Monday, August 03, 2009

SEC Football...the lack of prestige

I know that I'm not suppose to tackle sensitive topics now that I'm in the Deep South...but I find it striking that ESPN research has developed a "prestige rating" for every major college football teams. According to the websiteESPN's Prestige Rankings are a numerical method of ranking the best FBS college football programs since the 1936 season. Point values were assigned for certain successes (win a national title, earn 25 points) and failures (get your program banned from the postseason, lose two points).

And according to the rankings based on this system, the SEC only has ONE team in the top ten (Alabama at no. 6). Now, granted, they have a stranglehold on positions 12-16 (Tennessee, LSU, Georgia, Florida). So, you could say, five teams in the top 16 positions. But the Big Ten has THREE teams in the top 11 (Ohio State, Michigan, Penn State). And the Big 12 has THREE teams in the top 7 (Oklahoma [no. 1], Nebraska, Texas). So, in terms of the best college football teams in history, those teams are not in the SEC, but in the Big Ten and Big 12.

Notice that this has nothing to say about the current best teams or best leagues (although everyone would agree, I'd think, that the SEC was down last year and that the Big 12 was the dominate league). But it does speak to the quality and prestige of certain leagues and how valuable those teams are in the areas that count the most: national championships and clean programs. And those programs historically have not been in the SEC....

Hope those ain't fightin words!

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

I would hardly call the Big 12 the dominate league over the SEC last year with Florida beating Oklahoma for the national title and Ole Miss whipping Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl. Head-to-head the SEC seems to have shown the Big 12 that one needs to play defense as well as offense and the SEC was 2-0 versus the Big 12 in bowl games.

Mark Bates said...

What? No Golden Eagles? At least THE University of Alabama made it. No surprise that other school in Bama didn't.
From a pastor who recently moved to a new location, let me give you some advice: Never give any praise to the Big 12 unless you want to start packing up your carpet bag. You have been "up north" for a while and may have forgotten that football is the real religion of the South. Maybe Knox should proof your blog. Of course, he went to Belhaven. So, I doubt he knows anything about football--although his dad does.
Seriously, hope all is well for you.

Anonymous said...

Dearest Sean,

Cards on the table the Duncans are ACC people (Ligon has to keep this secret btw) but as your fellow presbyter let me humbly suggest this is a terrible topic for you to address in your first month of ministry.

You may be interested to know that on the way down to GA I told Rick Phillips (Michigan grad) and successfully defended my thesis that the SEC (ally akbar southron pigskin uber allies) has at least 5 rivalries "better" than MICH-OSU

Mel Duncan

Richard in Albany said...

Sean are you nuts! These comments should have made after your 5th year at First Church. I can hear the talk of the session members in the packing lot now! You have just written one of your pastoral checks
(more than likily a big one) I think Mark is right you have been up north too long. Now go to breakfast tomorrow at the local waffle house have grits and some country ham and reflect on where you are son! By the way since 1970 I believe the SEC would mainly be in the top 10! Repent! By the way I refuse to take sides in my church! We are too divided (Florida, FSU, GT and Georgia with a lost Auburn fan here and there) I tried to keep by wishes unknown until South Carolina beats Georgia! Have a great day I know it will be a long one!
Richard

Sean Michael Lucas said...

Wow! In the light of all this pastoral wisdom, perhaps I should pull this post down!!

Seriously, I know the SEC has been better recently (although just because Florida won the national championship last year doesn't mean the SEC was the better league; that is a category confusion). I just thought this was an interesting perspective to counter all the SEC worship I experience.

btw-cards on the table, my team since 1983 has been Penn State and will be until JoePa retires. Then I'll be a free agent looking for a team...sml

Matt Pickens said...

Should probably be noted that when ESPN is coming up with criteria that they hold rights to televise Big 12 and Big Ten games but not SEC...

Paul Herring said...

ESPN might also want to look prior to 1936. I realize that the AP started ranking teams at that time, however to disregard history to write a story seems a bit petty. A better resource in my opinion would be the NCAA. Try this link, www.ncaa.com and look under history. It goes back to 1869 and if these years were incorporated, those rankings would be different. My beloved Crimson Tide was the very first southern football team to garner any recognition on the national stage. To exclude the 3 national championships they won prior to 1936 is irresponsible. They would probably be in the top 3 instead of sixth.

Logan said...

I quote from Ralph Russo, a college football writer: "The Gators are one of five SEC teams ranked in the Top 25, matching the Big 12 for the most from any conference." Again: "MATCHING THE BIG 12 FOR THE MOST FROM ANY CONF." (See http://www.charter.net/news/read.php?ps=987&rip_id=%3CD9A7VR800%40news.ap.org%3E&_LT=HOME_LARSDCCLM_UNEWS)
Also, we all know what happened when Mizzou played Texas. Who could forget? But what happened when any other SEC team played Florida? You could add the point disparity together and it would not total the amount of points that Texas accumulated against Mizzou. And all that to say - Florida was better than Texas last year... Food for thought.