The SEC is taking the glass-half-full approach to what some have considered a disastrous bowl season.
Of course, to some diehards, anything less than a 12-0 record in the conference’s 12 bowl games would be less than expected.
Instead, as you probably know, the SEC was 7-5 in the bowls, and the top five teams from the West — Alabama, Mississippi State, Ole Miss, Auburn and LSU — went a combined 0-5.
Its ranked teams — which also included No. 1 Alabama, No. 7 Mississippi State and No. 9 Ole Miss — were 2-5, losing to a Big Ten team (Ohio State), and ACC team (Georgia Tech) and a Big 12 team (TCU).
“I think the tide turned a little bit when Wisconsin beat Auburn,” Ohio State coach Meyer said after the Sugar Bowl.
Some national columnists have been busy writing the SEC’s obit.
SEC commish Mike Slive choose to focus on the fact that the conference won seven games, which tied its own record for bowl wins by a conference. The conference also won seven bowls in 2007 and 2013.
“I’ve been pleased to see the anticipation and excitement surrounding the first year of the College Football Playoff,” Slive said. “The success of the semifinals was evidenced not only by the attendance at the games but also the high television ratings they registered. My congratulations go to Oregon and Ohio State for reaching the championship game. The SEC had a remarkable and unprecedented run of eight straight years in the title game and I look forward to seeing SEC teams compete in the CFP for many years to come.”
So for the first time in eight years, no SEC team will play for the national championship, one year after the conference’s seven-year title streak was stopped.
Has the rest of the country not only caught up with the SEC, but also surpassed it? What does the SEC need to do to return to the top of college football?