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Tuesday, January 03, 2006

Big XII v. SEC

I am refraining from joining the overall SEC/Big XII debate because I am an SEC homer and personally believe that the overall gameday experience and tradition of the SEC is unmatched by any other conference, including the Big XII. That is purely my own personal preference and strangely, I am not inclined to call all non-SEC lovers "idiots" or "morons".

But as far as which conference was better in 2005, straight-up records v. in-conference teams is not the ideal way to compare the two conferences because if you presume that the SEC/Big XII were overrated, then you are also presuming that their teams's national rankings are inflated. Therefore, let's look at:

Games v. Ranked and/or Bowl Teams out-of-conference

SEC: 12-9

Georgia - (2-1)Boise State (W), Georgia Tech (W), West Virginia (L)
Florida: (2-0) Florida State (W), Iowa (W)
South Carolina: (1-2) UCF (W), Clemson (L), Missouri (L)
Vanderbilt: N/A
Tennessee: (2-1) UAB (W), Notre Dame (L), Memphis (W)
Kentucky: (0-1) Lousiville (L)
LSU: (2-0) Arizona State (W), Miami (W)
Auburn: (0-2) Georgia Tech (L), Wisconsin (L)
Alabama: (2-0) Southern Miss (W), Texas Tech (W)
Arkansas: (0-1) USC (L)
Mississippi: (1-0) Memphis (W)
Mississippi State: (0-1) Houston (L)

Big XII: 10-8

Colorado: (1-2) Colorado State (W), Miami (L), Clemson (L)
Iowa State: (1-1) Iowa (W), TCU (L)
Nebraska: (1-0) Michigan (W)
Missouri: (2-1) Arkansas St. (W), New Mexico (L), South Carolina (W)
Kansas: (1-0) Houston (W)
Kansas State: N/A
Texas: (1-0) Ohio State (W) w/ game v. USC pending
Texas Tech: (0-1) Alabama (L)
Oklahoma: (2-2) TCU (L), Tulsa (W), UCLA (L), Oregon (W)
Texas A&M: (0-1) Clemson (L)
Baylor: (0-0) N/A
Oklahoma State: (1-0) Arkansas State (W)

The numbers are quite close. The "big-name" games, additionally, were similar as well. The SEC boasts wins over Florida State, Iowa, Miami and Texas Tech, while the Big XII boasts wins over Iowa, Michigan, Ohio State and Oregon. Head-to-head, the conferences split their two games (South Carolina-Missouri and Texas Tech-Alabama). I will note that getting credit for two "bowl" wins against Arkansas State is a bit of a stretch for the Big XII's record. Overall, I think this proves to rationally minded people that there is a reasonable argument in support of each conference with regard to which was better in 2005. I'll call it a dead heat, with the tiebreaker going to the Big XII should Texas beat USC on Wednesday night.


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