SEC vs Big Ten (and other BCS Conferences) Debate

Last year, in bowl games, the Big Ten, went 3-5 (including an historic 0-5 on New Years Day) and 1-3 against the SEC. The SEC went 5-5 but won the BCS National Championship for the 5th time in a row.

This year (2011-2012) things didn't change much. The Big Ten went 4-6 in bowl games; including 1-2 vs the SEC. [They would have gone 0-3 vs the SEC but for Mich. State's 3OT comeback win over Georgia.] The SEC went 6-3 in bowl games and won the National Championship again.

When this page was first written it was just about the SEC vs Big Ten Debate. However, it has since expanded to provide links to pages that compare the SEC and all the other major college football conferences.

Yes, it is odd to have an entire tier of this website (reflected on the navigation bar) dedicated solely to the SEC vs. Big Ten debate.

After all, this website is partially dedicated to researching and providing information comparing the Southeastern Conference with all the other major conferences.

So, why do we single out the SEC vs Big Ten rivalry? Simple. FAN INTEREST!! Simply put, we get far, far, far more feedback about our Big Ten vs SEC pages than any other pages on this site.

No conference rivalry stirs passions as much as the SEC vs Big Ten debate. The reason may be that the two conferences are really very similar in many ways. Both conferences are composed of mostly major state colleges (each having their Vanderbilt and Northwestern exceptions).

See Bottom of Page to Build Your Own SEC vs Big Ten Page On This Site

Both conferences have huge fan bases; great facilities; and tremendous sports history. Add in the eternal North vs. South competition and I guess a heated rivalry is not surprising. 



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The rivalry extends to the eternal "whose got the biggest?" stadium debate. The top six on-campus stadiums are all either in the SEC or Big Ten. Michigan is currently #1 (after recent renovations -- unfortunately Tennessee decided to add box seats instead of bleachers in its last upgrade). See Death Valley and Beaver Stadium.

It's sort of like a sibling rivalry.


1922 Alabama Team that Upset Penn State

1922 Alabama team that stunned the University of Pennsylvania by beating them at home, in Pennsylvania, 9-7. Southern sportswriters hailed the Alabama win as a long delayed reckoning for the Confederacy's loss at Gettysburg.


Sometime in December 2006, a visitor sent me an e-mail asking me whether I knew what the all-time SEC vs. Big Ten football record was. I didn't, but told him I'd research it. I did, and posted the results at SEC vs. Big Ten.

Google indexed that page and it ended up on page one of google search results for keyword searches like "SEC vs. Big Ten" or "Big 10 vs SEC" or dozens of other similar search terms. I guess lots of people were typing in those search terms as our traffic jumped about 1000 percent. Almost everyone was going to that one page. Incredible!! Thanks to secsportsfan.com reader, Morris Williams for the idea.

If I'd known the SEC vs. Big Ten debate was so big before I started this site, I might have just named the site "SEC vs. Big Ten Debate" instead of secsportsfan.com.

In fact, if you want to build a sports website that gets good traffic - SEC vs. Big Ten Debate.com might be a good idea for the url. A whole website devoted to the SEC vs. Big Ten debate would do well I'm sure. Wish I had time to do it. If you want to know more about building a website, check out How to Build a Sports Website.

Anyway, our Big Ten vs. SEC page has continued to be the most popular on the site and we've received a number of e-mails from college football fans - (mostly, it seems, Big Ten fans) regarding the page - and other pages on this site where we compare the SEC and Big Ten.

Actually we have many, many pages that compare the SEC to all the other conferences in various areas. Most of these pages are listed at the very bottom of this page. Here are a few of the major ones:

Here's an article about SEC vs Big Ten

Some of the comments we've received have been truly insightful and thought-provoking. The best ones, in my opinion, analyze the underlying economic, sociological, and demographic reasons for the obvious improvement of the SEC and relative decline of the Big Ten over the past few decades.

I guess whether the Big Ten has declined might, possibly, be debated. But, certainly the dramatic rise of the SEC cannot be debated.

Some of the points made by various visitors to this site include:

  • Money and people are moving south - to the "Sunbelt" (wherever that is). The Rust Belt in the North is "well" rusting. Over time, this makes a big difference. Fans (who bring money) are really the underlying issue. If you look before 1970, Big 10 schools dominated. Since then, the SEC (and ACC) have steadily improved. Today, if you look across all sports - the SEC is clearly the top sports conference and it likely will continue to increase its lead.
  • Weather - Northern athletes are at a disadvantage because winter weather shortens their ability to play outside.
  • Prior to desegregation the North had a big advantage in attracting black athletes from the South to play for Big Ten schools. That advantage is gone today.

In order to share the many great comments we received, we've decided to establish an SEC vs. Big Ten Debate Forum here.

So, if you'd like to add to the discussion - We'd love to hear what you have to say.

Please submit your comments on the form below. You will actually be able to build your own web page on this site. And, visitors will be able to view your site, rate it, comment on it. And you can opt to be notified when they do.

Check out our forum guidelines if you have questions about what is appropriate to post.

By the way, I can prove we are not biased against the Big Ten. In fact, we have received so many great comments from Big Ten fans that we wanted to start a whole new site dedicated just to Big Ten Sports Fans. The Big Ten really does have a great story tell. Unfortunately, after we purchased the url, we were contacted by an attorney representing the Big Ten who told us we could not build such a site. We offered to work with the Big Ten; even submit all our articles to the Big Ten for approval before publishing. No dice. We were told the Big Ten was not interested. Too bad as we could have done some good things to tell the great story of the Big Ten (particularly its unparalleled football history).

If you are interested in finding out more about this; maybe even helping us with the proposed site or to convince the Big Ten to allow the site; let us know by using the form at contact us.

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What Other Visitors Have Said

Click below to see contributions from other visitors to this page...

Buckeye Yankee (I have all my teeth) 
Ooooh Ooooh, how sweet it is to win in the heart of SEC Country. Not to much on your web page to describe the game? What's up? Editor's Note: …

Big Ten VS SEC Academic Stats 
Here are some stats for you Out of the Top 25 American Research Universities, the big ten counts for 8, the sec counts for 2. want proof? scroll …

I'd Love to See SEC Teams Come North to Play in November 
I think it's rarely pointed out that the SEC and the B10 usually meet in bowl games. And the bowl games happen where? In the South. If you did …

IOWA HAWKEYES  
YOU PUT AN SEC TEAM AGAINST THE HAWKEYES AND WE'LL KNOCK THEM DEAD GUARANTEED!

GO Bucks 
The BIG TEN is the best conference to me!!! Just look at tradition. Ohio state has the only two time heisman winner. This was without the hype espn …

Coaching Has a lot to do with Wins 
I'll tell you what why don't we just trade coaches & see what happens. We'll take back Les, Nick & Urban, who are really from Ohio & Mich & you can have …

Big Ten Cracked SEC - ACC "speed" 
Big ten has focused more on how to prepare for out of conference match ups, especially high powered offense "speed teams", and it showed this bowl season. …

Razorbacker 
Take the Top team in the Big 10 - Let's say Ohio State for example... week in week out they would get crushed in this conference. With the depth and …

what debate? big ten is the best! 
if you separate fact from fiction, there is no debate the big ten is clearly the best conf. ever compared to other conferences, and im a pac 10 fan, …

Ryan Parker's Song: SEC is Better Than Big 10 
Hey, This is the first time I've been to your site, but it looks great. I'm sure that you've seen it, but it might be great to post a link to it on …

Big Ten is Historically the Greatest College Football Conference  
The Big Ten is historically the greatest conference in college football. The conference as a whole has won at least 33 national titles. The conference …

SEC is better BUT.............. 
......it still can't beat Michigan. Michigan has consistently come out on top against its SEC opponents. No SEC fan can dispute that. Last year Florida …

HOW in the world is the big ten better when OSU is 0-10 
Look at OSU they have played in two straight national titles playing a cupcake schedule and Got beat twice by over double digits by SEC opponents. OSU …

The Michigan - Vanderbilt Series 
Being a Tennessee fan, I hate to help the Michigan / Big 10 case but you need to know the history. Michigan’s record against Vanderbilt is often used …

Week in and Week out the SEC is the only place to play football. 
I'm not saying that the Big Ten isn't full of history and tradition because it is. What I am saying is that a conference is judge by its weakest link …

Big 4 Conference Cup  
Forget the east vs west, shriners, senior bowls, lets have a Big 4 conference cup every year. 4 bowl games after all the regular bowl games are over. …

Big Ten Stinks 
Big Ten stinks, always has. The Big Ten has one maybe two important games all year that are must win games. In the SEC we have one game a year, unless …

Not Buying the SEC Has Home Field Advantage in Bowls Argument 
whats with this business of going to play in the north. how long have you been playing in these bowls? honestly. you're going to bring this up NOW? …

Time for a College Football Championship Tournament 
I think it's pretty darn hard to argue that the Big 10 is anywhere near the Football conference as the SEC is right now. No one who isn't a die-hard Big …

Make a simple Big 10 vs SEC chart 
Here is what someone needs to do, but not me. Rather then all of these paragraphs and arguments quoting numbers of who has won what and when and arguing …

Fair SEC match ups? 
I really would be interested in two things. One, how many times are SEC teams matched up against teams that are a higher seed? In other words, if …

GO BLUE!!! 
I am so sick and tired of SEC fan talking about how much better SEC FOOTBALL is than the BIG 10. And how Michigan was going to get blown out by Florida. …

Gamecock/Buckeye Family Feud 
Unquestionably, these are the top two conferences in college football: Tradition: Even National Championships (Since Poll Era Began in 1936): SEC 19, …

SEC vs Big Ten -- point, counterpoint 
The SEC is, from top to bottom, the better of the two conferences. I am big enough to admit that as an Ohio State fan from the Columbus area. However, …

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SEC is not all that 
SEC football teams are just track teams, they don't have to play in the elements so they have to rely on speed. SEC offenses have the most ridiculous …

Big 10 Responsible For No Playoff 
The Big Ten loves their stupid Rose Bowl too much. The SEC started the Bowl Championship Series (BCS) with a vision of eventually creating a playoff. …

BIG TEN and SEC FOOTBALL, more even than you think!! 
After years of debate on which conference is the best, I have concluded it is all about what side of the fight you wish to represent. I do buy into …

The Michigan Wolverines Stink 
i think that michigan state is the best team ever. i hate michigan. michigan is just very bad at football and is an embarrassment to our state. ok bye... …

college football fan 
I am from Charlotte, NC. While the SEC certainly has become the most talented conference as of late, you can not simply look at winning pct (due to conf. …

SEC vs Big Ten Debate is Settled -- Well, Almost 
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 …

Curious were you get your numbers? 
I was just curious were you get your numbers of 63-45-2 vs the Big-10? I've looked at the same statistics & my numbers show they have played many more …

Big Ten vs SEC Rivalry 
Here is my Comment on this rivalry. Every year I think one conference has their argument. The past few I would agree the SEC top to bottom has been better, …

SEC TEAMS ARE SLOPPY 
SEC teams are so sloppy. Trick plays and tom foolery woohoo. Big deal! Osu got over confident last year and had to sit around for 6 weeks. Florida listened …

Another fact that hurts the Big 10 
Unlike their SEC counterparts, Big 10 schools actually apply academic standards when recruiting athletes. Since SEC schools recruit anyone no matter how …

Big Ten is Pee-Wee League 
I don't know why everyone is picking about academics and stereotypes. This argument is about football and overall the big 10 blows and the SEC dominates. …

NATIONAL CHAMPIONS HISTORY. 
I did a search of college football national champions history. After looking at the results and adding up the Big Ten National Champions and SEC National …

SEC vs Big Ten Debate is Settled -- Part II 
OK, here's the rest: Another thought I had was that with the exception of Florida, most of the SEC states do not have many professional teams (and those …

Reasons for Big Ten Bowl Problems  
Going into last season, I was going to be happy with a two loss season for the Buckeyes. They should not have been in the title game and it is not our …

Joe PA Tells it like it is 
Joe PA says the SEC won't play in big ten territory, they have tried for years (Not since 1991). And sec fans are saying Penn St had the unfair advantage …

NOT SO FAST -- The Big Ten Can "Hang" with the SEC! 
I live in georgia, but am from Ohio. I love the Buckeyes; and, I am always defending the Big Ten. However, I always agree with the statement" the …

THE SUN BELT?? Not rated yet
So what I don't get is "all of the wealthy people are moving down south".........soooo where are the bigger cities at?? Philadelphia, indianapolis, detroit, …

SEC Football -- Spring Practice Starts Soon! Not rated yet
The SEC is one of the toughest football conference. There are 12 teams, 10 of them have more bowl wins than the other 2. Those other two are Kentucky and …

Big Ten Fan Salutes the SEC Not rated yet
The strength of the SEC is depth College football is great fun. It's full of rivalries, great drama, and bragging rights. I am a proud Big Ten …

SEC Has Best Depth  Not rated yet
The SEC has the best depth out of all of the conferences right now in the sport of football, and they are no slouches in baseball and basketball either. …

Ohio State Redemption... FINALLY! Not rated yet
I think it's pretty clear that the SEC is currently the best football conference, if for no other reason, their recent dominance in the national championship …

SEC is where you find historically "dirty programs" Not rated yet
The NCAA Investigation is always the "hurricane" that threatens the South East. Almost every program in the SEC has been under NCAA investigation and probation. …

Hoping for an OSU Bowl Win vs SEC  Not rated yet
I'm a huge Ohio State fan, and I love the Big Ten; but the SEC is by far the best conference in college football. Though I do believe the gap is starting …

SEC/Big10 = CFB Not rated yet
One of your earliest sentences said it all - the SEC and the B10 are so very similar. These 2 conferences epitomize college football for me (an OSU fan). …

Big Ten FTW Not rated yet
The SEC we are discussing is not a 12-team conference, but just merely a few good schools that can sort of play football and the ones that can't play football …

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GET OUT OF THE STONE AGE BIG TEN Not rated yet
I am an Ohio resident but as I watched the 1966 college football unfold it became obvious to anyone capable of critical thinking that a hoax was afoot. …

Is Michigan Back? Not rated yet
Of all the major storylines of 2009, maybe the most shocking was the 3-9 season that the Michigan Wolverines suffered through. Indeed, while few were …

Big Ten is Best All-Time College Football Conference  Not rated yet
The SEC is the best NCAA football conference now but they are not the best conference of all time. Up until about 8 years ago there were only a couple …

Big Ten Vs. SEC Not rated yet
Everybody talks about how good the SEC is, and they are, but why is that none of the GOOD teams in the SEC ever travel futher than the southeast? Why …

Great Article With Fair Perspective on SEC vs Big Ten Debate  Not rated yet
I was born and raised in Big 10 country and now reside in SEC territory. I didn't attend a school in either conference so I don't have a rooting interest …

SEC Champion Should Automatically Be In BCS Championship Game  Not rated yet
The SEC champion should play in the national championship game every year. I think it needs to be set up that the SEC champ play the highest ranked team …

Number Say: No Clearly Dominant Conference  Not rated yet
I'm a huge SEC fan, but I'm also someone who looks hard at the numbers. In recent years, no matter how you slice the numbers, there are no clearly dominant …

Truth is the SEC has been robbed since 1966 Not rated yet
the media loves the big ten and rates them high every year. the bottom of the sec would do well in the big ten

Buckeyes vs. Gators Not rated yet
Football is more than just one game or one season. If that was not true, Notre Dame would be considered a football joke instead of the #1 rated dynasty! …

Jim Delany has caused the Big 10 to lose respect. Not rated yet
In early 2007 Jim Delany made a mistake that caused the entire football world to laugh at OSU. Now that is not right but Delaney is at fault. The SEC …

SEC Football is the Best -- There is No Debate Not rated yet
Honestly there is no debate. Look at the "Best Players" in the land (Heisman Winners), Eddie George-Lost to Tennessee, Ron Dayne-Lost to Georgia, Troy …

Careful with naively using Stats Not rated yet
One can get statistics, particularly ones like these, to tell any story they want. The interesting stuff is often hidden and ignored (intentionally or …

Big Ten Overall Better than SEC Not rated yet
The SEC has the better top half of the conference, but overall the Big Ten is better. There is a speed difference, but not by much. The O-lines up …

Loving Being an SEC Fan Because the SEC has a Slight Edge of the Big Ten Not rated yet
I have argued for years with these northerners about the SEC being a greater, better, faster, more competitive conference than the Bid 10 for years. Yes …

Don't Let The Media Do It: SEC and Big Ten are Equal Not rated yet
Why are we letting the media stoke the fires of a debate that means nothing? These conferences are pretty much equal. Sure, there are some years when …

Rushing to Southeastern Conference vs Big Ten Conclusions Not rated yet
I think it is stupid and ignorant to say that one game (Ohio State vs. Florida) can make an entire conference is awful. When two powerhouse conferences …

Balanced Big Ten vs SEC Article; But, We Need Consistent Criteria  Not rated yet
A balanced article on this debate can be found in the Columbus Dispatch by Ken Gordon, Sunday Dec. 16, 07 titled Mightier? Maybe not/ SEC dominance against …

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Prior comments (submitted prior to our new visitor page builder capability) regarding the SEC vs. Big Ten debate, submitted by visitors to this site, include:

To read more about how we see the conferences stacking up in 2010, check out 2010 College Football Conference Comparison.

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

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