SEC superhero Paul Finebaum is notorious for his well-informed knowledge of SEC football, dismantling callers’ opinions on The Paul Finebaum Show, and defending all things sports in the Southeast.
On ESPN’s show Get Up!, host Mike Greenberg, formerly of Mike and Mike with co-host Mike Golic, made the case, as many people have recently, that the Big Ten conference is better than the SEC this season.
Finebaum squashed that argument in less than two minutes.
“That’s not possible to make that statement right now for a couple of reasons,” Finebaum said. “In college football, what you do at the end of the season matters. I need not tell you, in the final game last year we had two SEC teams playing for the national championship. We did not have a Big Ten team in the Playoff for the first time. In fairness, the Big Ten won the first Playoff with Ohio State, but since then, the Big Ten has been in the Playoff two times. Michigan State and Ohio State. If my math is correct, the combined score of those two games on the losing end was 69-0. You have to look at the College Football Playoff.
“The top of the Big Ten is fantastic, but the top of the SEC isn’t bad either. There are good teams at the top. Now there’s drop-off in the middle. On the next to the last of July, that’s great statement to make (Big Ten is better), I’m not buying it though.”
If anyone can back up this argument, it’s the SEC Network guru. I mean, the guy wrote a book with Gene Wojciechowski in 2015 titled “My Conference Can Beat Your Conference: Why the SEC Still Rules College Football.”
Regardless of surface arguments, that fact still holds true in 2018.
The SEC has won 12 of the last 20 national championships. In the BCS era, the SEC went 9-2 in national championship games — the Big Ten only had three appearances, all by Ohio State, which went 1-2 over that span.
Since the inception of the College Football Playoff system, the only season the Big Ten managed to knock off the SEC was the CFP’s inaugural year, when Ohio State won the national title, beating Alabama in the semifinal 42-35.
Since then, as Finebaum pointed out, the Big Ten has yet to score a point in the CFP tournament.
Despite the argument that the Big Ten is better from top to bottom than the SEC, both conferences’s had five teams ranked in the final AP Poll to finish the 2017 season.
Last season, the entire Big Ten conference had a record of 103-75.
The SEC? They were a few games better at 107-73.
Score another one for the Southeast.
Well, maybe it’s the players that make the Big Ten better?
Yeah, right — The SEC led all conferences for the 12th year in a row having 53 players selected in the NFL Draft compared to 32 coming from the Big Ten.
It’s the SEC’s world, and people will do anything they can to change the narrative and pull the focus of college football away from the nation’s top conference.
Thankfully, people like Paul Finebaum exist to put SEC doubters in their place.