How the SEC Became Goliath: The Making of College Football's Most Dominant Conference

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Simon and Schuster, Sep 25, 2012 - Sports & Recreation - 256 pages
How the SEC Became Goliath covers the Southeastern Conference and how the league became dominant in college football, winning six 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 real difference maker is the bigger and better players.

For six straight years the SEC has walked off with the big crystal prize 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.

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How the SEC Became Goliath provides an inside look at college football’s most dominant conference. Four different schools in the SEC have won the last six championship titles:

Florida vs. Ohio State in 2006
January 8, 2007 • The Zook-Meyer Gators embarrass the Big Ten.
Florida 41 Ohio State 14

LSU vs. Ohio State in 2007
January 7, 2008 • Unbeaten in regulation, the Tigers are good . . . and lucky.
LSU 38 Ohio State 24

Florida vs. Oklahoma in 2008
January 8, 2009 • One of the best teams in history, these Gators are all Meyer’s.
Florida 24 Oklahoma 14

Alabama vs. Texas in 2009
January 7, 2010 • The Tide make it four in a row for the SEC.
Alabama 37 Texas 21

Auburn vs. Oregon in 2010
January 10, 2011 • Cam Newton and Auburn cap a perfect season.
Auburn 22 Oregon 19

Alabama vs. LSU in 2011
January 9, 2012 • Saban wins his third title and the SEC makes it six in a row.
Alabama 21 LSU 0
 

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Contents

Introduction
1
THE EARLY SEC
21
GOLIATHS BIG STEPS
35
GROWING THE SEC
51
BUILDING AND REBUILDING LSU
73
THE BADDEST MEN ON THE PLANET
89
MUSCLE MATTERS
105
THE HANDOFF ZOOK TO MEYER
127
GOOD AND LUCKY 2006 GATORS 2007 TIGERS
147
BIG PEOPLE DID BIG THINGS
163
NO CUTTING IN LINE
179
AWAKENING A GIANT II SABAN AGAIN 2009 2011 i
197
GOLIATHS FIGHT GOLIATHS
219
SEVEN AND COUNTING
233
Acknowledgments
253
Copyright

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About the author (2012)

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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