The World’s Most Powerful Conference
Han Vance on SEC football: Greg Sankey sits atop – as figurehead – the most power allegiance in the history of amateur sports.
The Southeastern Conference has won 10 of the last 14 national championships, benefitting greatly in league-wide reputation from any team not-Alabama getting through last year, and blowing powerful Clemson out. After Clemson had gotten past the only program of any real national significance above the Mason-Dixon line, Ohio State. The Big Ten has no wins in the CFP at all in five full years and has won one national championship in 15 years, and are clearly the second-best American college football conference.
In these times, as our SEC won more than two-thirds of the national titles of a full decade-and-a-half, in a year less than 15, no conference has come anywhere close to challenging the SEC’s dominance, while SEC-like Clemson, a Deep South football institution in a true football state way south of Tobacco Road, a state actually of the SEC, became easily one of the top two programs in the whole sport.
Clemson and Bama have each gone 2-2 in four CFP meetings, with Bama getting blown out badly – as I predicted publicly to much derision – in the last meeting, after getting Clemson out of their way in a first round game before the Tide outlasted a better-than-Bama in terms of talent UGA, a year prior. Before that, Clemson barely beat Bama for their first modern championship behind great wide receiver play from a former walk-on; a year before that Bama barely and I mean barely beat the Tigers. LSU getting a Tigers-over-Tigers meeting was a revelation, only in that the Bayou Bengals won and were SEC-not-Bama.
Let’s rewind this lil Natty recap, thusly.
5. LSU beat Clemson (SEC gets a team in; SEC wins)
4. Clemson beat Bama (SEC gets a team in)
3. Bama beat *Georgia (SEC gets two teams in; SEC wins)
2. Clemson beat Bama (SEC gets a team in)
1. Bama beat Clemson (SEC gets a team in; SEC wins)
Of 10 slots, the SEC got six – more than half! – the entrants, and every year featured an SEC team. SEC won 3-of-5 titles – more than half! – while Clemson of the ACC (a school more proximate to Atlanta than LSU is) cemented their legacy as one of the top programs over any stretch.
And that’s a full 150-year stretch, as this is year 151.
As did many GEORGIA fans, I cheered against the conference and for the actual old Georgia rivals, of the Palmetto State, every time they faced Bama in the national championship game. Bama was extremely fortunate to win once in their ultimate meetings, getting an onside kick that was Nick Saban’s single best in-game coaching move. Clemson is simply a better football program than Alabama now, period.
Clem and Son LLC made three Natty games of the last four, winning two titles, and as we all recall, Bama was EXTREMELY fortunate to win their only title of the last four seasons, the one versus UGA, played in Atlanta proper, my hometown, which made it even worse.
Way worse, for me.
Before this period Bama dominated the nation soundly, and before and then on into that stretch the mighty SEC won seven national championships in a row. Auburn got a ring, Florida got a couple rings. LSU got rings.
While Georgia, which it can be statistically, factually shown is by several measures the second-best program in SEC history, last won it all way back in 1980.
Tua much to take. That Hurts.
I’ll pass the mic to my lil bro for more on this in the ‘morrow. An alumni, Johnny Vance is the man. I will simply [cry] edit.
May you wake up Sunday feeling better than I do right now, reliving this, these continuing near misses, blown chances, which have only gotten worse…not any better, y’all.
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