Bad news Alabama fans. The media contingent at SEC Media Days picked your team to win the SEC Championship.
That typically would be something to be happy about until you consider the accuracy with which the media’s picks actually turn out to be correct.
The media has only accurately predicted a team to win the SEC five times in the last 24 years.
In fairness, a few of Saban’s Alabama teams did in fact prove the media correct. But a .208 batting average on predicting SEC champions won’t make even the most confident Alabama fan feel all that secure. OK, it probably does, but hey, a trend is a trend.
While this may be perceived as dig at the media members voting in the SEC Media Days predictions, it speaks to how truly competitive the conference is and reflects just how difficult this conference is to win.
Just ask the 2011 Alabama team about that. The Crimson Tide didn’t win the SEC title, let alone the SEC West crown, during a season in which it won a national championship (Alabama defeated LSU 21-0 in the BCS Championship in a rematch of a 9-6 regular season overtime loss two months earlier).
Even though Alabama has dominated the league since 2009, Auburn has won two SEC titles during that span, including winning the 2010 national title and coming within a few seconds of winning it again in 2013.
We are following this conference in an era when Mississippi State was actually ranked No. 1 in the country (2014), Ole Miss has a two-game win streak over Alabama, Missouri played in two SEC Championship Games and Georgia fired the head coach of team that would finish with 10 wins. You cannot deny the competitiveness of the conference and the importance for football at all the schools.
It’s the teams, the coaches and the players that make us watch. It’s the excitement and unpredictably that thrills us. The media may not correctly predict the champion many seasons. But it’s not their fault. There are too many good teams to be right all the time.
Other conferences don’t have what the SEC has. That’s why other conferences can’t match the SEC.