Coaches around the country seem to enjoy talking about the SEC this offseason. Oklahoma coach Bob Stoops questioned the conference's depth earlier this summer while also deriding its perceived dominance as "propaganda." Just this week, Washington State's Mike Leach said the bottom of the Pac-12 is better than the bottom of the SEC.
On Thursday, Nebraska head coach Bo Pelini gave the world his two cents on the matter:
Bo Pelini: "The whole SEC isn't Alabama. There are a lot of teams in the SEC that would like to be Nebraska."— Dan Wolken (@DanWolken) July 25, 2013
That got us thinking. Outside of Alabama, which SEC teams would rather have Nebraska's history and program than their own? To the spreadsheets!
Below, we added Nebraska's basic program profile to every SEC team's and made a table with the school names removed. We included categories for claimed national titles, average attendance from the 2012 season, total revenue from the 2011 season (which is the most recent data available, and which doesn't fully account for Nebraska's Big Ten money boost), and average recruiting rank from the last six years of the 247Composite rankings. This is what we got:
Can you guys guess which one Alabama is? Don't worry, I'll wait. Once the ominous school A is set aside, most would probably put schools D, E, and G on the top tier, with schools J, M, and N either along with them or close behind.
Before revealing the names, how would you rank these snapshots, and where do you think Nebraska slots in?
And now, when you reveal those names:
First off, Pelini went out of his way to say how good Alabama is, and judging by the table (and every shred of evidence from the past five years), he's right. Roll Tide.
You will note that Nebraska is School J, and compares favorably in terms of program measurables against most teams in the SEC. The Huskers aren't Alabama, for sure, and most would probably go with Georgia, Florida, and LSU moving forward. But after those teams, you can at least make an argument that Nebraska is a better program than the remaining SEC programs.
Nebraska has more national championships than 11 SEC schools, bigger crowds than seven (and that's discounting the fact that the Huskers play in a smaller stadium than they could fill), better recruiting than five (despite playing much farther away from elite recruiting grounds), and, even without accounting for its full Big Ten share, more football money than four.
How would you rank or group the teams? What other factors would move Nebraska up or down the ranks?
It's likely a different story when it comes to projecting for the future, but I'm just here for the numbers. Hot takes don't fall in my pay grade.