Just make sure it's not a comparison of ACADEMICS

by Matt
(Iowa)

Next to the Ivy League, and MAYBE the ACC, the Big Ten is the ELITE academic conference (though adding Nebraska certainly hurts their average).

The 11 schools that made up the conference prior to 2011 are all among the top 100 universities in almost every academic category (many hover around the 50 level, but several (Northwestern, Michigan, Penn State, Ohio State, Indiana, Minnesota) are in the top 20 in nearly every ranking (engineering, medical research, medical training, law, business).

Whereas the schools of the SEC are hardly to be found on ANY of the lists, and when they do appear, most are near the bottom half of the top 100. Vanderbilt being the only exception. Georgia, Florida and Tennessee are the next three highest ranked schools (on most lists).

The Pac 12 (thanks largely to academic successes of Stanford, California, USC, UCLA & Washington) and the ACC (most members, save Florida State, are highly ranked in most academic categories) are the only other two conferences that boast any real academic clout.

I guess if you're a moron on the fast-track to the NFL...the SEC is the place to be. But if you actually want to have a career beyond cracking heads...you might want to look elsewhere.

As a BIG TEN guy, I give you the large number of SEC schools in the Top 25. That's something to be proud of. You are are tough conference, no doubt. But, 4 of the top 10 winningest schools are in the Big Ten. With Texas A&M heading south (as it were), you'll get another highly ranked team. I'm talking about winning percentage here, not total wins...

Notre Dame, Texas, Oklahoma and USC are the other four teams on the top 10. The SEC only has Alabama (congratulations by the way on getting your 500th win), and Tennessee. But with Georgia, LSU, Florida & Auburn in 4 of the next 5 positions, you definitely have a case.

As to head-to-head. You definitely own Ohio State, their winning percentage against your conference since 1990 is atrocious. But team for team, top to bottom, the SEC is only MARGINALLY better head to head against the Big Ten. Michigan has a 70% winning record against SEC teams. Both conferences have their share of AWFUL football schools: Indiana, Northwestern, South Carolina, Vanderbilt, Mississippi State all have sub-500 percentages (all time)...Illinois is at .500. Iowa, Minnesota, Purdue, Wisconsin, Michigan State, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Kentucky are all in the .500+ range. The SEC's remaining 6 schools all have .600+.

In the Big Ten, Penn State is the only .600+ school. Michigan, Ohio State & Nebraska are all .700+.

To be fair though, Michigan & Ohio State have dominated the conference for the better half of the last century, Penn State got a TON of wins as an independent, and Nebraska all but owned the Big 8. On the other hand, the Big Ten traded blows with the Pac 10 for most of it's history, while the SEC contended with the old ACC (which wasn't very strong) and the SWC, witch was largely dominated by Texas & Texas A&M.

End analysis, I give the SEC the victory, but it's more like 55/45 vs the Big Ten (not this season...the Big Ten is HORRIBLE this season) but from 1990-2010. If you were to listen to most "SEC DIE HARD FANS" out there, they think powerhouses from other conferences would just wilt in the SEC...like it has ELITE TEAMS FROM TOP TO BOTTOM. As a Michigan fan, I'd disagree. I saw a post where an SEC fan said Wisconsin would be like Vanderbilt in the SEC, and another said Texas would have a losing record every year if they were in the conference...Texas has a 96-46 record against SEC schools.

All I'm trying to say is, some of you SEC fans need to stop drinking the Kool-aid. You have some of the best schools in the country, but you're not THAT much better than the other major conferences...will Vanderbilt, Kentucky, Tennessee, Mississippi State or Ole Miss even have winning records this year? I'm not even sure Florida will. Georgia & Tennessee will probably be JUST above .500, just enough to make a bowl. Auburn is perhaps the luckiest team in America the past two seasons with all their 1-4 point wins. But that just leaves LSU, Alabama...and SOUTH CAROLINA? as your POWERHOUSE teams. Come on. Take it down a notch.

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By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2016 SECSportsFan.com

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