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SI Writer: SEC Is On Top But The Big Ten Can Rise Again’s Michael Rosenberg believes the SEC is the nation’s best football conference.  He also believes that the Big Ten can bounce back from a horrible New Year’s Day bowl performance when it brings Nebraska into the fold next season.

He’s right on both counts.

“Southeastern Conference fans think the Big Ten is slow, and now they have their proof.  It took the Big Ten commissioner years to admit the SEC is better. 

Jim Delany finally acknowledged this week what most of America has known for a while: The SEC has been playing superior football to the Big Ten, the Pac-10, the Big 12 and everybody else.  The SEC has not been dominant for as long as people thing — less than 10 years ago, the Big Ten had a very strong argument for being the better league.”

Some SEC fans will take issue with the final part of Rosenberg’s statement, but let’s be honest.  For the most part, the late-90s SEC was a two-team race between Florida and Tennessee year-in and year-out.  The success of those two programs forced other schools to step up and that is what’s resulted in an unprecedented run of dominance over the first decade of the new century.

But Rosenberg believes Nebraska will help the Big Ten add some depth of its own.

“The most impressive part of the SEC’s reign is not even the four straight national championships with a chance at a fifth.  It’s this: Four schools have made the championship game in that span: Alabama, Florida, LSU and now Auburn.”

The Big Ten, by comparison, has recently become an Ohio State-dominated league.  Penn State is a great program from a tradition sense.  Ditto Michigan.  Wisconsin is a rung below.  Nebraska?  Well, that’s adding another of football’s best brand names to the Big Ten.

You tell me, which league has brought in the bigger football names during the expansion era:

Big Ten — Penn State and Nebraska

SEC — Arkansas and South Carolina

Advantage: Big Ten.

But it’s the SEC’s depth that tips the scales southward.  Since the advent of the BCS Championship Game, the SEC has sent five different schools to play for the crystal football — Florida (twice), LSU (twice), Alabama, Tennessee and now Auburn.

The Big Ten has had Ohio State reach the title game three times (winning once)… and that’s it.  No other Big Ten program has played for the BCS crown.

In addition, the SEC has gone 14-5 in BCS bowl games overall.  That’s a .737 winning percentage, better than any league with more than four appearances.  Meanwhile, the Big Ten has managed only a 10-12 record (.455) overall in BCS bowls.

The difference between the SEC and the Big Ten is depth.  Adding Nebraska should help the Big Ten close the gap.  At least a little bit.

But until multiple Big Ten teams start reaching the BCS title game, the SEC will remain the deepest, most powerful conference in the land.  And it’s really not even up for debate any longer.

(Sidenote — It’s not just the fans who believe the SEC has the speed advantage on their neighbors to the north.  Asked by to compare Ohio State to a rival SEC program, Arkansas’ Bobby Petrino said: “It’s so hard to compare because they’re so different.  Their style is so different.  They’re big and physical, and everyone in the SEC is based on speed and quickness.”)




  1. [...] Latest Bama News 1/4/11 SI WRITER: SEC IS ON TOP BUT THE BIG TEN CAN RISE AGAIN Alabama | Penn st & Nebraska, Arkansas USce A push at worst,probably slight advantage SEC,IMO [...]

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