Handwerger: Sun might be setting on SEC Empire

Handwerger: Sun might be setting on SEC Empire

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NEW ORLEANS, LA - JANUARY 02: Head coach Will Muschamp and Matt Elam #22 of the Florida Gators react after a flag on the play against the Louisville Cardinals during the Allstate Sugar Bowl at Mercedes-Benz Superdome on January 2, 2013 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images)

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wwltv.com

Posted on January 3, 2013 at 1:28 AM

Bradley Handwerger / WWLTV.com Sports Reporter
Email: bhandwerger@wwltv.com | Twitter: @wwltvsports

Don’t look now but the country’s biggest bully in college football is showing that maybe it’s not as big and bad and tough as everyone thinks.

The Southeastern Conference is 3-3 this bowl season and likely should be 2-4, what with South Carolina’s win over Michigan coming on a Hail Mary at the end of the game.

LSU fell to Clemson. Mississippi State lost to Northwestern. And now Florida has been felled 33-23 to Louisville.

Say what you want about bowl games not being a referendum on how good or bad conferences are, but if we’re going to have the national dialogue that the Big 10 is not worth the price of cow feed, then this bowl season should count against the SEC.

Yes, the SEC has earned its right to puff its chest out and push around everyone else. They’ve won the past six national titles (even with a little help to get there) and proven that other programs and conferences will have to pass them.

It’s happened before in history.

The Roman Empire fell as the Visigoths, Franks and Huns pecked away at it. And if that doesn’t ring a bell, ask Scut Farkus in A Christmas Story.

Now it’s the Big East, the ACC and the Big 10.

Wednesday night, Louisville showed the latest cracks in the SEC armor, doing to Florida what everyone expected the Gators to do to them.

The Cardinals’ line overpowered Florida’s supposedly beefy front. Louisville’s skill positions were every bit as skillful as the Gators’. And, maybe more importantly, the Louisville coaching was just better than Florida’s.

You got the impression that Florida felt like it could just walk on the field because it was an SEC team and beat Louisville.

Certainly I get the idea that for Louisville this was a huge deal and that for Florida, it wasn’t where it wanted to be.

But it can’t just be that.

When Alabama lost to Utah in the 2009 Sugar Bowl, folks said the same thing.  Yet, that year, the SEC was 6-2 in bowl games.

This year, Vanderbilt has been the only team to legitimately put away an opponent. Georgia’s win over Nebraska was closer than expected and should have been. Michigan arguably gave away its game against South Carolina as opposed to the Gamecocks winning it.

Of course, this might be jumping the gun just a bit.

Two of the SEC’s best teams are yet to play – Alabama and Texas A&M. And besides, if Alabama wins against Notre Dame on Monday night, this is all a moot point.

Still, don’t be surprised if the streak finally comes to a close this year or next. There has been enough time for other schools to figure out the SEC’s style.

Every bully finally gets bullied himself.

Just ask Scut Farkus.

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