Southeastern Conference Stays in News for Various Reasons

By Tim Letcher

The Southeastern Conference has been in the news all week for various reasons. The primary reason was the gathering of coaches, administrators and conference personnel in Destin, Fla., for the conference’s spring meetings. However, the SEC made news outside of Destin as well.

The main topic of discussion in Destin, under the direction of commissioner Mike Slive, was whether the conference should add a ninth conference football game to the schedule. The proposal, which was favored by Nick Saban, head coach of the Alabama Crimson Tide, was voted down, and the conference will remain at eight games for the time being.

But with the SEC Network set to launch in the fall of 2014, look for a ninth game to be added within the next three to five years.

As if that wasn’t news enough, late in the week came comments from Gordon Gee, the president of the Ohio State Buckeyes. Gee criticized the SEC, saying that when the SEC can learn to read and write, they would figure out what the Big Ten Conference is doing. Gee also took shots at the Notre Dame Fighting Irish and the Louisville Cardinals in his comments.

On Thursday, Tim Brewster, former head coach of the Minnesota Golden Gophers and now wide receivers coach for the Florida State Seminoles, called out the SEC, saying the ‘Noles would play any SEC team, anytime, anywhere. And while the Seminoles do play Florida every year, they aren’t exactly knocking down the doors of any other SEC team to meet on the gridiron.

Maybe Brewster was just following the lead of his boss, FSU head coach Jimbo Fisher, who earlier in the week compared the Atlantic Coast Conference to the SEC, saying the number of top recruits and NFL players from each of the conferences is similar. However, Fisher recanted a bit later in the same interview saying that the ACC had to win more games.

This all got started a couple of weeks ago when Bob Stoops, head coach of the Oklahoma Sooners, called out the SEC, saying the top five or six teams were really good, but that the bottom teams were not. Stoops indicated that the depth of the Big 12 Conference made it a tougher conference overall than the SEC.

Ironicially, Stoops was indirectly criticizing his brother’s new team, as Mark Stoops is now the head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats.

What does all of this prove? It shows that when a conference dominates college football, there is a lot of jealousy in other conferences. That’s where teams from the ACC, the Big 12 and others want to be — at the top of the college football landscape.

But until someone outside of the SEC wins a national championship, all of this talk from Gee, Brewster, Fisher and Bob Stoops is just a lot of hot air.

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