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Thread: The Big Ten versus SEC

  1. #1
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    The Big Ten versus SEC

    There exists a national perception that the SEC dominates college football and the Big Ten is a slower league - both in talent and adaptability. So I decided to take a deeper look at the statistics. Clearly, some big stage losses (see: Ohio State) have hurt the league's reputation among national audiences.

    But just how competitive is the Big Ten against the SEC?

    Team(s) / Division Status % Record
    Nebraska Winning 0.696 16-6-1
    Michigan Winning 0.684 13-5-1
    Minnesota Winning 0.667 6-3-0
    Iowa Winning 0.571 4-3-0
    Indiana Winning 0.513 20-19-0
    Penn State Losing 0.462 18-21-0
    Michigan State Losing 0.400 6-8-1
    Purdue Losing 0.333 2-4-0
    Northwestern Losing 0.250 3-8-1
    Wisconsin Losing 0.250 3-8-1
    Ohio State Losing 0.235 4-12-1
    Illinois Losing 0.167 1-5-0
    Legends Total Winning 0.672 39-17-2
    Leaders Total Losing 0.403 48-69-2
    Big "Eleven" (pre-Nebraska) Losing 0.442 80-96-5
    All Big Ten Losing 0.471 96-102-6


    It's pretty obvious that the Legends Division holds its own against the SEC, but dismal performances by "nationally premier" teams like Ohio State and Wisconsin drag the league down overall. What's more, no Leaders Division team has a winning record against the SEC except for Indiana.

    Nebraska and Michigan have a track record of being SEC Slayers, but it's in the past. With both the Huskers and Wolverines re-emerging, they have not been dispatching SEC foes like they did in the 90s or prior. Judging strictly from historical data, if the Big Ten wants to start competing with the SEC it will have to be on the backs of the Legends Division, or Urban Meyer needs to perform a 180 at the Horseshoe.
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  2. #2
    South Carolina was a very winnable game for us. Too bad that one got away from us, a la Michigan. Our brains (or lack of) beat our brawn. meaning we beat ourselves.

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    I assume those are all time statistics?

    I believe a shorter time frame would be much more meaningful if we are concerned about what league is the most successful in 2012.



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    Are most of those wins against Kentucky and Vanderbilt or Alabama and LSU? As you showed on your list you almost have to exclude Nebraska from the list unless you only count games they have played against SEC teams since they joined the Big ten. Without knowing who played who and how many of these games are in the last 50, 40, 30 years it's hard to tell how these teams really stack up.
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    Quote Originally Posted by MizzouRah View Post
    I assume those are all time statistics?

    I believe a shorter time frame would be much more meaningful if we are concerned about what league is the most successful in 2012.

    Yeah. Minnesota leads Nebraska all-time as well but that really means nothing now.
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    The perception is that in the last decade the SEC has dominated. Now would argue that the SEC was better than the B1G in the 1930s through the 1970s.

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    Just going from memory.
    1970's - SEC nothing special except for Alabama. The SEC was Alabama.

    1980's - The decade of Miami, Penn State, OU, and Nebraska. Nebraska has 3 bowl wins against LSU. Is there even a perennial top 10 SEC team during the 80's? Georgia in the early 80's.

    1990's- SEC has 3 national championships (Alabama, Florida, Tennessee) but really the NU and FSU decade. No special fear of the SEC other than it is a balanced conference.

    2000-2005: USC, OU, TX, others

    2006 - Current: SEC is the dominant conference. Givem credit.Last 6 national championships.

    Conclusion: SEC is currently kicking butt, but don't conclude that it was always that way or there is a special mystique about the SEC that extends beyond the last 10 years. Perhaps a more stable conference top to bottom over the decades but I don't remember having special respect for teams in the SEC until recently.

    The next 10 years - who knows. Looks like Alabama and LSU are here to stay for a while, like NU / OU in the Switzer/Osborne years. Other than that the rest of the league will have their ebbs and flows. Definitely the most talented and balanced conference currently.
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    Quote Originally Posted by DuckTownHusker View Post
    There exists a national perception that the SEC dominates college football and the Big Ten is a slower league - both in talent and adaptability. So I decided to take a deeper look at the statistics. Clearly, some big stage losses (see: Ohio State) have hurt the league's reputation among national audiences.

    But just how competitive is the Big Ten against the SEC?
    The Big Ten doesn't look very competitive at all with the SEC to my eyes. Five of twelve teams with a winning record, and of those NU just joined the Big Ten, Minnesota's and Indiana's victories were probably mostly pre-1960s or earlier. That leaves Michigan and Iowa with relevent winning records.

    However, I am not so enamored with the SEC. It's true Alabama, Florida, LSU and Auburn have won the past six BCS games. I'm not so sure what that has to do with the other eight SEC teams (now 10). Two factors are largely responsible for the perception, in my opinion: oversigning and ESPN.

    Oversigning has given Alabama and LSU what amounts to an additional recruiting class per cycle. That is a huge difference. And of course ESPN is constantly promoting their own most profitible conference. Think about this: does ESPN really want to promote Big Ten teams only to see people switch channels away from ESPN to the Big Ten network? No, they don't. When you look at ESPN as a media business, rather than as a sports "news" site, it's much easier to understand the dynamics. (This is not dissimilar to regular "news" channels).

  9. #9
    Quote Originally Posted by PaperIsDead View Post

    Oversigning has given Alabama and LSU what amounts to an additional recruiting class per cycle. That is a huge difference. And of course ESPN is constantly promoting their own most profitible conference. Think about this: does ESPN really want to promote Big Ten teams only to see people switch channels away from ESPN to the Big Ten network? No, they don't. When you look at ESPN as a media business, rather than as a sports "news" site, it's much easier to understand the dynamics. (This is not dissimilar to regular "news" channels).
    Yep, especially the part about ESPN.

    While oversigning seems repugnant (and it is, really), I don't have as much of a problem with it as some, especially if the kid is fully informed about what might happen. It just about turns CFB into a pro sport and if that's what the kid is interested, so be it.

    The NCAA either needs to crack down on it and make it illegal, or make it official it so everybody can do it.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ColoREDo View Post
    Yeah. Minnesota leads Nebraska all-time as well but that really means nothing now.
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    Quote Originally Posted by redroy View Post
    Just going from memory.
    1970's - SEC nothing special except for Alabama. The SEC was Alabama.

    1980's - The decade of Miami, Penn State, OU, and Nebraska. Nebraska has 3 bowl wins against LSU. Is there even a perennial top 10 SEC team during the 80's? Georgia in the early 80's.

    1990's- SEC has 3 national championships (Alabama, Florida, Tennessee) but really the NU and FSU decade. No special fear of the SEC other than it is a balanced conference.

    2000-2005: USC, OU, TX, others

    2006 - Current: SEC is the dominant conference. Givem credit.Last 6 national championships.

    Conclusion: SEC is currently kicking butt, but don't conclude that it was always that way or there is a special mystique about the SEC that extends beyond the last 10 years. Perhaps a more stable conference top to bottom over the decades but I don't remember having special respect for teams in the SEC until recently.

    The next 10 years - who knows. Looks like Alabama and LSU are here to stay for a while, like NU / OU in the Switzer/Osborne years. Other than that the rest of the league will have their ebbs and flows. Definitely the most talented and balanced conference currently.
    IMO, much of the success in the SEC has been due to their unethical practice of oversigning. We also strongly suspect they a violating NCAA rules (Cam Newton).

    I predict the SEC will take a mighty tumble in the next decade, with multiple teams on probation.
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperIsDead View Post
    Oversigning has given Alabama and LSU what amounts to an additional recruiting class per cycle. That is a huge difference. And of course ESPN is constantly promoting their own most profitable conference. Think about this: does ESPN really want to promote Big Ten teams only to see people switch channels away from ESPN to the Big Ten network? No, they don't. When you look at ESPN as a media business, rather than as a sports "news" site, it's much easier to understand the dynamics. (This is not dissimilar to regular "news" channels).

    The ESPN promotion also used to hurt the Big12 perception because the conference was primarily aligned with FoxSports.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Husker Country Doc View Post
    IMO, much of the success in the SEC has been due to their unethical practice of oversigning. We also strongly suspect they a violating NCAA rules (Cam Newton).

    I predict the SEC will take a mighty tumble in the next decade, with multiple teams on probation.
    +1.

    Also - unrelated - my original post was merely to show that the SEC's dominance is only recent and has not been "the rule" for all of college football history. They're hot right now and they deserve it with the way they bring it on the field. But all good things come to an end and I doubt the SEC can maintain their elite status forever.
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    There is No Place Like Nebraska.


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    Is it just me or are the SEC's grade requirements oar an athlete to be eligible much lower than most other conferences........ It just seems they've produced quite a few rocket scientists that IMHO would not pass a standardized test given to 6th graders even after "graduating" from said universities!

    Morris Claiborne and his whopping 4 on the wonderlic come to mind

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    Quote Originally Posted by hskerpwr View Post
    Is it just me or are the SEC's grade requirements oar an athlete to be eligible much lower than most other conferences........ It just seems they've produced quite a few rocket scientists that IMHO would not pass a standardized test given to 6th graders even after "graduating" from said universities!

    Morris Claiborne and his whopping 4 on the wonderlic come to mind
    Well to give the SEC some credit, schools like Florida and Vanderbilt are very qualified from an academic standard.

    That being said, the league as a whole doesn't stack up against the Big Ten. Nebraska could be conceivably called the "worst" school in the Big Ten (lost the AAU membership, etc), and is still more advanced than many of our SEC counterparts. I'd take a degree from NU above one from Mississippi State, Arkansas, Kentucky or South Carolina any day.

    It's somewhat of a moot point though, since academics is always the first excuse the Big Ten offers up. We hide behind scholastic superiority because the SEC is kicking our butts on the field. Every school and league has their fair share of dumbasses and rocket scientists alike. I know first hand of many slackers at UNL; but there are just as many engineering students at Purdue.

    It's really a "chicken versus the egg" question. Are SEC players just dumber, or perhaps are southern states just producing fewer academic standouts? You could make a strong argument showing that southern high schools are just not getting the job done, leaving hundreds of ignans kids. And since the SEC does a phenomenal job recruiting it's own backyard, maybe they're just stuck with slower kids to begin with?
    5 National Titles. 9 Undefeated Seasons. 50 Bowl Appearances. 43 Conference Championships. 10 Division Titles.

    3 Heisman Winners. 54 Consensus All-Americans. 28 Major Award Winners. 23 College Football Hall of Famers.

    There is No Place Like Nebraska.








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