The dominance of the Southeastern Conference goes well beyond the football field. We know the SEC has notched six consecutive national championships on the gridiron, but the dominance across the sports spectrum is amazing. Commissioner Mike Slive has repeatedly called this the “golden age” of the conference and a quick glance around the NCAA Champions will show Slive is correct.
Last week, the Alabama Crimson Tide wrapped a national title in women’s softball. They trophy will be added to the case that already includes a football national championship (two in the last three years), a gymnastics national title and a third in women’s golf for this academic year. Not too shabby.
The Florida Gators can boast titles this academic year in men’s indoor track and field and in women’s tennis. Kentucky captured the men’s national title in basketball. South Carolina has won the last two baseball national championship and the Gamecocks are still alive in the current postseason. All told the SEC has recorded seven national titles this year. The number could rise to eight as South Carolina is joined by three other conference teams in the College World Series which will close out this academic sports year.
In the six years since the SEC captured its first BCS National Title, the conference has won 33 national titles. As a matter of fact the SEC has won titles in every sport offered by the NCAA – except volleyball.
This type of dominance doesn’t happen by accident. Commissioner Mike Slive has positioned himself at the top of the pecking order among league leaders. The SEC under Slive jumped out in front of the rest of the college athletic world with massive TV contracts with both ESPN and CBS. That money made the best conference in college football even better. The recent list of national champions shows the trickle down affect that is lost on so many. The revenue brought in by these TV contracts has jump started the SEC up the ladder in national prominence in other athletic events. Money is the separating factor in college athletics and no conference has more of it than the SEC. The conference continues to separate itself from the rest of the college sports world and shows no sign of slowing down.