John Adams: It's the SEC vs. everyone else ... and the SEC is winning

John Adams
FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2010, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban holds up the trophy after defeating Texas 37-21 in the BCS national championship NCAA college football game in Pasadena, Calif. The D word - as in dynasty - is off-limits around Alabama. But if Saban's Crimson Tide can beat No. 1 Notre Dame to become the first team to win consecutive BCS championships and three national titles in four years, Alabama will lay claim to one of the sport's great runs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

FILE - In this Jan. 7, 2010, file photo, Alabama head coach Nick Saban holds up the trophy after defeating Texas 37-21 in the BCS national championship NCAA college football game in Pasadena, Calif. The D word - as in dynasty - is off-limits around Alabama. But if Saban's Crimson Tide can beat No. 1 Notre Dame to become the first team to win consecutive BCS championships and three national titles in four years, Alabama will lay claim to one of the sport's great runs. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez, File)

At the risk of sports sacrilege, I have a message for college football programs outside the SEC: "Give up."

I realize that contradicts the very essence of athletic competition, which teaches us to keep trying no matter what the odds, and to keep getting up no matter how many times we get knocked down.

But sports doesn't teach us to detach ourselves from reality.

Reality: There are two divisions in college football, and I'm not referring to the FBS and the FCS. It's the SEC and everybody else.

If you haven't figured that out by now, your head is buried in synthetic turf.

The SEC just won its seventh consecutive national championship. And that's only the tip of the juggernaut.

Check out the top-25 rankings. Give me an "S."

Check out the NFL mock drafts. Give me an "E."

Check out the recruiting rankings. Give me a "C."

What's that spell?

It spells "game over."

That doesn't mean some talented revved-up team from college football's second division can't beat an SEC team. The recent bowls proved that.

Northwestern upset Mississippi State. Louisville embarrassed Florida. And Clemson beat LSU, which supposedly has more NFL-caliber players than the Jacksonville Jaguars.

Those outcomes provide just enough exceptions to the rule to convince the rest of college football that the national championship is an open competition.

In fact, an SEC outsider would have had a better chance of finding Big Foot, the Loch Ness Monster and Manti Te'o's girlfriend on the same day as beating Alabama in last month's national championship game.

Not convinced of the SEC's dominance? Then check out an NFL mock draft. I don't care if it's NFL-certified or compiled by your next-door neighbor, it will reek of SEC superiority.

The mock draft I chose projects five SEC players being taken in the first nine picks and 13 in the first round.

The rest of college football's likely response to those NFL-bound SEC-types: "Good riddance."

But don't get your hopes up, guys. The SEC is all about reloading and repeating.

You think Alabama's bludgeoning of Notre Dame was discouraging? Wednesday's signing day will be even grimmer for the large majority of teams that aren't under the SEC umbrella.

Four SEC teams — Alabama, Texas A&M, Georgia and Florida — that finished No. 9 or better in The Associated Press' top-25 poll also are ranked among the top-nine teams in national recruiting polls.

Translation: Alabama won't be the only SEC team celebrating on national signing day.

Alabama and Florida are in the mix for the No. 1-ranked class. More than two-thirds of the SEC likely will have a top-25 class.

The league's recruiting depth is almost as great a testament to its prominence as those seven consecutive national titles.

Ole Miss was 2-10 two years ago. Now, it's coming off a 7-6 season and threatening to pull in a top-10 recruiting class.

Auburn didn't win an SEC game in 2012, brought in a new coaching staff and is recruiting at a top-15 pace.

Tennessee has had three consecutive losing seasons. It fired coach Derek Dooley and hired Butch Jones. But it still could have a top-20 recruiting class.

What does that tell the rest of college football?

Give up.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

© 2013 govolsxtra.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

  • Discuss
  • Print

Comments » 5

arkyvol writes:

is this supposed to make us feel better, reminding us that instead of competing, the vols are just along for the ride?

8inarow writes:

in response to arkyvol:

is this supposed to make us feel better, reminding us that instead of competing, the vols are just along for the ride?

Lane Kiffin made you feel better....for a while.

Rumblefish writes:

Is John Adams saying the SEC is elite in college football??? WHO KNEW!?!??!?!?!

Thank you KNS for employing JA, so that he can edumacate all ov us non foosball likes.

This article is just plain c.r.a.p.

oldbasshead writes:

John, the same logic says that UT and the rest of the SEC should give up against Ala, Fl and LSU. We are not going to do that and neither is any of the non-SEC teams. UT fans will be just as hopeful, perhaps as ND was when they played Ala for NC, when we meet Fl and Ala. It is not in hte human nature to give up.

madhatter writes:

Good article John. You are right on target!

Want to participate in the conversation? Become a subscriber today. Subscribers can read and comment on any story, anytime. Non-subscribers will only be able to view comments on select stories.

Features