?Between Michigan's 73.6 all-time win percentage (highest in I-A) and the SEC's recent dominance in the BCS National Championship game (five straight wins), there's no denying the fact that the SEC and Big Ten are two of the greatest conferences in college football, if not the two greatest of all-time.
But how do the four most storied programs in each conference stack up against each other?
For the Big Ten, programs such as Ohio State, Penn State and Michigan are the first to come to mind; now, though, Nebraska and its decorated history add to the Big Ten's allure. The SEC has four respected winning programs, as well: Alabama, Tennessee, Florida and Georgia.
The SEC features six teams in the top 25 in terms of all-time winning percentage, whereas the Big Ten only claims four programs in the top 25; one of which, Nebraska, has yet to play a game in the conference.
When it comes head-to-head, though, the SEC isn't as far ahead as recent history would suggest. The SEC has a slight advantage over the Big Ten with a overall record of 95-93-6. However, the SEC, 24-12 in bowl games since 2007, has dominated the postseason compared to the Big Ten, who is 10-19 the past four years.
With five straight BCS National Championship winners in the SEC and with two of those victories coming against the Big Ten's top dog, Ohio State, the SEC is currently the best conference in football.
Individually, the top four teams in the SEC historically have fared well against the Big Ten:
Alabama: 7-4 vs Big Ten (3-0 vs Ohio State)
Florida: 10-5 vs Big Ten (7-0 from 1930-2000 vs Big Ten)
Georgia: 8-2 vs Big Ten (Haven't lost to a Big Ten team since 1957)
Tennessee: 8-4 vs Big Ten (3-1 in Citrus Bowl vs Big Ten opponents)
The Big Ten teams haven't been as successful, though:
Ohio State: 4-11 vs SEC (Lost 8 straight from 1990-2008 vs SEC teams)
Penn State: 18-20 vs SEC (4-4 vs Alabama from 1982-1990)
Michigan: 13-5 vs SEC (8-4 vs SEC in bowl games)
Nebraska: 16-5 vs SEC (9 wins from 1980-1998 vs SEC)
The arrival of Nebraska definitely balances out the powers, at least on paper. Besides Nebraska, the Michigan Wolverines are the only other team to have success against the Big Ten and their four storied programs.
The bowl season has recently favored the SEC, as the conference went 3-0 last season vs the Big Ten (Ohio State vacated its win versus Arkansas) and 4-1 in head-to-head games over the entire season.
?Whether it be the North vs. South approach between the conferences, or the fact that they are, quite frankly, the two best conferences from top-to-bottom (the Big 12 is debatable), the Big Ten and SEC comparisons are always fun to look at, and they always result in some type of disagreement as to who is the better of the two.
- Josh Harvey -