Not many teams who arent in the SEC as of now could play those teams schedules and survive..
We're going in circles here. If the only argument you have that the SEC is "overrated" is the A&M argument, well, that's about as flimsy as it gets. Find me when you have something that discredits:
- 6 straight National Championships
- 9-3 in BCS games since 2006
- 243-45 in non-conference games (up until this season over that 6 year span)
- a ridiculous superiority in terms of pipe-lining players to the NFL (have lead every conference the last 6 seasons in NFL draftees...40 a year on average)
- the highest paid coaches are in the SEC (over 75% of the 12 highest paid)
- The conference cleans up in Bowl Season. In those 6 years, every SEC team, including Mizzou and A&M, have won a bowl game and reached at least two bowls. No other conference can brag about that depth.
- 5 teams are going to their 5th bowl in as many years.
- Eight have been to 6 bowls in the last 9 years
- They've won more bowl games and been to more bowl games than any other conference.
- They haven't had a losing record in bowl season in over a decade. They do trail the Big East and MWC in bowl win % over that 6 year span, but I think we know why.
36-19 in bowls.
Big 12 25-22
Big 10 17-30
And so on, and so on and so on.
You can complain about their cupcake OOC games during the regular season, but the bowl game evidence is compelling.
All 9 SEC teams are favored in their bowls. We'll see how many upsets there are.
Texas A&M coming in and exceeding expectations doesn't mean anything more than Texas A&M was better than we all thought. Yes, other conferences have talent, talent that can match up with SEC talent, but again, that doesn't make the SEC overrated. Its accolades and success speaks for itself.
A&M having success doesn't nullify those facts. It doesn't make them not the best, because they so very clearly are. Maybe they aren't gods among men, but they definitely wear the big boy pants.
Also, if you search long enough you are going to find blemishes in any conference. I think most would agree that the Pac-12 had their best year in quite awhile. Since that is the case, then how did a UCLA program that had been dormant for a long time become legitimate? A&M and UCLA were both energized by new head coaches that were changing the outlook of their programs, and exciting RS FR QBs. So, it seems very flawed to say that the SEC is overrated simply because a mediocre program had a huge turnaround. This happens more often than you would expect...
The natural problem with judging "ratedness" is that the population as a whole has those over overrate, and those who underrate...as well as those that rate fairly.
So yes, some people overrate the SEC. And clearly some people underrate it. I guess a lot of this would be easier if we stated how exactly we do rate it.
I'm not saying they can beat, or even hang with, NFL teams. I'm not sure if Jerry is saying the SEC is the best conference but only barely, or if he thinks they aren't even better than the other conferences.
A&M was mediocre last season, and not mediocre in the SEC this year. Maybe they did just get substantially better? Maybe they didn't and you guys are right that the SEC isn't that great. Who really knows? Either way, one team switching conferences and exceeding or failing to meet expectations doesn't prove anything. That's all it comes down to. A&M's success are not - again - an indictment on anything.
However, I kind of see your point at the end. I do agree that the SEC can be a little bit overrated and also the best conference. I used to be in the camp of thinking the SEC was way overrated, but I've changed my tune after a few matchups between Oregon and the SEC...