The Myth of SEC Speed
For those College football fans out there you know what I am talking about. I know this has nothing to do with religion, but it is a belief and misperception that is perpetuated by the sports media, mainly ESPN. The idea is that the SEC is a faster conference than any other conference in the country. The belief is that other conferences cannot compete with the SEC because they are not fast enough and they get burnt by this "SEC Speed." I joke around that a 4.3 forty in Southern states is faster then northern states. The announcers promote the idea that these schools just don't have speed, they have special SEC speed. A common conference that is compared to the SEC is the Big10. The Big10 is believed to be large and slow and unable to withstand SEC speed. I will show how these idea has no basis in fact.
Similar to most theistic and irrational ideas, one anectodal event is given as evidence or FACT that supports the belief. Similar to theism this belief is supported by emotional impact and not a look at the facts overtime and across situations. The event that is commonly cited as support of SEC speed over Big10 slownes is Ohio State's 41-14 loss to Florida in the national Championship game last year. A huge loss for OSU and they did get crushed. However, can you use this as evidence that their is SEC speed and that the Big10 can't hang with SEC speed??
Well, if we look at the other two SEC vs. Big10 bowl matchups last year we find that the big10 won both games. PSU beat Tennessee and Wisconsin beat Arkansas.
Since the beginning of the BCS era (Bowl Championship Series which began in the 1998 season) the SEC is 18-17 vs. the Big10. Statistically a dead heat. How then is there this overwhelming dominance by this speical SEC speed??
Here are some more facts.
Of these 35 games the big10 won more games as the lower ranked team then the SEC did as the lower ranked teams. To highlight this idea---It means that the 4th or 5th ranked team in the big10 beat the 2nd or 3rd ranked team in the SEC more than vice versa.
Finally, bowl games are played in the South given SEC schools and advantage. Taken this confound into consideration the big10 is doing well against this mysterious "SEC SPEED."
"Those who think they know don't know. Those that know they don't know, know."