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Old 01-09-2013, 12:08 PM   #1
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Default SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Hey all-
Lots of columns, stories, speculation locally both about the causes of SEC domination, and why the Big Ten has fallen so far, so fast. Everything from recruiting, to so many of the best players now coming from the south due to population shifts, etc, to weather, to coaching-and on and on.

I'm thinking it's mostly players and recruiting, though I do think there are lots of great coaches as well. Plus, some of the traditional powers like Michigan and Notre Dame aren't as "Cool" to kids as schools like Oregon.

I see continued domination by your teams into the foreseeable future, though I do think a school like Michigan or Ohio (never Ohio State for Brady Hoke or any other M fan) could occasionally rise up for a season or two and take the championship with the right combination of circumstances. With the way we've been recruiting, the talent gap that was so obvious when we played 'Bama and again when Notre Dame did should diminish. It won't close, you'll always have more-but it will be close enough that if we get a couple of special players we might be able to compete.

On the other hand, aside from the very few I mentioned, the door is closed for every other midwestern university, while I could see your Gamecocks, or Clemson (sorry!), or numerous other schools from your area that haven't been in the BCS championship game getting there in any given year. What do you all think? (Slow day at work...)
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:18 PM   #2
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

I've often said this about Basketball. The best kids were picking UNC over Duke (I'm a Dukie too) because Michael Jordan (and Nike) made EVERYTHING baby blue and made it "cool" to be a Tarheel.

Kids these days don't want to take the time to really break it down and pick a school they like or feel more comfortable with. They want to pick a school that will give them the easiest road to the NFL/NBA and that will be the "coolest" to tell their friends they play for.

It's not about Tradition anymore. It's about flash and media attention. Oregon was never good until they started having 3 million uniform options and that got people talking about them. People started talking and talking and then they won a game here or there. Now people are talking about them because they have these crazy uniforms and won Saturday.

If I was a standout athlete, and wanted to look anywhere outside of SC, I would go (in no order) ND, Michigan, and Bama. I could give a rats ass about So. Cal. or Tattoo U. Those schools it takes pride to play for. You're not playing for yourself. You're playing for your team and the history of the program. Same goes for Duke and even unc/Kentucky in Basketball. You have a reputation to up hold. "Kids today" just don't understand that. It's all about "me" and the money. That's ALL it's about for most (not all) kids.
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:27 PM   #3
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

i think the playoff system will change a lot in the future
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Old 01-09-2013, 12:33 PM   #4
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

gobluejeff86,
Good comments...SEC=top $$. The schools have spent all the ESPN $$ and other $$ on facilities that enhances recruiting, and coaching salaries. This includes the asst. coaches.

Also, one other thing that stands out is the quality of athletes on SEC defenses...just too many big, athletic and fast guys flying around...not many schools outside the SEC can get these kinds of guys on one team. The main reason we are a Top 10 team is we have one of those kinds of defenses.
Our D didn't show out in every game, but they did totally dominate UGA earlier this season.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #5
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

it's definitely recruiting 1st... there's a huge number of reason, but I think the most underrated one is the type of cities african-american (lets be honest) kids grow up in. In B1G country the population centers are Chicago, Detroit, Indianapolis, huge cities that don't have room for high school football stadium so the best athletes play basketball. in the South the population is more spread out, even ATL and relatively big cities like Birmingham and Columbia are so much more spread out that football is more feasible.

that's just reason #14 of eleventy billion that high school football, and thus college football, is better in the South.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:26 PM   #6
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Who knows? I think the Big 10 does itself a disservice by freaking out about it and always trying to compare itself to the SEC. Frankly they should just be trying to get beyond the Big 12. Looks like Michigan and OSU are headed in the right direction. I'm sure the traditional southern powers like Bama and UT would argue that thanks to the rise in the population and economics of the south as well as the advent of the BCS they actually have a chance to play in the game now as opposed to the days when all the sports writers in chicago and new york would just pencil in notre dame versus So Cal. For a more recent example, I'm thinking auburn in 2004 would feel pretty good about its chances against either of the teams that played in that game.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:31 PM   #7
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

The Big 10 was never as great as it thought it was. Michigan and Ohio State are the only 2 programs that have really done much out of it. Minnesota had some good teams in the 40s and other programs like Iowa, Wisconsin, and Illinois have had their moments but never been an elite power. Penn State has only been in the Big 10 for 20 years and built its program by beating up on some bad Eastern programs as an Indy.

The economics of America has certainly changed. The South is growing, education is getting better, and segregation is long in the past. Meanwhile in Big 10 country cities like Cleveland and Detroit are really hurting.

Plus, The South just cares more about CFB. If the Tide or Gamecocks lose then it ruins everyones week. If Michigan loses then it's ok b/c fans in that state have the Tigers, Red Wings, Pistons, and Lions to cheer for. CFB is all we have and there is more pressure to win in it in the South. Even in states that have pro sports in the South, the college teams still rule.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:32 PM   #8
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Also, there are many Northern States that do not have Spring Football or 7 on 7 leagues for their high schools. That's something that is unheard of in the South. Many High Schools up north play on Saturday afternoons infront of 50 people.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:34 PM   #9
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Bret Bielema is a perfect example of why the SEC is better. The man who won 3 straight Big 10 titles leaves for a mid tier SEC job that he has no connection with.

No 3 time SEC Champ would ever leave for a Big 10 job, unless it was an alma mater or homestate team. Bielema had no connection at all to Arkansas, but knew the Hogs would spend more money for assistants. Just look at his staff, it's pretty good.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:50 PM   #10
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

I think it cycles in and out as far as the top few programs with several factors being key. Head coach, recent championships and attention, a good crop of payers over a few years. I believe the SEC is blessed and cursed with the same issue - a tough league - top to near bottom. Nobody can go through the weekly pounding of SEC play without key injuries, a wearied team, or a down game against a powerful team. Alabama is better than A&M, but looked weary, missed tackles and assignments, and still barely missed a chance to win. We were better than Florida, but were in a QB injury situation, made big mistakes, and blew the game. We had one big defensive screw-up against LSU on the long run, and lost. The flip side is having teams that are used to hard-hitting, team-speed football, and that usually pays off in bowl season. (Shame on LSU and Florida!) A number of analysts have stated that the SEC's defensive linemen are the big difference overall. Probably quite valid.
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Old 01-09-2013, 01:58 PM   #11
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Interesting points

Quote:
so many of the best players now coming from the south due to population shifts, etc, to weather, to coaching-and on and on.
I have always thought the economic drain on the Rust Belt would also produce a big strain on Big Ten recruiting, coaching, and overall quality.

Does a blue chip player in Ohio/Michigan/Pennsylvania stay in those states? I wonder. (Ingram)

I think there is a need for Michigan to reconnect with its past AND make a different rebranding. Hoke is a damn good coach and they will be light years ahead of where Rich Rod would have taken them.

I just don't know how they're gonna do it.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:07 PM   #12
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

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Interesting points

I have always thought the economic drain on the Rust Belt would also produce a big strain on Big Ten recruiting, coaching, and overall quality.

Does a blue chip player in Ohio/Michigan/Pennsylvania stay in those states? I wonder. (Ingram)

I think there is a need for Michigan to reconnect with its past AND make a different rebranding. Hoke is a damn good coach and they will be light years ahead of where Rich Rod would have taken them.

I just don't know how they're gonna do it.

Well, the top RB in Pennsylvania is now a Gamecock. When I was growing up as a kid that never would've happened. Williams would've gone to Penn State, Pitt, or a Big 10 program. South Carolina woudn't have even been on his radar.

Why would a kid from PA even look at a program like South Carolina 25 years ago? Even our good teams in 84 & 87 were only on national TV a couple times. I think the 87 team was on national TV 3 times(Miami, Clemson, LSU). Now days we're on national TV each week.

Many years ago I think some black athletes might have been scared to come South. They heard the statements that the South his made up of dumb rednecks and stayed away. The South has changed in so many ways in the last 30 years and is now seen as a growing area full of diversity that many want to be part of.
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Old 01-09-2013, 02:21 PM   #13
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

I live in Cincy Ohio now but have lived in AL, GA, NC, AR, CA, FL. But home is SC. All of the other states just are much more cool (sexier) than any rust belt state to play football in. Why would a player from SC or GA (any other SEC school) go play in the north or midwest and freeze their balls off. Unless there was a heritage (like father or grandfather from say MI or Ohio), I dont see that happening much longer. The south will continue to soak up all the local talent and pluck some from the north. We get players from NJ, PA. Other SEC schools get their needs nationally as well. Its a constant bleed from the north to the south.
In the SEC, if your state touches cold weather states, then recruitng will always be tricky such as Arky, TN, MO, KY. Fortunately, SC is deep south.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:40 PM   #14
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

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Bret Bielema is a perfect example of why the SEC is better. The man who won 3 straight Big 10 titles leaves for a mid tier SEC job that he has no connection with.

No 3 time SEC Champ would ever leave for a Big 10 job, unless it was an alma mater or homestate team. Bielema had no connection at all to Arkansas, but knew the Hogs would spend more money for assistants. Just look at his staff, it's pretty good.
Nick Saban is also a decent example. LOL.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:51 PM   #15
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

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Bret Bielema is a perfect example of why the SEC is better. The man who won 3 straight Big 10 titles leaves for a mid tier SEC job that he has no connection with.

No 3 time SEC Champ would ever leave for a Big 10 job, unless it was an alma mater or homestate team. Bielema had no connection at all to Arkansas, but knew the Hogs would spend more money for assistants. Just look at his staff, it's pretty good.
In 2007, when Les Miles had the chance to go and coach at Michigan, his Alma Mater, he turned it down.
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Old 01-09-2013, 04:55 PM   #16
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Gobluejeff86, just change your opening salutation to 'Hey y'all' and come on down. You'd fit right in.

Please allow me to balance your thoughts from up north by adding a thought from an old-timer down south.

The reason this thread speaks to my soul is because I was a student at USC the night Frank McGuire slammed that train in reverse, transcended his sport and left his footprints in the sands of time by simply saying, 'As the future leaders of this state, you guys know it's time to make some changes around here, and I expect your support. Never again will I let skin color be a factor in my recruiting.'

True to his word, McGuire signed Casey Manning not long after to a grant-in-aid, and the rest is history. And by demanding the same excellence from we students that he demanded from himself, his team and everyone around him, he received our overwhelming support.

BTW the train Frank slammed in reverse that nite was traveling north on the railroad started by Tubman a century before to save her people. And the hope and joy I feel today stems from knowing that railway now serves trains traveling in both directions.

After all, how do you think all those Jersey kids got down here? They just hopped aboard the Underground Railroad and came south to see what a couple of NYC legends - McGuire and his mentor Buck Freeman - were up to, and many have decided to stay.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:00 PM   #17
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

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Nick Saban is also a decent example. LOL.
Not really.
He made an upward move.
Bielema's was lateral at best.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:07 PM   #18
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Some very good posts going on this thread and I agree with the viewpoints on all of them.

I do believe that there has been a Huge Power Shift in college football towards the SEC and I don't think that it will ever be changed back to another conference. Granted, we may lose the National Championship Game in due time, but overall we will always be the Power Conference from top to bottom and this is because of all the reasons the everyone has stated before my post.

The inter-city situation is a prime example, along with a lot of money flowing through the SEC now. The South takes it's Rec League Football Teams to a serious level, so how much more would we love our high school and college teams. It's almost like a religion in the South, like loving mama's home cooking, hunting, fishing, and bar-b-que.

Economics, the New Rising Of The South and our steadily increasing population growth, along with the advantage of good weather will keep the SEC strong for many, many years to come and other conferences will have to get use to it and play for second place as far as conference strength goes each year. Even, the ACC which has schools in the South cannot match the SEC for overall supremacy due to our superior coaches, facilities, and for the better players wanting the exposure of playing in the Best Football Conference in the nation. Just way too many reasons that the SEC will continue to Reign As The Best!

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Old 01-09-2013, 05:11 PM   #19
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

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I've often said this about Basketball. The best kids were picking UNC over Duke (I'm a Dukie too) because Michael Jordan (and Nike) made EVERYTHING baby blue and made it "cool" to be a Tarheel.

Kids these days don't want to take the time to really break it down and pick a school they like or feel more comfortable with. They want to pick a school that will give them the easiest road to the NFL/NBA and that will be the "coolest" to tell their friends they play for.

It's not about Tradition anymore. It's about flash and media attention. Oregon was never good until they started having 3 million uniform options and that got people talking about them. People started talking and talking and then they won a game here or there. Now people are talking about them because they have these crazy uniforms and won Saturday.

If I was a standout athlete, and wanted to look anywhere outside of SC, I would go (in no order) ND, Michigan, and Bama. I could give a rats ass about So. Cal. or Tattoo U. Those schools it takes pride to play for. You're not playing for yourself. You're playing for your team and the history of the program. Same goes for Duke and even unc/Kentucky in Basketball. You have a reputation to up hold. "Kids today" just don't understand that. It's all about "me" and the money. That's ALL it's about for most (not all) kids.
I would disagree with this. First, Oregon didn't get to be good just because they have crazy uniforms and it made people want to come there. They got good because the owner of Nike gives them hundreds of millions of dollars. That's the key. It's all about money. The more you spend, the better facilities and coaches you get. The kids know that they can go anywhere and make it to the nfl. Every game is on tv. The guy from Wisconsin left to go to Arkansas because he kept losing his assistants at Wisconsin to other programs that would pay more. It was about money.

To an extent, weather and state population do play a factor. Warmer weather states do have an advantage in that the recruits have probably played a lot more football during their life since they can be outside 12 months of the year without freezing their butts off. State population also pays off in that a lot of kids want to stay at least reasonably close to home so that their parents can see them play in person every home game.

Michigan and Ohio State will always do well, since they will spend the money and have a good population base to pull from. They don't have the weather, but that's ok. As long as they have the right coach, they will be winners.
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Old 01-09-2013, 05:34 PM   #20
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Default Re: SEC vs. Big Ten, thoughts from up north

Several reasons. One is weather (you can play outside year round), another is space (hard to find an empty field with grass in a big city), another is population demographics. A major difference is the emphasis on pro sports in the North - we don't care about pro teams as much here, whereas Northern cities (Pittsburgh, for instance) identify with their teams and live and die with each game. We don't have as many big cities, so not as many pro teams, and we tend to identify with our states more than the city that we live in, unlike the North. Even with pro teams in places like ATL and Charlotte, a lot of Southerners that follow pro football still identify with Washington, since we were getting their games thirty years ago and grew up with the Redskins. So we have never really warmed up the pro teams that have located in the South.

The constant ESPN promotion helps and self-perpetuates the league - ESPN sees the SEC as the gold standard, so they hype us and pay a lot of money for our games, which allows us resources to pay coaches and improve facilities. Plus, the recuits want to come to schools that are always on TV and being promoted, and where they can play in big stadiums in front of rabid fans. I know Michigan and Ohio St. can beat us with stadium size, but not many other Northern or Midwestern teams can.
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