SEC Soccer

SEC Soccer Update:

Head Coach Brian Pensky drew a few looks when coming to Tennessee for Soccer. This is not a part of the country you look to for soccer, and when the 2010 Coach of the Year comes to the SEC you really have to take a look to see what’s going on. He will coach the women there to be winners. He has dominated everywhere he has gone and really knows what it takes.

South Carolina and LSU finished at the front of the two divisions with S.C. being 9-1 and LSU 8-2 on the season. Ole Miss ended the season as the hottest team with a 3 game winning streak so they could be the team to watch next season.

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SEC Soccer is stronger than ever. Congrats to the Auburn Tigers for winning the 2011 SEC Soccer Tournament. Now, it's on to the NCAA's with a record 8 SEC soccer teams getting bids.

Soccer is the world's most popular sport; even in the United States it has a large following. College soccer is no different, as it is one of the most watched sports following the big three of baseball, basketball, and football. While the SEC is dominant in both football and baseball, and is competitive in basketball, soccer is not the SEC's strong suit.

The SEC only has one team ranked in the men's Top 25, and has only one ranked in the women's Top 25 as well. This is a horrific spot for a power conference such as the SEC to be in. South Carolina is the only men's team ranked, and they are just barely in the Top 20, showing just how weak the SEC truly is in the sport. The only bright spot is that the Florida women are ranked in the Top 5 right now.

Historically the SEC is just as bad. They have not competed well on the national stage, and when they have had a chance to step into the spotlight, they have come up short. The only exception to that was way back in 1998, when the Florida Gators won the NCAA Tournament.

UK Player Dribbles Soccer Ball

UK player dribbles soccer ball. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.


The other conferences stack up well against the SEC, and a few of them are unquestionably better in soccer:

  1. ACC - The ACC is by far the best soccer conference in the nation. Maryland and North Carolina are both ranked in the Top 5 in the nation right now, and historically the ACC has depth with many other programs contending for titles.
  2. Pac-10 - The Pac-10 has started to close the gap on the ACC, but is still a ways off in taking over the lead spot in soccer. UCLA, USC, and Stanford are all great programs that have really improved the past few years.
  3. Big East - The Big East has more dangerous teams than the SEC right now, including the number one ranked Louisville Cardinals in the men's polls. Notre Dame is also ranked in both polls, and UConn is ranked highly in the men's.
  4. SEC - The SEC is fourth right now, and the only thing keeping it this high is the Florida women's number five ranking. If they do not hold that ranking, however, the SEC could find itself even lower in the conference race.
  5. Big Ten - The Big Ten's strength lies in the women's division, in which the Illinois and Ohio State programs are ranked. On the men's side, Penn State and Ohio State are both just outside the Top 25.
  6. Big 12 - The Big 12 is historically better than both the SEC and Big Ten, but it has no teams even close to being ranked in either poll at this point. The conference can make up the lost ground easily enough, however.
Florida Gators Soccer
SEC Soccer
Tennessee Volunteers Soccer
Alabama Crimson Tide Soccer
Cool Soccer Shot

Thanks to utsports.com for photos 2 and 3. Thanks to ukathletics.com for photos 1, 4 and 5 above. All rights are reserved for these photos.

Love SEC soccer? Then check out Best All-Time SEC Soccer Player.

The SEC has very few great programs, but two stand out right now:

1. Florida Gators - This ranking is primarily for the Lady Gators, who are ranked in the Top 5 in the nation right now. They have a legitimate shot at winning the SEC only its second national title in the sport of soccer.

2. South Carolina Gamecocks - The Gamecocks are second best program in the SEC, but they are by far the best in the men's division. Their men are the only program in the SEC to be ranked in the Top 25, and that is a ranking that they are fighting to retain at this point.

3. LSU Tigers - The Tigers are the best team in the West, which is not saying much in the SEC. They will have to make a late run this season if they hope to have a chance to play in the postseason.

4. Tennessee Volunteers - The Volunteers are a great program that has recently risen to prominence, but they have shown that they are not quite ready for prime time in the national title race yet.

5. Georgia Bulldogs - Georgia has had a few good seasons, but they are like Tennessee in the fact that they do not seem to be ready to take that next step and compete on the national level.

6. Auburn Tigers - Auburn used to be the best team in the SEC West, and they are a strong contender opposite of LSU for that crown once again. It they can bring some more talent in, they might be able to reclaim their winning ways.

Kentucky Womens Soccer Kick

Kentucky Womens Soccer Kick. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.



7. Ole Miss Rebel Black Bears - Ole Miss is in desperate need of a talent surge. They are just on the verge of being a contender in the SEC West, but they can not seem to get out of their own way.

8. Alabama Crimson Tide - The Crimson Tide is a program that prides itself on balance. The problem is that they have yet to find a dominant player that can take over a game, and they struggle because of it. If they could just sign one great athlete, they could compete in the SEC West.

9. Vanderbilt Commodores - The Commodores always seem ready to take that next step, only to fall short once the season actually begins. They need some great players on both teams if they are to climb into the SEC race anytime soon.

10. Arkansas Razorbacks - The Razorbacks are another team that has a great record when it begins conference play, only to lose when it really counts. They need leaders to step forward in both the men's and women's programs if they wish to ever compete for an SEC title.

11. Kentucky Wildcats - The Wildcats are the bottom-feeders of the SEC East, and they are in a constant battle with Mississippi State for the cellar in the SEC. They just do not have the skill to face the tougher opponents on their schedule.

12. Mississippi State Bulldogs - The Bulldogs are the worst team in the SEC, and are two of the worst teams in the entire nation. They do not have much going for them in the talent department, and they are in desperate need of a dominant player to come in on both squads.



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Kentucky Soccer Celebration

Kentucky Soccer Celebration. Thanks to ukathletics for the photo.


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By Mo Johnson, Copyright © 2006-2014 SECSportsFan.com

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