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football

SEC: Best conference in the land

Congratulations to the Florida Gators, who have secured their second national championship in 100 years of playing football. The Gators not only answered the question of the sports punditry–whether the Florida defense could slow down Troy Smith and the Buckeye offense–they trampled on it, threw it around, and crushed it in to the earth of the stadium in Glendale. Much like they did to Heisman Trophy winner Smith.
I’m sure the manhandling of Ohio State by Florida comes as a surprise to those who spend little time paying attention to SEC football, which, judging from the press coverage of the last month, leading right up to the kickoff, includes pretty much every sports writer and television personality in the country. These are the same pundits who seem fixated on the Big Ten, an independent team continually in the national mind only because of a TV broadcast deal, and a former-glory team from a mediocre West Coast conference. Perhaps now that two SEC teams have soundly trounced the aforementioned independent team and the season-long number-one Big Ten team, they will sit up and take notice of the powerhouse that is the Southeastern Conference. (Somehow, though, I doubt it.)
Lest, dear reader, you think I speak too quickly with this post’s pronouncement of the SEC being the best conference in the land, allow me to recap the post-season bowl records for you:
* The Big Ten, from whence the former number-one Ohio State Buckeyes hail, finished a woeful 2-5 in bowl play.
* The Big 12 finished only one game better at 3-5.
* The pathetically mediocre Pac-10 finished at a pathetically mediocre .500, going 3-3.
* The “up and coming” ACC, which was supposed to become a powerhouse conference after the uniting of Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech under the same banner, also finished even, at 4-4.
* You may point to the Big East’s 5-0 record in bowl play as something worthy of note, until you compare the fact that the bowls in which the Big East played were of little consequence, with the exception of the Orange Bowl, which I am sure will be the lowest-rated of the BCS bowls because it featured a pair of teams pretty much no one cared about, nationally speaking.
What you should take from this then, dear reader–other than the fact that there are way too many bowl games now–is that the SEC finishes 6-3, and is home of the national champion for two of the past four years. The SEC earned more bowl spots than any other conference, and won more bowl games than any other conference. Yet I’ll wager you there won’t be more than one SEC team in the pre-season Top 5 for the 2007 season, given the fixations the sports media and coaches are afflicted with.
The 2006 college football season is now at an end, and I already await the 2007 season’s start in August. The SEC will be leading the way. Sports pundits, please pay attention.