Like everyone else outside of the confederacy, I’m trying to figure out how we got stuck with a “supposed title game” of Alabama versus LSU. This seems to be the result of the common knowledge that the SEC is the best college football conference. But how do we know that?
I decided to ask an expert, Colonel Zebulon “Bobby Lee Jeff” Davis:
Me: Let’s get right to it. Why is the SEC the best football conference?
Zeb: Because it’s the SEC.
Me: Um, okay. Can you expand upon that?
Zeb: It goes back to Biblical times really. On the eighth day, God created thy pigskin and planted it in Tuscaloosa, Athens, Baton Rouge and Gainesville. And on the ninth day, he saw what he had wrought and planted more pigskins in Nashville, Lexington, Oxford and Starkville to create losing teams as well.
Me: I’m not familiar with that version of the Bible.
Zeb: You’re reading the wrong version, like the King James or something. My version is the General Neyland version.
Me: Look, I’m not saying you’re wrong, I just want to see some proof. Why do you think the SEC is so superior?
Zeb: Well, we got better generals, er coaches. We got your Saban, Miles, and Richt. Those northern hordes have Tressel . . . uh, never mind. Okay, Paterno . . . never mind. Hmm. Well, they have McClellan, McDowell, and Burnside, et cetera.
Me: Granted, the SEC has done better in bowl games lately. What do you think accounts for that?
Zeb: Look at where the games are at: New Orleans, Miami, Orlando, Houston, Jacksonville, Dallas. They’re on our home turf, so it’s like we’re being invaded. Our boys rise up and fight a little harder because of that.
Me: I think we can all agree that we’d like it settled on the field and LSU already beat Alabama. Why a rematch?
Zeb: LSU is undefeated. And Bama beat all comers and only lost in overtime to LSU. And they’re both in the best conference in the universe. That’s an easy case.
Me: But why is it such a great conference? What are the facts?
Zeb: How about six straight BCS titles?
Me: But that’s the past. We shouldn’t rely on that to pick out the best teams and conferences. Let’s take a look at current statistics. The Big 12 has the best non-conference record with a staggering 27 – 3 record for a 90% winning percentage. The SEC is second, with an 88% winning percentage.
Zeb: And how many SEC teams did the Big 12 play in that staggering record?
Me: Well, just one.
Me: Arkansas beat Texas A&M.
Zeb: Case closed. SEC is better.
Me: But it was a close game and could have gone either way.
Zeb: I think those were Pickett’s last words.
Me: Okay, let’s look at the conferences against the other BCS conferences. The Big 12 only lost 3 non-conference games all to BCS conference teams while the SEC lost 3 to BCS teams and 3 more to non-BCS teams. Out of 44 non-conference games, the SEC scheduled just 12 against BCS teams while the Big 12 scheduled 9 teams out of 30 non-conference games. Both conferences had a 67% winning percentage in those games.
Zeb: We can’t schedule that many games against other BCS conferences because of our murderous conference schedule. Remember, the SEC is the best and toughest conference. Besides we play all directional teams from Louisiana and Arkansas as well as Chattanooga and the Citadel.
Me: Directional teams?
Zeb: Any team with a direction in its name, like Northeast South Central Louisiana, Central Northwest Arkansas, et cetera.
Me: The “best” should be proven on the field, not by you shoving your fingers in your ears and shouting “SEC! SEC!” Doesn’t this just go to show that we need a playoff?
Zeb: I think you got something there. But if we had an 8-team playoff today, it would include LSU, Bama, South Carolina, Vandy, Tennessee, Arkansas, Mississippi State and the Bama junior varsity.
Me: What? How do you figure that?
Zeb: Because all of those teams were undefeated outside of the conference. Since they only lost games to teams from the bestest conference in the country, they are better than everyone else.
Me: I give up! Good thing the college basketball season has started.