The 4 Reasons the SEC Continues To Dominate College Football

If you look at the history of college football, the old adage that it takes a good running game and a strong defense seems to matter more than any other adage out there. When you look at the dominance of the SEC over the past few years, the teams in the Southeastern Conference have basically held true to that principle and they are the standard bearers for excellence in college football for nearly a decade.

College football and even the NFL games have evolved. We see a ton of shotgun formations and razzle dazzle that are fun to watch, but is it really productive and can it produce a championship?

If you think about college football, when was the last time a team that just threw the ball all over the field actually won a championship? It's pretty hard to find one because the last five or six years have been dominated by strong running games and defenses to compliment them.

In all honesty, since Oklahoma won a National Championship in 2000 there hasn't been a pass first-team that has won a national title. Even the Florida teams that won it for the SEC with Tim Tebow were run-first teams. Take a look at the four reasons that running teams will continue to dominate college football.

1. When you track it back year by year, you will not find any teams winning that are doing what Oregon and Oklahoma are doing. Everyone keeps asking why they can't get over the hump. The answer is simple: It takes a strong running game and a strong defense to win a national championship. When we are talking great defense ... we are talking about physical, strong and extremely fast.

2. Defense is the key to success, but even sometimes the defense doesn't have to be that strong if your running game is solid enough to limit the snaps of the other team. If you don't believe me, ask the Auburn Tigers and Cam Newton. However, if you are going to air it out, you better have a defense like Oklahoma did when the Sooners won the title in 2000.

3. Keeping your offense simple leads to better results. Teams that spread it out are too gimmicky. The throwing offenses depend heavily on a system that if one person is having a bad day, it can ruin the flow of everyone. Look at Alabama. It's safe to say that over the past few years the Tide has been the most consistent program in the country. Alabama isn't fooling you. They line up in the I-formation, and they are going to run the ball and throw some play action. They are going to control the game with their defense and their running game. It doesn't matter if they have the best receiver on the planet, which they have had in Julio Jones, they aren't going to deviate from the recipe.

4. Run first is a must if you want to be successful and consistent. Even those USC teams that made runs at a national title were run-first. The year the Trojans lost to Texas and Vince Young, they tried to get to cute and threw the ball too much. It was like they were trying to prove something, and it cost them the game as Vince Young and crew ran wild on them to win that game.

Coaching is an art, and everyone has a philosophy. What I have noticed is that the more things change, the more they stay the same. Even when I look at the NFL, the San Francisco 49ers have the most potent and consistent offense in the league. They are out there running a Don Shula motivated offense from the 1970's.

It's fun to watch teams do things that are exciting and unique. I have seen it all now as teams have gone with no quarterback on the field to having two quarterbacks in the backfield together. I've seen teams play with three tight ends and two backs, and I have also seen teams go five wide with no backs. The moral of the story is that football in all its complexity is a simple game. The team that makes the least amount of mistakes is usually the winner. The way to make the least amount of mistakes is to keep things simple.

There is a life lesson in that statement somewhere, and hopefully we can all follow and take it for what it is worth.

Until later ... Stay Breezy ~ I'm Out!

12 Replies to “The 4 Reasons the SEC Continues To Dominate College Football”

  1. Excellent points. A couple of other reasons why the SEC dominates:

    *Low Academic Standards - Players that other schools can't get past their admissions office even if they dressed them like Dustin Hoffman in Tootsie are welcomed with open arms to the SEC.

    *Fanatical Fan Base - Most SEC towns have no NFL team in the area as competition. Even if they do, the college team is more popular than the pro team like Florida and Jacksonville. Attendance is great, TV ratings are great, and therefore the money is great. When the money is great, the facilities and recruiting budget are great. It's a cycle that feeds itself.

    *Great weather supports year round training. Football has become so huge in the south that the talented players commit to it exclusively at a much younger age than other regions where baseball and basketball are still popular.

    Disclaimer: The Buckeyes got shellacked by SEC teams in '06 and '07 Championship Games so I may be a bit biased. However, facts are facts.

    1. Low academic standards doesn't hold water. NCAA has a sliding scale and classes and majors have to have athletic validity. Also APR makes sure that graduation rates have to be held high or you are excluded from post season play.

      As for fan base, you know as well as I do that if you ain't winning, they ain't coming..

      Great weather holds true but all teams train year round. Everyone has a football season, a winter conditioning, spring ball, and summer workouts.

      However It comes down to coaching and players. Look at the NFL and go through the rosters. You will find more starters in any other major conference on every team than the SEC. I am talking starters. Most NFL teams don't have more than 3 SEC starters on their roster.

  2. Low Academic Standards doesn't hold water? I saw the Joe Namath special. He's from Pennsylvania. His first choices were Maryland and Penn St. but he didn't do well on the College Boards.

    So, how did he end up at Alabama?

    I will concede that coaching is a big deal. Miles and Saban are at the top and don't appear to have NFL aspirations (anymore).

    1. Man Joe Namath played when there wasn't any NCAA requirements for eligibility.. Just make a 700 on the SAT and you were good.

      Today they have a sliding scale. Now if you were to say some of these kids didn't take their own SAT I might agree with that, but you can't allow anyone to enter without the minimum requirements of the college board. That is a fact bro.

  3. So, you're saying that academic standards are the same across the board? We know that Stanford, Northwestern and Notre Dame brag about voluntarily having higher standards. I thought other schools like Mich and Ohio State also required more than the minimum.

    1. Jag when I did my internship with the Raiders, they had a defensive end from Notre Dame who I will not name who they had drafted. He couldn't read. This kid had graduated too. They had to assign a coach for him and him only. The coach had to read and diagram things out of the playbook because of his inability to read and comprehend. The kid was just good at football. The logic is if you can play, they will find a way.

  4. I appreciate the insight from someone who's been on the inside. I see now that this SEC backlash is mostly sour grapes. No school is going to turn down the next Calvin Johnson because he's not a Rhodes Scholar candidate. If Alabama's defensive line had been interested in Notre Dame, they'd be at Notre Dame. The SEC is on a roll right now due to great coaching, great facilities, great cashflow and kids are naturally attracted to winning programs.

    Great piece. Schools outside the SEC can either fight back and give it their best shot or wallow in sanctimonious, self pitying excuses.

    1. It comes down to coaching and resources. In a lot of ways the Big 10 lost its identity when the coaching carousel started. I think Urban Meyer may be exactly what they needed. Now He can lock down Ohio and continue to pull from his SE and West Coast connections. Give him 2 years and he will be the one who will bust up the SEC dominance.

  5. Buckeye fans are not generally as optimistic as you are. People wonder if Urban has the same fire in his belly on the second go round. Guys like Spurrier and Holtz couldn't find the magic again (although Saban did). Also, will the spread offense work in cold weather Columbus, will he have the same success recruiting out of the Buckeye state as he did in sunny Florida, will he put in the grueling hours or does his previous heart episode have him trump tight?

    The Big Ten is in a bad, bad way right now. I don't think any of us beat a ranked team the entire non conference season. I used to argue with Big 12 and SEC fans; now they don't return my calls and ACC dudes are laughing at me. Oh, the humanity.

    I hope you're right. The Big Ten needs a lift and will be looking for Urban to provide it when this probation year is completed.

  6. I am a African American who was born and raised in Mississippi here are 3 reason why the SEC is dominating college football. Mississippi State University Graduate "Go Dawgs"

    1. This is a topic no one likes to speak of but, the highest concentration of black athletes, who dominate power sports is in the Southeast. Years ago most of the best of the southeast African American athletes would leave the south for northern schools. But that trend has change because they know they stand a better chance of making to the NFL by going to SEC schools.

    2. Coaches, we have the best coaches in the country

    3. Speed, Strength, and Depth

    The SEC will continue to dominate as long as young brothers continues to go to SEC Universities. As of now I dont see this trend changing for years to come.

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