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How the SEC Became Goliath

How the SEC Became Goliath

The Making of College Football's Most Dominant Conference

How the SEC Became Goliath covers the Southeastern Conference and how the league became dominant, winning seven straight national championships.

Size matters. That’s why the SEC is Goliath, because the Southeastern Conference, top to bottom, has better coaches, better stadiums, better bank accounts, and better weather, but the difference maker is the bigger and better players.

The SEC has walked off with the big crystal prize in college football for seven straight years and will not give it back. The talk of “big boy football” grinds on the Buckeyes, Sooners, Longhorns, and Ducks. All they can come back with is “Wait until next year.” Then next year comes and the SEC tribe is chanting in the closing minutes of the National Championship Game, “SEC, SEC, SEC!”

The national championship trophy has been in the South for so long it has sunburn. That is why college football is thick with the acrimony: SEC vs. Everyone Else. The domi­nance of the SEC has a lot more to do with the South’s culture than just the rock-’em, sock-’em of football played one day a week. The South lost the Civil War, and sociolo­gists will tell you that there is still a regional angst, an “us against them” mentality, a spirit of “those damn Yankees.” It is not just about championships. The SEC is about culture and competitiveness. . . . It is about players.
Choose a format:
  • Howard Books | 
  • 272 pages | 
  • ISBN 9781476710303 | 
  • August 2013
List Price $15.99
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Read an Excerpt


The national championship trophy has been in the South so long it has a sunburn. It is as much a fixture as the red, blue, and orange Solo cups that hold the tailgate drink and the $9.95 canvas-backed chair that holds the Southeastern Conference fan, who has no greater wish than to hold a winning lottery ticket and for his or her team to win on Saturday. The crystal Coaches’ Trophy has bivouacked here since January 2007, and the folks who populate these rattlesnake-mean message boards in the South claim success comes from playing something called Big Boy Football.

Well, they might have a point. It is big-boy... see more


Eighty years ago, the SEC did not have an issue with student-athletes transferring here and there, but it had trouble with migrants. The SEC did not have to unearth scandals about players being paid, but there were investigations of players being subsidized. There were no issues with alumni providing extra benefits to players, but there was a problem with scholarships being provided under unauthorized programs. There was no issue with ineligible players, but there was an issue with tramp athletes.

You don’t recognize the language? It’s all the same, of... see more

About the Author

Ray Glier
Photograph © Jessie Bond

Ray Glier

Ray Glier is a freelance journalist in Atlanta. He contributes to USA TODAY, The New York Times, and The Miami Herald, among other publications. He has covered the Southeastern Conference since 1986 and is the former executive sports editor of The Knoxville Journal.




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