10 things the SEC can/can't claim
The SEC claims to be the best conference in college football, which it is, having won eight of the last 10 national titles and seven straight from 2006 to 2012.
That’s not the only thing the league has stamped as its own.
There are 10 people/things we have to come to an agreement on as far as what the SEC can and can’t claim.
1. Von Miller
He does have the freakish frame and athleticism of an SEC player, but we can’t claim Miller like SEC Network mistakenly did. The fact that Miller didn’t compete in the SEC and only played in the Big 12 from 2007 to 2010 prevents us from doing so.
Still, Texas A&M is in the SEC now, so it’s our job to keep Aggies fans up to date with his incredible career so far in the NFL.
2. Jerry Jones
The Dallas Cowboys owner played at Arkansas from 1962 to 1964, but that was while the Razorbacks were a member of the Southwest Conference.
If you ask some NFL fans, and even some Cowboys fans, claiming Jones in the first place isn’t that great of an idea.
3. Advanced recruiting tactics
The push for pay-for-play rages on in the NCAA, but many will say that’s already been going on for quite a while. In fact, many — we call them “haters” — will swear up and down that advanced recruiting tactics like that originated in the SEC because no one can understand why the conference could clean up like it does on the recruiting trail.
In the 2016 cycle, the SEC claimed five of the top 10 classes, and that sort of dominance has been a recurring theme for a long time.
4. Invention of the Wildcat
The SEC can’t say it invented the Wildcat, but it definitely spurred its recent popularity. Steve Spurrier used a variation of the single wing at times to take advantage of receiver Syvelle Newton’s versatile skill set. Arkansas would later do the same with Darren McFadden in the “Wild Hog” before several other teams — including some in the NFL like the Miami Dolphins, New York Jets and Cleveland Browns — used the philosophy extensively.
The Dolphins used it because David Lee, the Razorbacks offensive coordinator in 2007, brought it to Miami the next season. The Dolphins had successful stretches using the philosophy with former Auburn running back Ronnie Brown and 1998 Heisman winner Ricky Williams.
5. Ohio State national championship
The 2014 national title may have been won by a Big Ten program, but Ohio State won it under an SEC head coach. Come on, we all know Urban Meyer was groomed by the SEC, right? OK, maybe that claim is a stretch.
6. Conference championship games
The SEC was the first to decide its football champion the way it should be decided, and that’s with a conference championship game. You hear that, Big 12? Oh, nevermind because the Big 12 looks to be getting on board with that soon.
The original loophole to allow conference championship games was created after proposals from a couple Division II conferences back in 1987. Nonetheless, the SEC was the first to take advantage of the rule change.
7. SEC speed
There’s your speed, then there’s “SEC speed.” That phrase can sometimes be overused and embellished, but it certainly has merit. A conference doesn’t have this much success without visible advantages in speed and athleticism, among other things.
That’s why it’s no coincidence that former SEC players posted two of the three fastest 40-yard dash times in the 2016 NFL Combine: former Georgia running back Keith Marshall (4.31) and former Auburn cornerback Jonathan Jones (4.33).
8. Securities and Exchange Commission
The Southeastern Conference may not own the Securities and Exchange Commission in the literal sense, but it does in terms of Google search results. Let’s face it. If we were to poll everyone in the United States, more people would know what SEC stood for in the football sense than they would in the governmental sense.
We know the SEC has only claimed one of the two College Football Playoff national titles so far. However, the SEC can actually claim the CFP from the standpoint that it was former SEC commissioner Mike Slive who first brought up the “plus-one” concept and led the way to institute it.
So yeah, in a way the SEC can claim the College Football Playoff.
10. The NFL
After all, the SEC does feed the NFL more talent than any other conference. Heck, an NFL-SEC merger was predicted — albeit in a tongue-in-cheek way by ESPN.com — after which Alabama and LSU would win Super Bowl titles.
That was clearly a lighthearted piece, but there’s no denying the impact the SEC has on the NFL.