Downfall of the S.E.C.

The decline of college football’s former kings

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com via Creative Commons

Photo courtesy of wikipedia.com via Creative Commons

Micheal Barbuti, Author

 

For the past decade it has been of general agreement amongst experts and analysts that the dominant conference in college football has been the Southeastern Conference (S.E.C.). In the last 10 Bowl Championship Series (B.C.S.) National Championships, the winner came from the S.E.C. seven of the ten times. Of the times that the National Champion did not come from the S.E.C. in the last decade, the runner up came from the S.E.C. two out of the three times this occurred. At one time, between the years of 2006 and 2012, the National Champion was from the S.E.C. for seven straight seasons. However, out of the last three years the National Champion has come from the S.E.C. only once, and the majority of this year’s top contenders come from outside of this famed conference (ticketcity.com).

In the Week One Associated Press (A.P.) Top 25 Poll, which is the accepted poll for college football rankings, only one of the top ten teams comes from the S.E.C., #1 Alabama. The University of Alabama is seen as the best football team in the country, and they have reigned supreme over the S.E.C. for nearly four years now. In the last three S.E.C. Championship games, Alabama has won by an average of 27 points (Average calculated from scores listed on secsports.com). This statistic more than any other shows the S.E.C.’s decline as a whole. In previous years the S.E.C.’s Champion has been an even mix of the different teams in the conference. Now it seems that no one can keep up with Alabama.

Another viewpoint on the reason for the S.E.C.’s less than dominant performances on the national stage in the last few years is that the other conferences are merely getting better. Conferences like the Atlantic Coast Conference (A.C.C.), the Big 10, and the Pacific Coast Athletic Conference (P.A.C. 12) are now starting to control the national stage. These conferences have always been right behind the S.E.C., but now it seems that they have overtaken the former rulers of college football.

Sophomore Luke Eiden is of the opinion that the S.E.C. is indeed in decline. Eiden says, “I think they still have the powerhouse teams like Alabama and L.S.U. [Louisiana State University], but the teams that have usually been up there with them have been falling off, like Florida [University] and Ole Miss.” Eiden does also believe that part of the reason is the improvement of other conferences, specifically mentioning the A.C.C..

Another student that is in agreement with Eiden is junior Trent Marchand, however he has different reasons for his belief. Marchand says, “I do believe the S.E.C. is in decline because the players that go professional rarely live up to their illustrious college careers and potential recruits of these schools are starting to notice that.” Marchand also cites the fact that “many of the coaches in the S.E.C. are getting fired” for why recruits are starting to turn away from the S.E.C..

Regardless of the reason it is clear that the S.E.C. is not the same as it was, the recent rankings and results of the conference prove that. College football has entered a new era, one not overshadowed by the power of the S.E.C.. The question now is who will be the ones to take their place?