The Southeastern Conference is the best conference in college football, and it’s not particularly close. Those who disagree with that sentiment, apart from not knowing college football, would likely label it “SEC bias.” This is a term often used by fans of teams from other conferences that feel spurned by ESPN, the College Football Playoff Committee, AP Voters or anyone else that they can point a finger at in defiance instead of realizing that the SEC is simply better than the Big Ten, Big 12, ACC, Pac-12 (I shouldn’t even have to say that at this point) and yes, the American as well.
The SEC sends a team to the National Championship nearly every year and this season will be no different with Alabama facing off against Clemson yet again. Since the turn of the century there have been just five national title games that did not feature a team from the conference, and twice two SEC teams actually met in the final.
This year has been particularly dominant for the conference where “it just means more.” The Week 15 AP Poll -- the most recent poll before the last of the season -- featured eight SEC teams in the Top 25, three of which were in the top 10 (No. 1 Alabama, No. 6 Georgia, No. 10 Florida). The most any other Conference had was four from the Big Ten. There were also five SEC teams that compiled 10-win seasons (Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Kentucky), while no other Power 5 Conference had more than two teams reach that mark.
Even bowl season went well in the Southeast, where four of the conference’s top five teams won, and 11 out of 14 teams in the SEC were bowl eligible — the most of any FBS conference.
Granted, five teams did lose their bowl games. South Carolina was shut out by Virginia, Missouri fell to Oklahoma State, Mississippi State lost to Iowa, Vanderbilt couldn’t come back against Baylor and an uninspired Georgia team dropped its final game to Texas.
On the other hand, the conference had a few signature bowl wins. Auburn obliterated Purdue, Florida avenged last season’s loss to Michigan in a rout, Kentucky capped off arguably the best season in program history with a win over Penn State, LSU shut up UCF and, of course, Alabama advanced to the National Championship Game by beating Heisman winner Kyler Murray and the Oklahoma Sooners.
AP All-American selections exhibited the dominance of the SEC better than perhaps the polls or even bowl record. The SEC had 11 First-Team All-Americans, matching the total number of the other four Power Five conferences.
Looking ahead to the 2019 recruiting class, it makes sense why the SEC is consistently on top. The top three teams (Alabama, Georgia, Texas A&M) are from the conference as are 10 of the top 25. It’s a recipe for success.
The final AP Poll of the season could feature four, and possibly five, SEC teams in the top 10, the four being Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, with Kentucky somewhere around the 10 spot.
Whether or not Alabama wins or loses tonight, and I expect them to win, the 2018-19 college football season will be another historic year in the books for the SEC, where it really does just mean more.
Follow Kyle Wood on Twitter @Kkylewood and contact him at [email protected].