As Alabama football leads the way, has the SEC regained its swagger?

SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 09: Davin Bellamy
SOUTH BEND, IN - SEPTEMBER 09: Davin Bellamy /

After the Clemson championship win against Alabama football, the SEC finished the 2016 season, 11-15 against Power Five teams. Is the SEC regaining its swagger?

Going back 21 seasons to 1996, SEC football teams have won 11 national championships. Alabama football has led the way with four, then Florida with three, LSU with two and Tennessee and Auburn with one each. The math is simple. Combined, the other Power Five conferences have won 10 national championships in the same period.

Those are facts college football fans and they are not in dispute. Counter to such facts, over the last two seasons buzz has spread that the SEC has lost its swagger. A couple of months ago we challenged the foolishness on behalf of SEC football fans everywhere.

Admittedly, our earlier post, while not belligerent, was stated with an overabundance of arrogance. This time we will admit to some cracks in the SEC football foundation. The bottom half of the league may not be able to claim superiority over the bottom half of other Power Five conferences. But that is an exercise for another day.

So many fans label college football history as all the seasons up to about 2012, we will cooperate with a short-term view. In 2016, SEC football did not fare well against other Power Five conferences. In all 2016 games, SEC football was 11-15 against Power Five teams. Alabama football was 2-1. Tennessee and Georgia picked up two Power Five wins as well.

On the other end of the SEC football spectrum, Auburn, South Carolina, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Vanderbilt and Missouri went 0-for-2016 against Power Five teams.

How is SEC football faring in 2017?

So far in 2017, SEC football performance has been stronger. Even with Auburn, Florida, TAMU and Auburn tanking the SEC football 2017 record against Power Five teams is 5-4. Alabama football had the biggest win against FSU and Georgia enhanced the SEC reputation by taking down Notre Dame in South Bend.

In week three of the college football season, Vanderbilt takes on Kansas State, Ole Miss has California and Missouri lines up against Purdue. After those Power Five games, conference play dominates schedules until late in the season. Before the 2017 bowl season, SEC football teams will compete in 17 games against Power Five teams.

SEC Swagger lost? Perhaps. SEC Swagger regained? Not yet, but there is plenty of football to go in 2017.

Next: 30 Greatest Football Games in Tide History

From a ‘let’s keep things in perspective’ angle, a close Vandy loss to Kansas State (KSU) will enhance the SEC football reputation. A couple of pundits picked the Wildcats to make the CFB Playoff. We find that a stretch but top three or four in the Big 12 could be achieved by KSU.