Thursday, August 14, 2014
Behind The Scoreboard
SEC again top contender in football
The season of football not only encompasses the pro leagues but also the collegiate conferences which most of us also impatiently look forward to each year. Within our small borough, one can find loyalties spread out over a wide area of teams and conferences. Naturally, this is due in large part to the different colleges and universities which our citizens attend.
However, for the last dozen or so years, the SEC has steadily gained a growing fan base. The conference itself expanded a few years ago to 14 teams with the addition of the Texas A&M Aggies and the Missouri Tigers. The SEC has been the most dominant conference in the NCAA Division 1A for years.
Last season, which a lot of us would probably like to forget, saw a non-SEC team taking all of the marbles. As much as it pains this writer to give the devil his due (don’t know if the Seminoles of Florida State would appreciate my putting horns on their helmets and pitch forks in their hands), Florida State shocked many of us back into the reality of parity at the collegiate level.
While it is all too true that some of the teams in the SEC might have suffered a little loss in strength and depth, the conference as a whole is as strong and viable as ever.
We know that pre-season polls and rankings don’t always have a sustaining mark on the entire season, but the USA Today Poll recently released was more to my liking. The Seminoles received 56 first place votes and were ranked number one. Alabama didn’t get any first place votes but was placed at number two. A pair of other teams from the SEC (Auburn, South Carolina) was also included in the top 10. In all, the SEC had seven teams in the top 25.
There are 11 conferences listed in the FBS (Football Bowl Series) in Division 1A, and in the last 13 years, the SEC has participated in 108 post-season bowl games, winning 67 of them. The closest conference in those statistics is the Atlantic Coast Conference with a bowl record of 44-48. The ACC also has 14 teams, as does the Big Ten (there is no word as to whether the Big Ten will change its name to the Big 14).
Two other conferences, which get good looks from our fan genre, are the C-USA and American Athletic Conference (AAC). There was some “conference jumping” a few years back, and the Memphis Tigers bolted to the AAC which was newly formed and now boasts 11 teams. The C-USA, of which the University of Southern Mississippi is a member, expanded to 13 teams and has a winning record in their bowl contests (15-13).
There will be some surprises with the demise of the BCS (Bowl Championship Series), but yours truly is predicting that the SEC will again emerge as a top contender.
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