Wednesday, August 18, 2010

FACT OR FICTION: SEC DOMINANCE


FACT OR FICTION: The brand of football played in the Southeastern Conference is far superior to the football that is played in the north?

For most the verbal reflex to that statement is fact. When I posed that question to a bunch of my football crazed buddies most of them didn't hesitate with their response.

"Without a doubt the SEC is better," one said. "By a mile."

"Why?" I asked.

"Are you kidding me?" he said. "Look at the records."

So I did. What I found was that the SEC is not as dominant as my friends assumed they were. And I'm willing to bet my findings will surprise you, too.

The research I did is as follows: I took the top five programs in the SEC (Alabama, Florida, LSU, Georgia and Tennessee) and examined their records against non-southern teams since 2002.

Because I took the top five SEC teams, I chose to include in the research only games against other good northern teams. For example, I threw out wins the SEC had against the Citadel, Eastern Michigan and Northern Illinois. At the same time I did not comb through the records of SEC doormats Vanderbilt, Mississippi State or Kentucky.

The spirit of the research was to determine how the best of the SEC fared against the best of the northern teams they played. Also, I note how far the SEC team traveled north each season. What I found is they definitely do not like to go north of Kentucky.

Ever.

Enjoy.

SEC record against northern teams since 2002: 12 wins, 14 losses.

Alabama (1-2 overall vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @ Tennessee
2003 – did not go North of their own campus
2004 - @ Kentucky (L to Minnesota in bowl)
2005 - @South Carolina
2006 - @Tennessee
2007 - @Vanderbilt
2008 - @ Tennessee (L to Utah in bowl)
2009 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech)

Florida (3-3 overall vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Tennessee (L to Michigan in bowl)
2003 - @Kentucky (L to Iowa in bowl)
2004 - @Tennessee
2005 - @Kentucky (W over Iowa in bowl)
2006 - @Tennessee (W over Ohio State in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (L to Michigan in bowl)
2008 - @Tennessee
2009 - @Kentucky (W over Cincinnati in bowl)

Tennessee (1-5 vs. north, farthest North: Notre Dame)
2002 - @Vanderbilt (L to Maryland in bowl)
2003 - @Kentucky
2004 - @Vanderbilt (L to Notre Dame)
2005 - @Notre Dame (L to Notre Dame)
2006 - @Vanderbilt (L to Penn State in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (W over Wisconsin in bowl, 21-17)
2008 - @Vanderbilt
2009 - @Kentucky (L to Va Tech in bowl)

Georgia (4-1 vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Kentucky
2003 - @Tennessee (W over Purdue in bowl, 34-27)
2004 - @Kentucky (W over Wisconsin in bowl, 24-21)
2005 - @Tennessee (L to West Virginia in bowl)
2006 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech in bowl, 31-24)
2007 - @Tennessee
2008 - @Kentucky (W over Michigan State in bowl, 24-12)
2009 - @Tennessee

LSU (3-3 vs. north, farthest north: Kentucky)
2002 - @Va Tech (L)
2003 - @South Carolina
2004 - @Georgia (L to Iowa in bowl)
2005 - @Vanderbilt
2006 - @Tennessee (W over Notre Dame in bowl)
2007 - @Kentucky (W over Va Tech, W over Ohio State in bowl)
2008 - @South Carolina
2009 - @Georgia (L to Penn State in bowl)

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