Why is the Southeastern Conference so supreme?
Why has the league won seven straight national championships?
Why can't any other league match the SEC when it comes to players, coaches and fans?
The answer is really very basic and simple:
Because in the SEC, college football just matters more.
SEC dominance all comes down to one word: Passion.
This one word is why Notre Dame players are still in the fetal position, mumbling to themselves, "Mommy, please make the big, mean men in crimson stop pushing us down and beating us up."
This one word is why any NFL job offered to Alabama coach Nick Saban would be a massive demotion.
This one word is why, in honor of the SEC, the BCS championship trophy should not only be made of crystal; it should be sponsored by Krystal.
Fans from other leagues have tried to claim the SEC's reputation has been artificially inflated by ESPN and CBS, which both have exorbitant TV deals with the league. Of course, this all just a bunch of whining from the little guys who have to eat peanut butter and jelly from the kid's menu while the SEC sits alone at the big-boy table and gorges itself on filet of Big Ten, Big 12, Pac 12 and Notre Dame. Those seven straight national championships are the ultimate argument-ender. No other league has ever won more than three in a row since.
Florida State coach Jimbo Fisher put it best when I asked him not long ago why the SEC is so dominant and why he is attempting to build the Seminoles in the image of an SEC team.
"It's not just the athletes, it's the programs," said Fisher, who was Saban's offensive coordinator when he won his first national title at LSU. "It's the money that's spent in the programs, the money that's spent in player development, the money that's spent all the way around. That's what we're embarking on at Florida State."
There are some historians who believe SEC football dominance radiates from the South's loss to the North in the Civil War. They claim this provincial angst is why SEC schools dove head-first into college football – so they could once again go to battle with those "damn Yankees." In 1935, the SEC became the first conference to offer athletic scholarships, which outraged Harvard, Yale and the other hoity-toity institutions of higher learning in the Northeast.
"The Civil War had crushed the ego of the South," writes author Ray Glier in his recent book How the SEC Became Goliath. "The North was more urbanized and industrialized. It's why the North won the war and the South wanted to raise the level of its game. … Football was part of the formula. … The South finished second once before. Ever since it has been determined to finish first."
The SEC finished first in the nation in total attendance this year just like it has for the previous 14 years. Of the top 10 programs that draw the most fans, half are from the SEC.
Forbes magazine compiled its annual list of the "most valuable" college football programs. Seven of the top 10 were from the SEC.
College football's highest-paid coach (Saban) and four of the top eight most-compensated coaches reside in the SEC.
It's no wonder the best players are also drawn to the SEC. They want to play before the biggest crowds, in the biggest games, in front of the biggest TV audiences. They want to work out in the most advanced facilities and get developed by the best coaches.
In last year's NFL draft, an unprecedented nine of the first 18 players selected in the first round were from the SEC. Over the past 11 years, 81 players from the SEC have been first-round draft picks while the Big 12 is a distant second with 56.
When you add up all of these incredible numbers, statistics, attendance figures and salary amounts, you know what you get?
You get this:
In the SEC, college football just matters more.
Edited by Noah, 11 January 2013 - 09:28 AM.