Why the SEC Reigns Supreme
Like the title claims, the SEC reigns supreme among all of college football, and it really shouldn’t even be up for debate.
For anyone who lives in the south or is just a fan of the SEC, they will probably defend this claim to their grave. For anyone who is not a fan of the SEC, they will find tiny reasons to refute this claim.
So, here’s a quick reminder of why the SEC holds the title as the best conference.
Multiple teams in/winning the College Football Playoff (CFP)
This should definitely be one of, if not the, main reasons that the SEC is the best conference. Out of the eight crowned national champions in the CFP era, five have been SEC teams, including the last three straight.
Two of the three non-SEC champions competed against teams hailing from the Southeastern Conference. In CFP history, the SEC is one of only two conferences (the other being the ACC) that had multiple teams make it in the same year.
Unlike the ACC, the SEC is the only conference that had both of their representatives advance to the championship game (Alabama and Georgia in 2017 and 2021). The SEC is also the only conference to have every single representing school in the playoffs win at least one championship (Alabama, Georgia, and LSU). If dominating everyone else on the biggest stage year in, year out doesn’t scream dominance, nothing will.
Appearances in Bowl Games
If there’s any argument that a non-SEC fan would make, it would be the SEC’s poor performance in bowl games this past season.
The conference started out bowl season 0-4, and never recovered to .500, ending with a 6-8 record and placing the conference behind six others. While this would be a good bragging point for other conferences’ fans, the argument that the SEC’s bowl record is the reason they are not the most dominant conference in college football would still fall short of being successful for two reasons.
The first reason is that out of the 14 teams in the SEC, 13 of them ended up bowl eligible (although Texas A&M didn’t play due to COVID issues). Even with only 12 teams playing, that’s more teams than any other conference had eligible. The second, and by far the biggest reason that the SEC is still more dominant despite their bowl record is because Alabama and Georgia advanced from their bowl games to the national championship game.
It is heavily debated whether these 40 plus bowl games at the end of the season really matter, but there is no debate over what the biggest game of any college football season is. The fact that the SEC was the sole representative in that game shows just how much better the conference is than the others, even in an off bowl year.
NFL Draft Picks
The SEC’s dominance in the NFL Draft isn’t even a question.
The SEC broke the record for the most first round draft picks in NFL history with 15 in 2020.
The conference is currently on a 15-year streak of having the most draft picks out of any conference. Leading the way with 12 first round picks in the 2021 NFL draft, the SEC went on to break the record for the most picks in a single draft in NFL Draft history with 65 picks.
In addition, Alabama produced six first round draft picks in 2021, which is tied with the 2004 Miami Hurricanes as the most ever in the first round. With much of the talent in college football residing in the South, it shouldn’t even be a question why the SEC dominates the draft every year.
The SEC’s impact on college football is overwhelming. Some of the reasons include the conference’s dominant presence in the CFP, its appearances in bowl games this past season, and the large number of draft picks produced each year.
The SEC's dominance will likely continue for years to come.