SEC vs Big Ten Debate is Settled -- Well, Almost
(Chicago, IL )
It looks like this SEC vs Big Ten football debate has been settled. I stumbled upon this site after reading the comments on EDSBS and trying to find the all-time rivalry record out of curiosity. It seems like everyone concedes the SEC is the best, but the majority of SEC fans refuse to admit that the Big Ten can at least "hang" with the SEC. I know that they do not represent every SEC fan, so it is nice to see this website can give the Big 10 some credit.
Anyway, it looks like the Big Ten has been down for a few years and I don't really know why. I don't find the speed argument valid because the SEC went 1-2 last year in bowls against the Big Ten, I feel like this is overanalyzed based on the BCS title game. We haven't had that traditional Big Ten juggernaut in quite a while. The only one I can think of from recent memory is PSU 94. OSU 02 kind of snuck up on everyone as did 97 Michigan. OSU had the next best shot last year, but they were denied. The Wisconsin Rose Bowl teams of the late 90s were solid, but never truly elite teams.
Your possible explanations for the emergence of the SEC and drop off of the Big Ten included a few things I had never thought of, and it would seem that the warm weather would be one of the strongest indicators in my opinion. Also, the natural football talent in the southeast is much stronger than the Midwest.
Ohio traditionally pumps out some solid players and Pennsylvania as well, but I don't think they come close to Florida (not to mention the state of Louisiana produces more NFL talent than any state per capita). The top 3 states in terms of talent are Florida, Texas and California (perhaps due to size), but they are also warm year round in FL and CA.I've hit the max for this submission -- Part II next --