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Leading The Way, SEC Style

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36756_sec_discipline_football_medium_medium It's no secret that every college football fan has the feeling that their team is the best of class, and sportsmanship.
Most also will point out that their conference is the strongest in the country. The arguments of out of conference scheduling, and inter-conference play can only be settled in one or two contests a season, and the Bowl games.

So to get any accurate data we must look at the overall picture. Over time one can start to see the picture more clearly, with hindsight being 20/20 and all. This is where I should point out to all who do not know that I also write the Auburn Team page on philsteele.com since that is where much of this information is coming from.

Then there is the significance each conference can bring to it's member institutions via money, exposure, and support. The more of a buffer a conference leadership is against the big bad wolf that is the NCAA, the better for each university.

We can't rank the buffer factor, because all things are not made public in that area, and it would be pointless anyway. Every single institution has minor infractions at some point. The major infractions usually end up costing at least some games, and especially bowl games so, that aspect is already factored in. We could go on all day about the effects of major infractions, but really it won't serve any purpose. Most serious college football fans already know what those effects mean for each of their respective teams.

Instead let's look at the area most commonly used as a metering device when signaling the best conference in the country. Wins! The single biggest factor determining where your team finishes record wise, and is ranked each season is it's won loss record.

Second to that is each conferences scheduling, and then we will have a much better look at which conference actually leads the way to be the "Best Conference in America"

Thanks to Phil Steele for this information.

Conference Bowl Rankings 2000-2009

 

Rank Conf Overall vs BCS vs Non-BCS vs Ranked BCS Bowls Rec as Ranked
1 SEC 48-31 43-29 5-2 32-17 12-3 28-18
2 MWC 24-14 11-7 13-7 6-3 2-1 11-4
3 Pac-10 31-26 25-18 6-8 16-14 9-3 18-11
4 Big East 32-19 20-18 12-1 8-9 6-4 15-11
5 Big 12 38-39 32-34 6-5 18-25 6-9 19-20
6 Big 10 28-41 26-40 2-1 19-27 6-11 16-23
7 ACC 35-36 28-32 7-4 10-17 1-9 13-18
8 WAC 15-20 7-9 8-11 4-4 2-1 4-6
9 CUSA 21-31 1-10 20-21 6-6 0-0 2-2
10 MAC 11-20 1-9 10-11 0-1 0-0 3-1
11 Sun Belt 5-8 0-0 5-8 0-0 0-0 0-0

"The SEC was clearly the top performing conference in bowl games in the last ten years. Their overall 48 bowl wins were 10 more than any other conference and their win % was just behind the MWC and Big East. What really separated the conference from the others was their performance in BCS bowls and games against ranked teams. Their 32 wins over ranked teams was 13 more than the Big 10 and their outstanding 12-3 record in BCS games was clearly the best. The conference also went a perfect 5-0 in national title games!"

For the rest of Phil's article go here.

Here is the winning percentage chart from philsteele.com.

SINCE 1950 2000-2009
Rank Team
Winning %
W-L-T
Games
Record
Pct.
1 Ohio State
.758
497-154-15
666
1 Boise St
112-17
0.868
2 Oklahoma
.755
519-164-12
695
2 Texas
110-19
0.853
3 Penn State
.735
498-177-7
682
3 Oklahoma
110-24
0.821
4 Nebraska
.727
507-188-9
704
4 Ohio St
102-25
0.803
5 Texas
.722
495-188-10
693
5 USC
102-26
0.797
6 Michigan
.707
467-190-13
670
6 TCU
95-29
0.779
7 Alabama
.704
490-201-17
708
7 Florida
99-30
0.769
8 USC
.703
477-195-20
692
8 LSU
99-31
0.762
9 Tennessee
.692
473-205-20
698
9 Georgia
98-31
0.760
10 Florida
.676
459-216-17
692
10 Virginia Tech
99-32
0.756
11 Notre Dame
.674
447-213-12
672
11 Miami Fl
92-33
0.736
12 Florida State
.667
450-220-17
687
12 Utah
86-36
0.705
13 Auburn
.665
446-222-12
680
13 Oregon
87-38
0.696
14 Arizona State
.659
437-224-8
669
14 Auburn
88-39
0.693
15 Georgia
.658
444-226-20
690
15 Boston College
88-40
0.688

If I could add a little something here, the clear indication of the above charts does quite a bit more than suggest the strength of the SEC from top to bottom. It's a definite indicator that the top tier programs in our conference can go toe to toe with the best in the country, and it also emphasis's that the schools also experiencing some misfortune during whatever season can still compete against all other conferences.

Also the argument has been made that "The SEC gets to send more teams to Bowls, so they should have the best winning record" For that Swiss Cheese of an argument I present, again, the last two sentences of Phil's.

"Their 32 wins over ranked teams was 13 more than the Big 10 and their outstanding 12-3 record in BCS games was clearly the best. The conference also went a perfect 5-0 in national title games!"

Nuff Said!!!!

Now let's look at out of conference play.

Phil Steele’s 2010 Toughest Schedules

         
1 Iowa St 41 Baylor 81 Rutgers
2 South Carolina 42 Wyoming 82 Idaho
3 UCLA 43 San Jose St 83 Utah
4 Mississippi St 44 Georgia 84 Temple
5 Minnesota 45 USC 85 Wisconsin
6 Oregon St 46 New Mexico 86 Toledo
7 Washington 47 Virginia Tech 87 Boise St
8 Miami, Fl 48 Wake Forest 88 New Mexico St
9 Duke 49 USF 89 Fresno St
10 LSU 50 Mississippi 90 UAB
11 Florida St 51 Kansas St 91 Nevada
12 Vanderbilt 52 Memphis 92 San Diego St
13 Washington St 53 BYU 93 TCU
14 NC State 54 Missouri 94 Northwestern
15 Alabama 55 Oregon 95 Houston
16 Penn St 56 East Carolina 96 Southern Miss
17 Notre Dame 57 Maryland 97 E Michigan
18 Florida 58 Michigan St 98 Florida Atlantic
19 Auburn 59 Cincinnati 99 Akron
20 Colorado 60 Colorado St 100 WKU
21 Illinois 61 Ohio St 101 Hawaii
22 Oklahoma 62 Texas 102 FIU
23 Texas A&M 63 Connecticut 103 Louisiana
24 North Carolina 64 Boston College 104 C Michigan
25 UNLV 65 Utah St 105 Kent St
26 Tennessee 66 Louisville 106 ULM
27 Georgia Tech 67 Kentucky 107 Navy
28 Pittsburgh 68 Rice 108 Army
29 Arizona St 69 Tulane 109 Tulsa
30 Oklahoma St 70 West Virginia 110 Buffalo
31 Clemson 71 Indiana 111 Arkansas St
32 California 72 Air Force 112 Ball St
33 Arkansas 73 Louisiana Tech 113 W Michigan
34 Stanford 74 Purdue 114 UCF
35 Iowa 75 SMU 115 UTEP
36 Virginia 76 Nebraska 116 North Texas
37 Michigan 77 Marshall 117 Troy
38 Texas Tech 78 Kansas 118 Ohio
39 Syracuse 79 Bowling Green 119 N Illinois
40 Arizona 80 Miami, Oh 120 Middle Tenn

 This chart shows no less than 7 SEC teams are in the top 20 for toughest schedules. The Big Ten has three, the Pac 12 has four,the ACC has three, you get the point. Out of conference scheduling has less to do with SEC teams than others because of the interconference play.

In fact some conferences MUST play strong out of conference games just to get noticed by pollsters and computer systems alike. That simply isn't true for SEC teams.

So you see ladies and gentlemen, no matter how you slice it, the best conference in America is the SEC, and the strongest conference in America is the SEC, at least in relationship to football. And since the college football game is the engine that powers the athletic bus in 98% of all major college athletics, it's clear at least for now that the SEC is leading the way.

 

WAR EAGLE!