2007 SEC/Big10 Non-conference Comparison

FootballWanna know how “zomgAWESOMEeleventy!!1!!” the SEC is compared to the Big 10?

Three percent.

As in, “the Big 10 won 80% of its non-conference games, and the SEC won 83%.” Specifically, the Big 10 went 36-9, while the SEC went 40-8 (disparagement due to the SEC having one more team than the Big 10).

The teams in the Big 10 collectively averaged a 3.3 – 0.8 win/loss ratio, while the SEC’s ratio was 3.3 – 0.7. Last time I checked, seven- or eight-tenths of a loss was the same as a loss, so we can agree that it’s safe to round. Which means that both conferences averaged the same 3-1 ratio for their teams.

As for the opponents’ strength, SEC opponents had a 48% winning percentage; Big 10 opponents were at 41%. Less, yes, but arguably not that significant of a difference. Both groups of opponents were in clearly in the same range of “somewhere below average.” Oh, and both conferences played against the same number of FCS (I-AA) schools (four).

To sum up: Of course, it should be acknowledged that the SEC has a very slight edge – similar success against slightly better opponents. However, the margins are so close that, if the Big 10 also had twelve teams, the numbers would undoubtedly be even closer. (And this latter point is bolstered by the 3-1 per-team average across both conferences).

What is most important, though, is that clearly there is no significant superiority of one conference over another here. No matter how many times ESPN tries to pump this “SEC superiority” myth into the collective subconscious of CFB fans, there is absolutely no basis for it.

If the SEC were as tough and competitive as the myth claims, then either (1) their non-conference numbers would be off the charts, or (2) their opponents would be significantly superior to everyone else’s. Neither is the case – yet again – in 2007.


  1. One thing I’d like to add, but won’t in the body of the article above: none of this is to suggest the SEC is “weak,” or that the Big 10 is “strong.”

    It’s only meant to prove that there is no significant difference between one or the other.

  2. Appalachin State Rocks!!!!!!!!

  3. Just kiddin guys!

  4. “Appalachin State Rocks!!!!!!!! Just kiddin guys!”

    Why are you just kiddin’? Appy State does rock. They won the Division I-AA title this month. 🙂

  5. They also won it the last 2 years I believe. I remember them beating YSU in one of the playoff games when I lived in Youngstown.

    As far as “ESS EE SEE” superiority, they were supposed to be superior this year. This was supposed to be a rebuilding year for the Bucks. Hell we lost our QB, RB, and two biggest recieving threats, yet still managed to end up as the number 1. If the SEC teams were so much better, they wouldn’t have lost their games (/chuckle stanford /chuckle) and been #1 themselves. As useful as ESPN is for checking scores and highlights, they are about worthless when it comes to opinions (its like they are from Ann Arbor or something) and just talk way to much.

  6. Ooops… that wasn’t SEC that lost to Stanford… my bad

  7. Even guys who should know better (Herbie) repeat this non-sense ad nauseam. Don’t these analysts do any research? What exactly is their job? To parrot the party line in every 10 second sound bite they get? I found much of this info with a cursory google search in about five minutes. I guess that’s too much for them or their intern’s to handle.

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