It’s hard to say where the SEC peaked. Might have been 2012 in Miami, when Alabama ran rough shot over Notre Dame for the conference’s seventh consecutive national championship. Or, it might have been at the end of 2015 when the Tide won big again, the conference went nine for eleven in the post season, and provided eight consensus All Americans (about twice as much as the next conference). Either way, it’ll be pretty easy to pin point when the conference crashed in flames; the last day of September 2017.
“This is death valley. This is truly a place where opponent’s dreams come to die.” Former LSU head coach made that famous quote after beating South Carolina in 2013, almost six years removed from winning a national championship and two years removed from playing for one. That small decline has turned into a bob sled race since then and finally crashed into an almost empty Tiger Stadium at night when the final score read: Troy 24 LSU 21. If cancer hadn’t claimed Mike VI’s life last year, this surely would have knocked it out of remission.
A Mississippi program that, at the highest of historical highs, beat Alabama two years in a row and were Sugar Bowl champions at the end of 2015, were almost wiped out in a nuclear blast by a spiteful Nick Saban squad 66 to 3. A loss that might not have even felt all that bad considering the off season fallout from an NCAA investigation and escort service scandal that derailed the career of a coach that was going to go down as one of the greatest to ever coach in Oxford. Hope that little Tampa tramp was worth it, Hugh.
Probably no fan base in the conference has suffered more for longer than Tennessee, though. Since firing National Championship Winning Coach Philip Fulmer in 2008, the Volunteers have struck out so badly on coaching hires that, “You don’t want to become Tennessee.” has been a constant argument used by any faction of a fan base that’s teetering on the edge of revolt. One vol fan family member got so irate at one of the last dozen loses to Alabama, that he actually yanked the keyboard away from the computer, threw it on the ground, proceeded to revert back to some rage-filled moment from his early childhood, and JUMPED UP AND DOWN on top of it.
Whether it be a long overdue change in the cycle that is college football, or just the result of trying to replace coaches like Steve Spurrier, Urban Meyer, and Les Miles over the years, everyone can and will point and laugh at this conference now. And with buyouts for coaches like, oh lets just pick one out of a hat here…Ed Orgeron (a linebackers coach just twelve months ago) going as high as TWELVE FUCKING MILLION DOLLARS, the SEC has become it’s own southern stereotype. An eccentric old-money-rich drunk , longing for the days of the past and buying the first shiny new thing it sees on the home shopping network late at night. Oh, and you can’t tell them not to, either. They’re GOING to buy that margarita machine, Diabetes test results be damned.