Yes, it has won the last six BCS championships and could possibly win its seventh. Yes, it occupies six of the top 10 spots in the BCS rankings. And yes, it has five of the last six top recruiting classes (according to Rivals.com). There is no question that the SEC is and has been the best conference in college football for a number of years; its success speaks for itself. Consequently, SEC teams certainly own bragging rights over the majority of college football. They should be careful, however, when they try to talk down to Notre Dame.
While the SEC has dominated college football for most of the 21st century, the Irish have (until recently) struggled to compete against the nation’s best, show consistency, and simply remain relevant. This all suggests that Notre Dame has no business being compared with the SEC. Looking at the comparison from a historical perspective reveals a different story. Perhaps the SEC needs to be reminded of a few things…
-Notre Dame is 31-14 all-time versus the SEC.
-Notre Dame is 5-1 all-time versus Alabama, including a victory over the Crimson Tide in the 1973 national championship.
-SEC teams only have 8 Heisman Trophy winners; Notre Dame alone has 7 winners.
-Notre Dame has 96 consensus All-Americans; the most of any SEC team is only 66 (Auburn).
Finally, to bring the discussion back to the modern era, Notre Dame has played 10 bowl-eligible teams in 2012 (assuming Pitt wins next week). In contrast, Alabama and Georgia only played 9 bowl-eligible teams combined and lost twice. Both recently and historically, the Irish have been more impressive.
The SEC can trash talk all it wants; most of it is justified. To say that Notre Dame can’t compete, however, is just plain ignorant.