March 19th, 2014 10:15 AM║ Posted By: John Pennington ║ Permalink
║ Schools: Alabama, Arkansas, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi State, Missouri, Ole Miss, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas A&M, Vanderbilt
Tags: Bruce Pearl, Gus Malzahn, Kansas State Big, SEC
The SEC has reputation for being a football-first conference. A quick check of the numbers shows by: 10 of 14 schools reached gridiron bowl games last season. Just three of 14 SEC basketball squads made the NCAA Tournament. And now check out the following list of schools and conferences (courtesy of CollegeFootballTalk.com):
Kansas State (Big 12)
UL-Lafayette (Sun Belt)
Michigan State (Big Ten)
Nebraska (Big Ten)
North Carolina (ACC)
Oklahoma (Big 12)
San Diego State (Mountain West)
That’s a listing of the 13 schools who did reach a bowl in football and the NCAA tourney in basketball. You’ll notice that the other four power conferences — ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 — all had at least one team with multi-sport success.
The SEC’s three Big Dance participants this year all failed to make hey during the fall. Florida was a disappointment, Tennessee and Kentucky are rebuilding (still).
The year before, two SEC members succeeded on the court and on the field: Florida and Ole Miss. Missouri missed out on a bowl though the Tigers did land a tourney bid. The league put nine teams into bowl games.
Now, as Andy Kennedy correctly suggested last week, a bowl game at 6-6 shouldn’t be viewed that much differently than an NIT bid and vice versa. But for a league with a football-first rep, there hasn’t been much proof the last two years that SEC schools can succeed in the two major sports at once. Nineteen bowl bids. Six NCAA bids. Only two of those six going to teams who also went bowling.
It hasn’t always been this way in the SEC, of course. But there sure appears to be a gap between football and basketball now.
Sidenote — With Auburn’s hire of Bruce Pearl, how long before he and Gus Malzahn lead “Up-Tempo U” to a bowl and the NCAAs in the same year?
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