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This topic has been broached briefly in a couple of threads, but I'm finally throwing the gauntlet down for full debate on the subject.
I don't get why people feel that Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU being dominant helps us. If Alabama wins on January 7th, do we get to claim another national title? Is it going to land us any recruits? Does anyone here enjoy chanting, "SEC, SEC" more than singing Rocky Top at the top of their lungs?
I want to debate the topic with those who feel differently, because I think it's interesting how many people disagree with me.
"When we step on that football field, everyone flips a switch. And it's on..." - Butch Jones
I love the SEC chant. I will debate it with you...
There are kids in the south who will only play in the SEC. You go up North and a prospect hears SEC and he goes WOW they are the best. Great players want to play with other great players.
There is a nationwide respect for the SEC because of the success the conference has had and when we recruit against say UNC for a prospect, playing in the SEC almost always is an advantage.
I agree with you DV. The only thing that will get Tennessee the top recruits will be winning and obviously that has not happened the past 5 years. I do like the fact that the SEC has won consistently but it has a negative effect on Tennessee because everyone wants to go play for Alabubba and NOT Tennessee. When we put our winning product on the field, that is when we get the recruits not because the SEC won another Championship
When the SEC wins a championship that makes the conference look great, but at the sametime it hurts the other teams that didn't win at a recruiting disadvantage. All the top guys usually want to go to the championship team.
I'm pretty torn this year, b/c I hate both teams with a passion. I will admit that I usually root for the SEC during bowl season, b/c of knowing we have the best conference. I have never thought that it would put us at a disadvantage in recruiting, but after looking at it I guess it could. I just feel that the top teams can't sign'em all.
The more the SEC wins championships the more that the recruits will want to play for the SEC, but I do see the points of both sides. So I guess you could say that I'm torn on both sides.
100% agree Drizz.
Just a few points.
- The SEC is a brand. UT is a part of that brand. The more presige associated with the brand, the more prestige associated with UT.
- SEC 'dominance' is going to be challeged in the media every year. The Pac 12, Big 10, Big 12, all think the SEC is overrated and the media will jump on the story that SEC dominance is no more.
- I like the idea of being able to knock off the defending champions.
- Alabama winning another NC will not cost us recruits, Even if Bama losses, they still have a better story to sell than UT right now. But a Bama win helps when we recruit against the ACC or the Pac 12 IMO.
I think the SEC dominance helps Tennessee more than other SEC programs becuase we recruit more players who are in Big Ten territory. But I think we lose more players each year to Alabama and more games each year to Alabama because of their dynasty.. so I want the dynasty to end. If we lose a player to Michigan or Ohio State.. that doesn't impact our success as much as losing a player to Alabama or Florida.
I live in Big 10 country. I love rubbing in the fact SEC dominates college football, even if the Vols have sucked the past 3 years which is what everyobdy says to me next.
I want this conference to continue to win championships even if its Alabama. It will help us get recruits not everyone can go to Alabama.
But it won't help us beat Bama.
Here's how I see it:
Let's assume we compete for two types of players in recruiting: (1) Players inside SEC recruiting grounds (geographically in the Southeast), and (2) players outside of SEC recruiting grounds.
Now, of the first category, we have three types of players: (a) players who are going to go to the school they loved growing up, and (b) players who will go to the best offer they can get, and (c) players who will go where they feel most comfortable with the staff and culture
So we have...
(1)a. Those in the SEC who are going where they're going because they've always loved it
-These are the Drae Bowles, Antonio Richardson's of the world. SEC power doesn't sway them for obvious reasons.
(1)b. Those who will take their best offer
- Again, SEC power doesn't matter because they're looking for the most successful program. If that's Alabama, they'll take it. If that's Kentucky, they'll take it. SEC success hurts us here because our competitors' success makes us less likely to get these players.
(1)c. Those who will go where they are most comfortable
- SEC success is irrelevant because they are choosing based on "soft" factors that vary from school to school
(2) Those outside the SEC who will either play outside or inside, based on a number of factors. Let's assume a player get's drawn to play far from home so he can be in the SEC. Doesn't it stand to reason that he will play for whatever his best offer in the SEC is? Or maybe he'll take the SEC offer that just feels the best from a cultural standpoint. Then we have the exact same logic as 1(b) and 1(c) from above. Again, our competitors' success will either hurt us, or it's irrelevant with these players. Being in the SEC, but being way down the pecking order in terms of recent wins doesn't do anything but hurt us.
I'm not saying I want the SEC to become pitiful football so that we can be a big fish in a little pond. But I AM saying that this era of ultra-powerful SEC teams isn't helping us in any way. We need to lift ourselves up and get some wins in several ways that only we control, but it would also help for our primary competitors to lose some more games and championships so that UA/UF/UGA/LSU/AU quit finishing in the top-10 every single year in recruiting.
Personally, I think some people take solace in SEC dominance as an excuse for our poor performance of late. It helps to know that you've been getting beaten by the best. But that emotion, a human as it may be, doesn't help UT. Alabama winning doesn't help UT's image, lift it's brand, or make elite recruits more aware of us.
Name a recruit that came to UT because Alabama has been dominant.
The SEC is clearly the best and most prestigious conference in the country and it's not even close. If Notre Dame beats Bama, that won't change. The conference's dominance has more to do with the depth than it does the best team in the conference. If Bama loses, it won't hurt UT's football team in any noticeable way. Maybe the conference gets a little bit less money that it would have, but enough to make any difference in how the football team operates? No way.
And recruiting, yeah there are recruits that look at UT because we can make the pitch that they get to play in the SEC. But the good recruits, the ones that make a real impact, are already being recruited by Bama. What do we argue with them about? We are recruiting against other SEC schools, so how does being able to say we are in the SEC help us at all with those recruits?
And bragging rights? I live in the Midwest, and it gives me no joy to tell my Notre Dame, Ohio State, and Wisconsin friends that Tennessee plays in a better conference. That's not a bragging right. That's riding the coattails of Alabama, LSU, Florida, etc. When UT starts winning, then I will brag.
To me, seeing Bama lose would make me so happy. The meltdown among their fan base would be a sight to see. That makes up for any slight hit the conference takes by not keeping the BCS streak alive.
I can understand the argument for solidarity... but I will never root for Bama or UF. Never.
Here's how I see it,
The SEC has won 6 straight national championships. Tennessee is coming off back-to-back 5-7 seasons.
It doesn't appear that SEC dominance is helping us a whole whole lot.
Tennessee didn't need Alabama to win when it's was pulling top recruits in over a decade ago.... Has the landscape changed that much? I don't really buy into the mythical unicorn fact the SEC winning helps up bring in recruits... A great staff and winning is the only way I see 4 or 5 star recruits picking UT.... USC isn't in the SEC.... and their doing fine with recruiting because of their coaching staff.... The SEC winning doesn't help UT unless they're winning too...
I'm with you. This is exactly what I was trying to say in my response too.
Marcus Ball is the potential to be one of them.
You're closing in on a very good point. If the SEC winning helps us, then does the corollary hold true?
If Bama loses, does it hurt us? Does anyone here think that UT will be adversely affected in the recruiting world if Alabama is defeated in the national championship game by Notre Dame?
Our goal is to get back to the top of the SEC. No offense to Marcus Ball, but a team full of Marcus Ball's is not going to help UT overtake Bama. The recruits that will help us get back to the top are the ones that Bama is also recruiting. When they are winning national championships at this rate, what do we sell to those guys?
If Bama loses, it will mark the beginning of the end of their rule over college football. Recruits will have a reason to question whether or not they'll win a national championship at Bama. Right now, it's almost a fore gone conclusion. That has to change if we want to be at the top of the SEC.
It might hurt us with someone like Derrick Green, who is down to Tennessee and Michigan, but I think Bama losing is the lesser of the two evils.
No he doesn't. Marcus Ball's only SEC offers are from us and Kentucky. If he had an Alabama offer, wouldn't he just take that if he only wants to play in the SEC?
Also, more to the point, how is SEC dominance really helping us if your only example is a 3* guy with no other meaningful SEC offers? Is that the recruiting synergy that we are bestowed with because everyone else in the league is winning like crazy? If so, I'd prefer for them to lose some games in hopes that we could more successfully go toe to toe with them for all of the elite guys they keep getting.
I should rephrase:
Show me an elite recruit with offers from SEC powers that choose to come here because the SEC wins a lot of games and championships. That's essentially what the logic of SEC solidarity is getting at.
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