Paul Finebaum wrote a best selling book. The premise was simple. His conference, (the holier than thou S.E.C.) was hands down the best college football conference in America. He had right to lay claim. In the entire B.C.S. run, the S.E.C. took the hardware home an amazing 9 times. From 2007 until 2013 the S.E.C. was the king. Then Auburn lost against Florida State. In the new format, Ohio State defeated Oregon. The past two seasons*gasp* the S.E.C. was without title. Florida State won one. The almost not watchable Big 10 won one. The excuses given by S.E.C. supporters were plentiful and abundant. The facts remain simple. Spring games are notoriously hit and miss. It's a poor man's stock market. When Nick Saban took over the Alabama program it was a very big deal. In 2007, he took over a blue blood in disarray and brought it back to the promised land. Urban had a run with the Gators, and Gene Chizik caught a unicorn with Cam Newton. The first year Saban was with 'Bama the spring game drew 92,000 to a scrimmage. Here we are now.
Then there is the Buckeyes spring game in 2015. It was slightly better attended than 'Bama's best effort. Keep in mind, weather is always a factor in judging these things, but wow.
The Ohio State Buckeyes drew 99,391 fans to its spring football game this year, a national record. https://t.co/3ThMk19aqe— Reynolds Center (@BizJournalism) April 28, 2015
I'm sure many of you are wondering what this has to do with A.C.C. football, and more importantly, Virginia Tech football. Well in case you haven't noticed, the N.F.L. knows a thing or two about talent. For years the S.E.C. has had a monopoly on the draft. No single conference has produced more N.F.L. talent than the S.E.C.. They also were in the midst of completely running college football with Heisman Trophy winners, as well as national championships.
"Pardon the pun, the tide has turned."
Let's look at this year's draft as further proof of the S.E.C. losing its grip as the monopoly in college football. For guys like Paul Finebaum, and the rest of the S.E.C. Network, this isn't good news:
Most players drafted by conference: · Pac 12: 25 · SEC: 22 · ACC: 20 #NFLDraft— NFL (@nfl) May 2, 2015
The first two picks in this draft were A.C.C. and Pac-12 respectively. 2 out of the top 5 were out of the S.E.C. In the top ten the A.C.C. had the same amount of picks as the S.E.C.. This isn't everything. Just because a program, or more specifically a conference, produces pro level talent doesn't ensure national championship glory. One can't judge A.C.C. basketball talent based merely on Duke. Once can't judge S.E.C. football based solely on Alabama. True that they are the current flagship program, but the S.E.C. argument has always been this:
"We beat each other up so much in the regular season. It's a wonder we are able to field a team in the bowl games or playoffs at all."
New times Mr. Finebaum. The folks in the S.E.C. haven't seen a championship for two years now. Jimbo Fisher and Urban Meyer have done the unthinkable. They beat you. They beat your conference. The N.F.L. has taken notice, as well as the fan bases. One of the hallmarks of the S.E.C. is that they have the most passionate fans around. It is simply that the rest of the nation has caught up, and in many cases surpassed the S.E.C. One of the staples in the S.E.C. are the road games. Please come to Lane Stadium on a Thursday night. Please go to Tallahassee on a Saturday. Please go to our "Death Valley" in Clemson. When the ESPN folks were already crowning the S.E.C. West as the best division in the best conference last year, I present this.
The SEC West went 2-5 this bowl season, with only wins by Texas A&M and Arkansas. Top 5 teams in West by conference/overall record all lost— Chris B. Brown (@smartfootball) January 2, 2015
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