State of the Conference: The Myth of SEC Bias

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Over the past few weeks the chants have gotten louder. You see all of the signs on ESPN College Gameday. ESPN is biased towards the SEC and that’s why they are all ranked so high. Well, that is a bunch of bologna and I’m here to tell you why.

First, the SEC has earned every right to be ranked high and thought of as the premier college football conference. Just this year, LSU (5th in the SEC West) played Wisconsin (tied for 2nd in the Big 10 West). Who won? LSU. Auburn (tied for 2nd in the SEC West) played at Kansas State (leading the Big 12). Who won? Auburn. The SEC also had the best record when playing when BCS bowls as well (17-10). The PAC-12 was the only other conference with a winning record at 13-8. Going back to 2003, the SEC has won the BCS National Championship 8 out of 11 times (2004 was vacated by USC). Computer polls, such as Bill Connelly’s F/+ ratings and the Massey ratings, back up the SEC dominance as well. These computer polls use super complex algorithms to calculate their rankings. This takes into account things like opponent’s record, margin of victory and obviously wins and puts them into a formula to determine rankings. The SEC is constantly at the top of these computer rankings as well, which have no human element, and therefore cannot be biased. So does the SEC get the benefit of the doubt sometimes? Yeah probably, but why shouldn’t they? They have proved over the last 10 years that they have dominated every conference no matter where the game is played.

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The other argument about #SECBias is the launch of the new SEC Network. ESPN owns this network. It also owns the Longhorn Network but where is the outcry for that? The SEC made a business decision, and it has been a huge success thus far. Many of the protesters come from the ACC (Florida State) and the Big 12 (Big Game Bob). But, not so fast my friend. Guess who has sold the right to its most high profile game to ESPN? That would be the ACC. ESPN/ABC can pick up any ACC game it wants. The SEC has the SEC Network with ESPN, which airs second and third tier games. They also have a contract with CBS, who gets the first pick of SEC games each week. And to anyone outside of the Big 12, it’s obvious that Texas still runs that area of the world, even though they aren’t any good. How else can you explain the Longhorn Network, but no Big 12 Network? Just because the SEC and ESPN made a good business deal doesn’t mean they are biased. They advertise it because they know people will watch. That’s just being smart, not #SECBiased. The playoff committee has a grand total of 1 person that is affiliated with the SEC, now that Archie Manning has dropped out. That is 1 out of 12 people. If anything, the committee could be #AntiSEC, but guess what their rankings show as well. Three SEC teams in the top 5. Argue all you want, but you can’t say that a committee dominated by non-SEC members is biased.

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The SEC is the king of the castle when it comes to college football. You can argue it all you want, but it’s the truth. 17-10 in BCS bowls is tops in the country. Eight of 11 BCS National Championships is tops in the country. Until another conference steps up and goes on a run like that, the SEC will continue to be the best conference in college football. Numbers never lie. Numbers have no bias.

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