Sunday, March 15, 2009

What Happened To The SEC?

As I sit here and watch the championship game of the SEC Tournament, I am fascinated by what I see on the court between Tennessee and Mississippi State. And not in a good way.

The level of play is, quite frankly, pathetic. That statement is not so much an indictment of these two respective teams, but rather the league as a whole.

What happened to the SEC? Whether it's the coaching, the players or both, the league is a shadow of its former self.

We are not that far removed from Kentucky going to three straight NCAA Title games (1996-1998), winning two titles in the process.

And even more recently (2006 & 2007), Florida won back-to-back national titles.

But heading into Sunday's title game, the SEC was only guaranteed to get two teams into the NCAA Tournament. Mississippi State would have to beat Tennessee to make it three teams from the conference earning a trip to the Big Dance.

Both numbers are ridiculous when you consider the wealth of athletic talent in the nine states making up the Southeastern Conference. The league should be able to get at least four teams in the NCAA Tournament every year, even if they just held open tryouts for pickup games.

The SEC may still be King of the college football world, but on the hardwood, the league is close to holding down the last seat on the bench.

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