Defense In The SEC Is M.I.A

The SEC is the TDE of college football. Eh, maybe the Roc Nation, G.O.O.D. Music or Young Money of college football — nah, I was right the first time, the TDE. The SEC is hands down the best football conference in college football. Last year, they put 63 players in the NFL draft. Two years ago, LSU and Alabama played the best boring BCS championship game ever, with both teams playing in a slug match that ended 21-0. Every year the homes in the SEC are built on defense…but not this season.

Ole Miss 39 – Vanderbilt 35, Georgia 41 – South Carolina 30, Alabama 49 – Texas A&M 42, Georgia 44 – LSU 41, Texas A&M 45 – Arkansas 33 just to name a few scores this season. Those scores don’t sound like the Goliath SEC defenses we’re used to seeing. What’s going in the SEC these days? SEC teams have won the last seven national championships. The highest score that any opponent scored was 21 points. In any college football game these days holding a team to 21 points is damn near a shutout.

So, back to business. What the hell is wrong with these 2013 SEC defenses? While the spread offense has infested college football like a virus in a 3rd grade elementary class, the SEC stayed spread offense free, sticking to the tried and true pro-style offenses. I have no problem with the pro-style offense, but we have to be honest with ourselves. The SEC quarterbacks have sucked in recent years. The only good QBs were Cam Newton, Tim Tebow, Matt Stafford and JaMarcus Russell in these past seven years. A.J. McCarron was good, but not elite last season if you ask me. (Editor’s Note: Two of those four names flamed out in the NFL with the quickness.)

Look at today’s SEC though, the QBs are off the charts. A.J. McCarron has grown, Aaron Murray will play in the NFL and Zach Mettenberger has come to the light since Cam Cameron became his offensive coordinator. Oh, yeah, there’s this guy named Johnny Manziel that balls out on and off the field.

The NFL is a quarterback league. There’s no reason that Aaron Rodgers, with no running game and a terrible defense, should have even made the playoffs last season. The 2011 Colts had no QB, a year later with essentially the same roster, a rookie QB in Andrew Luck comes in and takes them to the playoffs. Hell, the Patriots are 4-0 and Tom Brady is throwing to JV wide receivers.

College football on the other hand is dominated by the SEC. The conference has the defensive lineman with the size and athleticism to control the line and get to the quarterback. The defensive players are so good that great QB play isn’t really needed. The SEC plays a throwback style of football reminiscent of what we saw in the ‘90s.

Maybe it’s just cyclical and this offensive explosion is just an early season aberration. As the temps cool down, maybe the ball doesn’t go through the air so swiftly and scores drop down from Arena League digits. Or, we’re on the cusp of a QB transformation in the SEC, where offenses start to match the production of defenses. If that’s the case, then the SEC perch as top dog not only will continue, but last into the foreseeable future.