SEC speed has been the descriptive term given to football programs that are just plain fast. Not programs that have a few fast backs and receivers, but teams that have speed all the way through the lineup, most notably along the defensive front.
I’ve always felt like calling it SEC speed was a bit of a misnomer, since it really started with Florida State and Miami, two non-SEC schools, but it was definitely a regional thing. That was one of the the things that has made the SEC along with Miami and FSU, so successful over the years. This week, I think, has proven that the concept has shifted. I first tweeted about it during the TCU demolition of Ole Miss.
I then went on to notice similar speed on defense watching Oregon dismantle Florida State and Ohio State go toe to toe, speed wise, with Alabama. It’s no longer just the teams in the SouthEast that have speed all over the field, other programs have caught up.
And really, that’s what this bowl season has taught us. The SEC is still full of talented football teams, but those teams are no longer all that different from other programs around the country. Yes, the college football media overestimated how good those teams were, shown by the woeful 2-5 record of the SEC West division teams in bowl games. The narrative of SEC dominance has been too good for them to come off that bandwagon, but the fact that our first playoff resulted in a final pitting Oregon and Ohio State, shows just how much the rest of the country has caught up to SEC speed.
By the way, speaking of that match up, how weird is it that the very first playoff results in the same match up that the very first NCAA Men’s basketball championship had as it’s final in 1939? Oregon won that one, 46-33 over Ohio State. I have a feeling the first ever football playoff championship at this level will end up with more points.