“When you win, nothing hurts.”
— Joe Namath
Following the Southeastern Conference’s seventh-straight BCS national championship, maybe it’s time everyone concede the SEC is the best in the nation when it comes to football.
The inspiration for this column came from two sources. The first is probably the most obvious. My alma mater, Alabama, whipped Notre Dame 42-14 two weeks ago to win its third national championship in four years.
But the second source of inspiration came in the days following with Andy Staples’ column in Sports Illustrated headlined, “Alabama’s rout of Notre Dame reinforces SEC dominance.” In it, Staples says the chants began even before halftime and continued well into the night.
S-E-C, S-E-C, S-E-C.
It’s rightfully so. SEC teams have dominated the college football world for years, and the emergence of Alabama’s dynasty just solidifies the argument.
Few can argue some simple facts about the SEC as a whole. We have the best fans, smoke the best barbecue, throw the best parties, play football the best and our women are prettier.
Even before the most recent heyday of SEC dominance in college football, memory provides at least one SEC team or another shining in the spotlight throughout history. Of course, there are a few splashes of other conferences showing glimmers of superiority here and there. I’m quite certain some SEC team must have felt sorry for someone that day. Maybe they were all sick.
It all comes down to maintaining dominance since 1933; it just can’t be done. But the SEC must be the closest.
Consider the cast of characters over the years. There’s Charlie McClendon, Lou Holtz, Gene Chizik, Houston Nutt, Les Miles, Phillip Fulmer, Bobby Dodd, Pat Dye, Wallace Wade, Frank Thomas, Wally Butts, Vince Dooley, Tommy Tuberville, Jackie Sherrill, Frank Curci, Mark Richt, Gene Stallings, Johnny Majors, Bob Neyland, Nick Saban, Shug Jordan, Paul Dietzel, Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, John Vaught and, of course, Paul “Bear” Bryant.
And those are just some of the coaches, past and present, who have made this conference great over the years.
I could fill this entire paper with the names of great players who have shaped the SEC throughout history.
But it’s the personas and personalities that have made this conference we all know and love the best in the land.
To say otherwise…well I say those are fighting words, and the SEC just doesn’t back down from a good fight.
Jared Felkins is The Lebanon Democrat’s director of content. He may be reached at 615-444-3952, ext. 13 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter @paperboyfelkins.