You know that guy.

The “SEC bias” guy is the worst. OK, I suppose there are a handful of people that are worse to get stuck in a conversation with — I’ve always hated “one-up” guy — but if you’ve encountered “SEC bias” guy, you know what I mean.

He’s defensive. He’s unaccountable. He’s bitter.

I’ll let you in on another secret.

He’s in denial.

He’s in denial of where the SEC sits heading into 2023. That is, riding 4 consecutive national titles by 3 different programs. That is, riding a streak of 17 consecutive years of having the most players selected in the NFL Draft. That is, having 19 teams in the past 17 national championships.

Those 3 stats, you might already know. But next time “SEC bias” guy corners you at the bar, hit him with these 5 stats that he’ll hate:

1. In the past 4 years, the SEC is 14-2 in New Year’s 6 bowl games

Well, excluding that time when Alabama and Georgia faced off in a national championship at the end of the 2021 season.

That’s probably the part of this current national championship streak that gets lost in the shuffle. Think about that. During this 4-year stretch, the SEC’s elite teams have gone 14-2 on the New Year’s 6 bowl stage. That’s strong. Like, the type of strong that would probably justify a 9-3 SEC team earning a New Year’s 6 bowl berth instead of a 10-2 Big 12 team that comes from the conference that just got its first Playoff game victory this past season.

The 2 SEC losses in that stretch came in the 2021 Sugar Bowl when Ole Miss lost Matt Corral to an injury in the first quarter against Baylor — my guess is the Bears probably still would’ve won that game — and when Florida’s decimated roster was dismantled by red-hot Oklahoma in the 2020 Cotton Bowl. At full strength, sure, both Ole Miss and Florida probably still were going to be in a tough spot. Still, though.

Look at the SEC’s mark in New Year’s 6 bowl games from 2019-22 compared to the other Power 5 conferences:

  • SEC — 14-2
  • Big Ten — 5-4
  • Big 12 — 5-4
  • Pac-12 — 1-4
  • ACC — 1-6

To recap, the SEC has more New Year’s 6 bowl victories in the past 4 years (14) than the rest of the Power 5 combined (12). Yowza.

2. The SEC champ played in the national championship in 16 of the past 17 years

Wait, what? For real?

Read it and weep:

  • 2006 Florida (beat Ohio State in BCS National Championship)
  • 2007 LSU (beat Ohio State in BCS National Championship)
  • 2008 Florida (beat Oklahoma in BCS National Championship)
  • 2009 Alabama (beat Texas in BCS National Championship)
  • 2010 Auburn (beat Oregon in BCS National Championship)
  • 2011 LSU (lost to Alabama in BCS National Championship)
  • 2012 Alabama (beat Notre Dame in BCS National Championship)
  • 2013 Auburn (lost to Florida State in BCS National Championship)
  • 2014 Alabama (lost in CFP semifinal)
  • 2015 Alabama (beat Clemson in CFP National Championship)
  • 2016 Alabama (lost to Clemson in CFP National Championship)
  • 2017 Georgia (lost to Alabama in CFP National Championship)
  • 2018 Alabama (lost to Clemson in CFP National Championship)
  • 2019 LSU (beat Clemson in CFP National Championship)
  • 2020 Alabama (beat Ohio State in CFP National Championship)
  • 2021 Alabama (lost to Georgia in CFP National Championship)
  • 2022 Georgia (beat TCU in CFP National Championship)

That 2014 Ohio State team really was a unicorn.

When we say that the SEC Championship is the closest thing to a national championship, it’s because of a number like that. It’s crazy to think that in 3 of the 7 years that the SEC champ didn’t go on to win a national title, it was because it faced another SEC team in the title game. Crazy, I know.

Meanwhile, the winner of the Big Ten Championship game, which began in 2011, has only had its champion reach the title game twice in those 12 seasons. The Pac-12 Championship also began in 2011, and 2014 Oregon was the lone champ to reach the title game while the Big 12 champ hasn’t played in a national title game since 2008 (remember that Kansas State won the conference title last year in that thriller against eventual-national runner-up TCU).

The ACC had its champ play in the national title game 5 times in the past decade, but the conference is just 0-2 in the Playoff in the past 3 seasons (2020 Notre Dame played in the ACC that season).

That point would’ve quieted “SEC bias” guy during all those years when he demanded that non-SEC conference championships should matter more than an 11-1 mark from an SEC team.

3. No head coach willingly left the SEC for another Power 5 job during the Playoff era, which is a much different story for everyone else

The last time we saw a coach leave the SEC for a Power 5 job outside of the conference was after the 2013 season when James Franklin made the understandable move from Vanderbilt to Penn State. Before that? Lane Kiffin left Tennessee for USC after the 2009 season. To recap, the only instance in the past decade in which an SEC coach left the conference directly for another Power 5 head coaching job without getting fired was going from Vandy to Penn State.

During the Playoff era, every other Power 5 conference watched multiple coaches willingly go outside of the conference for new jobs.

Oregon alone had 2 coaches leave for Power 5 jobs in Florida in the past 5-plus years. After 2019, the Pac-12 also watched Mel Tucker leave Colorado for Michigan State while Mike Leach left Washington State for Mississippi State.

Jeff Brohm just left Purdue for Louisville, which marked the first time a Big Ten coach left for another job since Gary Andersen left Wisconsin for Oregon State after the 2014 season. But in addition to Jimbo Fisher leaving Florida State for Texas A&M in 2017, the ACC also saw Brohm’s predecessor, Scott Satterfield, leave Louisville for Big 12-bound Cincinnati to replace Luke Fickell, who left for Wisconsin. After 2021, Lincoln Riley left Oklahoma for USC.

Why is that significant? It’s hard to argue that you’re a true destination conference if you have coaches making moves outside of the conference. It’s not that every SEC job is elite. The SEC does, however, have teams like Kentucky and Ole Miss that are now paying their respective coaches north of $9 million annually.

Money talks. The SEC doesn’t let others come in and poach its coaches. You either get fired (with a hefty buyout) or a raise. There’s no in between.

4. The last time another conference had more first-round picks than the SEC was … 2015

Everyone knows about the total draft pick streak that dates to 2007, but “SEC bias” guy probably just says that’s a byproduct of having a 14-team conference (he also makes no mention of the fact that the ACC and Big Ten have also been a 14-team conference during the Playoff era).

But there’s no bias in picking someone in Round 1. Sorry. You can’t get to that level without being freakishly talented. The SEC has owned the Round 1 title (or at least a share of it like this year) in each of the past 7 NFL Drafts. In 12 of the past 15 NFL Drafts, the SEC had the most guys picked in the first round.

And if you believe that someone like Anthony Richardson is drafted simply because he played in the SEC, might I remind you that unproven college quarterbacks like Daniel Jones (ACC), Jake Locker (Pac-12) and Josh Allen (Mountain West) all got that kind of love.

The first-round numbers over the course of the last 7 NFL Drafts suggest “SEC bias” probably isn’t fueling front offices to make life-changing decisions:

  • SEC — 66
  • Big Ten — 32
  • ACC — 30
  • Pac-12 — 23
  • Big 12 — 13

I don’t think you can chalk that disparity up to “SEC bias.”

5. Even if you took out Alabama … the SEC still has more than twice as many national titles as any other conference since the start of the BCS era

You know that “SEC bias” guy and “it’s just Alabama” guy are best friends. It’ll stop them in their tracks to realize that even if erased Alabama from the SEC and just made the Tide an independent, the SEC would still have more than twice as many titles in the BCS/Playoff era as any other conference.

Look it up on the NCAA website. I’m not lying. Remove Alabama from the SEC’s total and here’s your breakdown of NCAA-acknowledged national champions since the beginning of the BCS era (1998-present):

  • Non-Alabama SEC — 9
  • Alabama — 6
  • ACC — 4
  • Pac-12 —2
  • Big 12 — 2
  • Big Ten — 2
  • Ind. — 1

Shoot, you can make Alabama and Georgia independents and the SEC would still comfortably own the national title crown since the start of the BCS era.

Sorry, “SEC bias” guy. You need a new hill to die on.