Scared of the SEC? You Probably Should Be
This is an opinion piece.
With the inclusion of Texas and Oklahoma to the SEC being just a matter of time at this point, fellow power five conferences have made the choice to team up, forming an "alliance" aimed at challenging the surging SEC. The Pac-12, Big 10 and ACC have announced that with their pairing, they will work together on a "collaborative approach surrounding the future evolution of college athletics and scheduling."
Now I am no conference commissioner, nor do I claim to be one, but to me, this sounds like nothing more than a long winded way of saying they're scared of the SEC and their rise in power following the acquisition of two of college football's biggest brands: Oklahoma and Texas.
It's nothing new to say that as it stands now the SEC, even without the Sooners and Longhorns, is one of, if not the, top conference in college football. No conference has put two teams in the playoff other than the SEC, and although Notre Dame was technically a member of the ACC in 2020 alongside Clemson, they swiftly returned to their independent status after a round one loss to Alabama.
In honor of these three conferences deciding to seemingly team up against the SEC, I took a look at just how each of them have fared against public enemy no.1 in years past.
First up, the ACC. The Atlantic Coast conference has played against the SEC in 503 regular season games since its inception in 1953 and has compiled a record of 171-322-10. In bowl games, the conference has not fared much better, putting together a record of just 29-50 when going toe-to-toe with the big, bad SEC.
Next, let's look at the Pac-12. The Pac-12 has quietly been one of the most interesting conferences in college football, especially in recent years. The conference has not seen a playoff berth since 2017 when Washington suffered a round one loss to Alabama, and has compiled an overall record of 43-73-5 against the SEC over the course of its existence. Like the ACC, the Pac-12 is not much better in bowl games, going 7-9-1.
Finally, the Big 10. Arguably the top tier conference when compared to its counterparts in the ACC and Pac-12, the Big 10 still has not been able to create nearly the level of success found in the SEC. Since 1896, the year the conference was founded, the Big 10 has composed an overall record of 66-98-2 and 33-59 bowl record against the SEC and have seen just one team take home a College Football Playoff championship.
Whether or not this "alliance" amounts to anything significant has yet to be seen, and will likely take several seasons to come to fruition, but as of now the SEC has no real reason for concern, as they have consistently dominated these conferences for years anyway. Adding Texas and Oklahoma will do nothing but grow the SEC, and with an already lopsided record against these other conferences, why would an "alliance" change anything?