Thanks, Young Money.
We're all fans of Grantland here at KSR (I speak for at least one of us), and recently GL blogger Michael Weinreb asked a question we've wondered to ourselves for the last few years:
Is the SEC the best conference right now, or is it just the best conference period?
After six championships in as many years, it's hard to fault the SEC for considering the above question. Two, three years ago, it would have been a little early. But after over half a decade of dominance, it's become a legitimate musing. Even Weinreb admits that the conference has earned its somewhat haughty attitude:
And who can fault the SEC if it tends toward hubris these days? Six straight national championships in a part of the country where college football is inextricably tied to the region's identity will do that. If that swagger has carried over from coaches to fans to even certain media members who cover them – I heard one talk-radio show host label the Big Ten Conference "holier than thou" – isn't that to be expected? Hasn't this little party been earned?
To be sure, the SEC has absolutely dominated the college football landscape the last
six years. While other conferences have fiddled with new-fangled spread offenses and gimmicky, novelty play-calling, teams in the Southeast have buttered their bread by steamrolling teams defensively. The result is a league-wide passion for stifling and frustrating offesnses, and it's paid off for the conference members. Of course, this is nothing new to us; we see it every Saturday in football season when we're just happy to give the other quarterback a concussion
, much less win games. To the conference's newcomers, though, it's less than apparent.
According to Missouri wide receiver T.J. Moe, "Sure, the SEC's won the last six national championships, but not all 12 teams have won them. There's one or two teams dominating everybody, and everyone else is kind of average. Well, not average … "
Actually, T.J., four
SEC teams have won titles in the last six years. That's not exactly "one or two" teams. Also, Moe noted that "Smash-mouth football isn't going to take [the Tigers] by surprise."
That's actually hilarious. I don't know about you, but I can't wait to see the new guys get waxed a few times this coming season. Not because I have any particular dislike for the teams; I don't. They simply haven't shared our pain, trying to be successful in arguably the most difficult league college football has ever seen. They need to get knocked around a couple times before their claims have merit.
Also of particular, albeit somewhat scathing, note, was Weinreb's brief mention of UK's presser:
Kentucky coach Joker Phillips talked more about basketball than football.
While that may be seen as a negative by some, I actually take it as something of a positive. Can't expect to change the program by denying certain truths. As it stands, people in Kentucky care more about basketball than football. Joker is making a smart move by hitching his cart to that wagon, and hopefully it results in some dividends for the football program.
So now that the question has been posed, what do you think? Is the SEC great, or greatest ever?