.

10 Comments

Filed under SEC Football

10 responses to “SEC, you’re not so tough.

  1. James

    posting o/u wins without the juice is only half the story.

    Like

  2. Jump23

    This is a stab at the SEC?….REALLY?
    Sure, Lane Kiffin screwed up Tennessee and knew winning in the SEC wasn’t going to be NEARly as easy as he envisioned. So, he ran back to the PAC10 where he could build his Daddy’s defense up quicker.
    Name any conference who has greater balance? or deeper quality?….Or gets the top rated players in greater numbers?…The PAC10?…BIGBORE11?…ACC?….BIGLEast?….where?
    So,…this is the best “dig” on the SEC you could come up with? That’s just Sad!

    Like

  3. Wally Pip

    OSU FAN by any chance!….?? Yeah, all over Buckeye land they are hoping Alambama and FLoida knocked each other out of contention so the ONE team in that horrendous BIG11 (until NEB comes in the mix)can have a shot??? hahahaha! Best of luck toi you, in your advoidable therapy!

    Like

  4. Canton Dawg

    GAWD, of GAWD dont let it be Ohio State vs an SEC team for the final!!! I’d rather see Potato State vs Alabama/Florida. At least that’ll shut up some of the “small school” pity talk….I said “some”!

    Like

  5. Reptillicide

    I’ll take the over on Georgia and Auburn and the under on Arkansas, Tennessee and Florida.

    Like

  6. negative ?

    2002 ?

    2003 The SEC was clearly DOWN.

    Only # 14 Auburn was a ranked team besides SEC Champions Georgia Bulldogs. (Alabama was on Probation and excluded from the Coaches’ Poll.)

    Florida and Alabama clearly are Top 5 Football teams going into this season, and both should stroll through is the consensus.

    Georgia fans are in here BRAGGING on that ?

    Excuse me, this is a Bulldogs’ Blog and UGA is NOT in contention 2010, and with us losing 15 seniors and 4-5 juniors after 2010, 2011 is not going to be nearly as pretty as this season.

    I have no idea where your comment Bluto about the Georgia Bulldogs having put together back-to-back disappointing years comes from. We were 8-4 in 2006 as well. How quickly we forget.

    Where is your post about THIS Bluto :

    Until July 31, stay out of downtown Athens. Another weak response. I guess on Sunday August 1, we can count on a big Party ?

    We obviously deserve it with us # 4 in The SEC over the last 4 years and this season our 1 shot in the next 2.

    Party Hearty downtown Athens Sunday August 1 Bulldogs, for you have absolutely earned it, haven’t you ?

    And, if The SEC is not so tough, why is UGA 10-10 these last 4 years in our own division of this conference at 3rd best in The SEC East ?

    Hell, there only was Florida any of the last 4 years in The SEC East. How in the hell did we go 10-10 ?

    Waiting for reply.

    Like

  7. negative ?

    Oh, 2003 didn’t turn out well for Georgia ?

    I am absolutely certain that everyone in here came running in daily to say how we would win The SEC.

    Oh the 3 LOSSES to SEC teams kept us out of any contention ?

    Must have been 2004, David Greene’s Senior Year that was so great for SEC Champions Georgia. Right ?

    No.

    Not then either.

    Auburn and Tennessee BOTH beat us.

    Hmmm.

    Let me think.

    Oh The SEC WAS down in 2002.

    We won it that year.

    1 ranked team in the entire SEC other than us, but we are GREAT because we won ?

    Like

    • Joe

      I am not really sure what your point was with those past two comments. Are you really just here to be a jackass? Really? Posts and comments on this blog typically, if not always, involve a reasonable discussion about college football but here you come along and act like an asshole. Congrats on this achievement. We are all quite impressed.

      Like

  8. Pingback: Expectationswatch: goin’ over/under on the SEC | The War Eagle Reader