SEC: green conference 090317

What does the SEC envy about other conferences?

March, 17, 2009
3/17/09
10:33
AM ET

Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low

Why in the name of Paul W. "Bear" Bryant would the SEC be envious of other leagues?

After all, the SEC has won four of the last six BCS national championships, and Florida will be favored to make it five of the last seven next season.

Sure, they play football in other leagues around the country, but nobody lives it 365 days a year the way people do in the SEC.

But as we celebrate St. Patrick's Day, even the SEC has a few things to be envious of when it comes to other conferences:

Big 12 passing games: The SEC had Tim Tebow, Matthew Stafford and Jevan Snead last season, but nobody threw the football around the park like the Big 12 quarterbacks. Among them, the Big 12's top five quarterbacks (Sam Bradford, Graham Harrell, Colt McCoy, Chase Daniel and Todd Reesing) threw 200 touchdown passes last season. You could have put some of the SEC passing games out there for 30 games last season and they wouldn't have come close to reaching that total. In fact, the 12 teams in the SEC combined for a total of 208 touchdown passes last season to go along with 161 interceptions.

The JoePa way: Let's face it. Joe Paterno can do what he wants. I guess that's what happens when you're still kicking everybody's rear end at 82 and own more victories (383) than any other coach in FBS history. The guy's 82. He's had hip replacement surgery, and he's still going strong. Can you imagine any pour soul in the SEC lasting to even 70 as a head coach? JoePa has it figured out. He's untouchable. If he doesn't want to do a television interview he's contractually obligated to do, he doesn't do it. If he wants to chase down an official after the game, he does it. What are they going to do to him? He's JoePa. Not even Nick Saban has that kind of power.

The road in the ACC: Playing a game on the road in the ACC is akin to spending a few days at a quiet, secluded resort. In the SEC, you have to brave such places as Tiger Stadium on a Saturday night, the sweltering heat and ear-bursting noise of the Swamp or passion-filled Bryant-Denny Stadium with 90,000-plus fans going crazy and the ghost of the Bear leaning against the goal post in one end zone. Going on the road in the SEC is like a going to a brawl in the meanest, toughest neighborhood in town. With the exception of a few spots (Clemson, Florida State and Virginia Tech), going on the road in the ACC is like going on a vacation.

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