The AJC has an interesting piece on the competitiveness of SEC conference games this season.
The SEC is a fairly tough league that has many closely matched teams while other conferences are either weak top to bottom or very top heavy (or has a lot of dead weight). Still, I don’t like seeing the SEC in this company in any context:
The average margin in the 25 SEC games this season is 10.36 points.
The only conference with a lower average margin is the Big East, which has played eight intra-league games. The average margin in those games is 9.38 points.
Rivaling the SEC in competitiveness is the ACC, where 13 of 19 intra-conference games — 68 percent — have been decided by 10 points or less. The average margin in ACC games is 10.95 points.
The SEC is just deeper, especially when you consider
Of the seven SEC games decided by more than 10 points this season, three have been Florida victories by 24 over Tennessee, 31 over Arkansas and 30 over LSU. Yet, the Gators lost by one point to Ole Miss, which has dropped its other three SEC games by 6, 7 and 4 points.
The other 10+ point wins are Georgia’s Tennesee win (12 points), Alabama’s wins in Athens (11 points) and Fayetteville (35 points), and Tennessee’s win over Mississippi State (31 points). Those losses are scattered among several teams, unlike the Pac-10.
My view, like most pundits east of the Mississippi, is that top to bottom, the SEC is a tougher league than all others but the Big 12 (and I think the SEC is still tougher, especially at the middle and bottom). The SEC doesn’t have the one team dominating the league, like I believe Texas will end up doing. It also doesn’t have the two teams that are exhibiting new highs in suckitude, like the Big 12, the Big East and the Pac-10 do. It doesn’t have multiple teams that play extremely well one week, then extremely poorly the next, like the ACC. With both Arkansas (Vandy) and Mississippi State (Auburn, I know, I know) picking off teams that are in the top 3 of their division, even games against the Hogs or the Bizzaro Dogs can’t really be put in the win column until the game is played.
I am sticking by what Rennie has to say about the situation.
“Every week is a struggle in the SEC,” said Georgia linebacker Rennie Curran, who explains the close games the same way most people in the league do: “There’s so much talent and fan support from top to bottom that it’s hard to have a game where you just completely pound a team.”
That’s right. Too bad other people don’t see it that way. Either way, the BCS will shake itself out and a one loss SEC champ goes to Miami over any other one loss champ but Texas (and possibly Okie State). A road win in Baton Rouge will mean plenty for the Dawgs, even if it is by one point.