VT Beat: What makes the SEC so good?

Hello, and welcome back to the VT Beat. Over the past week we have observed the official press conference introducing the new football coaches, the Men’s Basketball team continue to struggle, and much more. Also, Duane Brown of the Houston Texans is played in the NFL Pro Bowl game. Sure, the game itself is pointless but Duane got a free trip to Hawaii and deserves the recognition he is receiving for his accomplishments on the field all year long.

Men’s Basketball Weekly

The men’s basketball team continued to struggle this week, losing big at home against rival UVA and then falling Sunday afternoon at Clemson. Depth, size and balance continue to nip at the Hokies heels this year. At this point they have basically played themselves out of the post season other than the guaranteed ACC tournament. The road only gets more difficult this week as they host one of the hottest teams in the country (Miami) and then travel to Chapel Hill to face the Tar Heels. Currently the Hokies sit at 11-8 overall (2-4 in ACC play) and are 10th in the ACC standings.

NFL Hokies Tracker – As I mentioned in the introduction, Duane Brown participated in the Pro Bowl this weekend. Also, keep an eye out for former Hokie standout Tyrod Taylor in the Super Bowl next weekend. Barring an injury to Joe Flacco or a lop-sided score, Tyrod will likely stay on the sideline. However, he still has a chance to win a Super Bowl ring which we can all agree that he deserves.

Why are SEC football teams better than ACC teams? (And all other conferences)

As we saw a few weeks ago in the National Championship, Alabama was a far superior team than Notre Dame. We continue to see the SEC dominate the college football landscape on a yearly basis. So why and how are these elite SEC teams so much better than the other conferences? My answers are listed below:

Talent. Now, I’m not saying that the Kentucky football team is more talented than Oregon. The teams I am referencing are the top 3 or 4 teams in the SEC standings on any given year. If you look at the current recruiting rankings for 2013, note how many SEC schools are involved (source: Rivals.com). 5 out of the top 10 recruiting classes are from the SEC.

Rank

School

Total

5-star

4-star

3-star

Avg

Points

#1 Florida 25 2 13 10 3.68 2777
#2 Notre Dame 23 3 14 6 3.87 2774
#3 Alabama 21 2 12 7 3.76 2721
#4 Ohio State 22 1 13 7 3.64 2684
#5 LSU 26 2 16 8 3.77 2675
#6 Michigan 27 1 16 9 3.63 2661
#7 USC 13 6 7 0 4.46 2420
#8 Texas A&M 32 0 15 16 3.44 2409
#9 UCLA 23 0 16 6 3.65 2272
#10 Georgia 29 0 15 14 3.52 2211

Player development. A five star high school football player isn’t automatically a 5 star college football player. Their athletic ability and limited knowledge of the game coming out of high school must be developed into something that translates to the college game. The best coaches of the SEC have been able to consistently develop their players into great college football players.

When they’re healthy, rested and prepared, watch out. I find that SEC teams like Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia play well in bowl games and/or games coming off a bye week, and opening weekend games as well. The reason is that the players are healthy because they aren’t coming off another grueling SEC battle where they are beat up. Secondly and even more importantly, the wealth of coaching superiority gets more time to prepare their players. Most people think of great coaching in the SEC and names like Saban, Spurrier, Miles, Richt, and Muschamp, etc come to mind. However, the assistant coaches and coordinators are the unsung heroes of bowl/ big game preparation. That’s why so many head coaching hires outside of the SEC are likely someone who has worked with one of the better SEC schools

The bottom line is this – You don’t want to play a well prepared, well rested, and healthy SEC team in a bowl game or season opener. The Hokies, unfortunately play the best team in the country in the first game of the year in 2013, Alabama. ‘Bama played a similar game to open the 2012 season against a talented Michigan squad and the Tide rolled onto a 41-14 thrashing that really could have been worse if they didn’t sit on the ball for most of the second half.

Don’s Tidbits

  • Antone Exum has torn his ACL and may end up missing the beginning of the 2013 season. This is a huge blow to a secondary that will need all the help it can get against a talented Alabama team in the season opener.
  • Marcus Vick’s legal troubles continue: http://www.roanoke.com/news/roanoke/wb/318831
  • From what I hear, Bucky Hodges will be the future at quarterback for the Hokies once Logan Thomas leaves. Here are some highlights of Bucky… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I3_pXsqS8bc


What to look for this week:

  • Super Bowl – Duh
  • Tough matchups for the Men’s BBall team. The Hokies host Miami Wednesday night 9pm then play at UNC Saturday at noon. Check your local listings for TV station coverage.
  • We cant really watch this but… National Signing day is February 6th. I’m sure the football coaches(new & old) are working hard on the recruiting trail. Some publications have the Hokies as high as 10th coming into this week for the 2014 class. The behind the scenes work over the next few weeks will determine how our future teams will look. Good luck coaches!

Until next week… Have fun. Be Safe. Go Hokies!

Don Deibler is a college football enthusiast and Virginia Tech alumnus who has had a passion for college sports since he was a young child. Outside of the ACC, he follows Notre Dame and South Carolina intently. He currently lives in Frederick, Maryland where he works in the mortgage banking industry and is in training for Air Traffic Control. 

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