Well, the answer to that is no - but all of the ballyhoo for the SEC creates anger and angst for non-SEC fan bases. Losing is bad enough - nobody likes to have to also have "S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!" rain down on them.
In retaliation, other fan bases throw stones at the SEC and claim, "It's overrated." I've heard it for the past several years so I thought this would be a good time to take a look at that claim. A&M is in it's first year in the SEC and we're matched up with Oklahoma in the Cotton Bowl - what better time, right?
Obviously, I hear this claim of unwarrented adulation primarily from Big 12 fans - for many reasons. I live and work with mostly Big 12 supporters, A&M has a strong history with them, and they have a legitimate claim for the title of second best conference. I'm going to pick on them a bit and use them as the comparison.
The Cotton Bowl
Let's start of by looking at the Cotton Bowl itself. The Cotton Bowl has been a match up between the Big 12 and the SEC since 1999. The SEC has won 9 of the 14 games and since 2004 the SEC is 8-1.
Bowl games are a good way to see how a conference does. The SEC's dominance over the last 7 seasons has been incredible - here are the comparisons for the last 6 bowl seasons against non-conference opponents (with this season's games still to be played)....
- The SEC is 36-17 (.679)
- The Big 12 is 26-21 (.553)
"Oh, the SEC is overrated because they just beat up on each other and inflate each others rankings."
Ok, so let's just look at out of conference records. Over the last 7 seasons.....
- SEC is 329-69 (.827)
- Big 12 is 263-85 (.756)
Again, the Big 12 is just being used as a comparison - I'm not trying to embarrass them.
"Oh, but the SEC doesn't play anybody out of conference - they just pad their records with powder puffs."
Ok, let's look at out of conference record vs. ranked opponents. Over the last 7 seasons....
- SEC is 46-26 (.639)
- Big 12 is 19-36 (.345)
- SEC has played 17 more OoC games against ranked teams, and has lost 10 fewer
- For the Big 12 to get to .639 they would have to win 45 consecutive games against ranked opponents
Those are the entire conference numbers. That accounts for the pummeling that Vandy, Ole Miss, & Kentucky traditionally take.
Just for fun, here are the records against Top 10 OoC opponents:
- SEC is 18-12 (.600)
- Big 12 is 5-13 (.278)
Like Billy Madison said, "You and me. Mano y mono."
Over the last 7 seasons the SEC is 15-8 against the Big 12. Three of the eight Big 12 wins have been against Ole Miss. Quit picking on Ole Miss.
The SEC has also won two National Championships in head-to-head games with the Big 12 during that stretch - in 2007 when Florida beat OU and in 2009 when Alabama beat texas.
What Everyone Agrees On
The Big 10 is terrible. The Big 10 is 17-31 against the SEC & Big 12 combined over the last 7 seasons.
The SEC is THE best conference in the country. Regardless of how tired everyone is of hearing it, it doesn't change the fact that it is still true.
I didn't even have to play the trump card of 6 consecutive National Champions.....going on 7.
S-E-C! S-E-C! S-E-C!