The teams that focus on the more wide open game are better prepared to play and win in that climate. Would they do as well in the cold? Probably not, although I think they (SEC/PAC 10 etc) have all-around better talent and would still outperform the Big 10 teams.
Plus ... it seems as if Big 10 coaches are still caught up to some degree in that mentality, even if their game is much more wide open than in the Bo-Woody era.
Lloyd Carr was totally outcoached by Pete Carroll - you knew it was going to happen and it did. Jim Tressel, who's thought to be some kind of evil genius around here, certainly didn't scare anyone from Gatorland, so coaching is another component.
But, there are some inborn things that favor the SEC in almost every sport. I cringe when I see what my 17 year old son has to compete against. He's a darn good catcher - started as a sophomore on a very good team in the best conference around the Grand Rapids area. He's already very highly thought of, but - geez - he can't get outside much past the middle of October and won't dig a ball out of real dirt until mid-March -- IF he's lucky, and maybe not until spring training when they go to Florida.
I think he's a good example of some of the disadvantages northern kids and northern schools have when they try to complete against the south and west. Between travel team and high school last year he probably caught 80 games which is good, but not enough.
The Big 10 dominated waaay back years ago, because they were able to get most of the good black athletes. Obviously that started changing in the mid '60s, as desegregation began to take hold in the South -- and that's when the pendulum really started to swing (SEC vs Big 10), at least I think so. Do you?
I've been saying this stuff about the Big 10 for years and most of my friends agree. From an SEC perspective, do you agree? Am I all wet? What do you think?
Mark Winters, a long-time Big Ten fan, submitted this comment regarding the SEC vs Big 10 debate. He is also a huge Detroit Tigers fan and publisher of Detroit Tigers History.
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