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Big Ten challenging SEC supremecy in football
SIX' needs all-for-one-and-one-for-all attitude
Supremacy of the Southeastern Conference in college football is being challenged by the Big Ten in the upcoming bowl games for the first time in 10 years.
At the close of the 1979 season, after the bowl games.
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the Big Ten had four teams listed in the Associated Press Top Twenty and the SEC only two. ,
Alabama was No. I, after defeating Arkansas, the Southwest Conference champion. 24-9 in the Sugar Bowl. Bui Auburn was the only other SEC team in the Top Twenty, at No. 16. with an 8-3 record.
The Big Ten had four teams listed: Ohio State (No. 4), Purdue (No. 10). Michigan (No. 18) and Indiana (No. 19). A distinctive margin for the midwestcrn conference.
There have been other seasons since when prejudiced persons might argue either way.
After 1980. Georgia was No. 1. Alabama No. 6 and Mississippi Siale No. 19 for the SEC; with Michigan \.> 4. Ohio Stale lo. 15 and Purdue No. 17 for the Big Ten
After 1981, Georgia was No. 6. Alabama No. 7. with Michigan No. II Ohio State No. 15 and Iowa No. 18.
Since the 1981 season, the SEC has been clearly superior.
Due to a computer problem. Russell Rice's column, which is usually in this space, will not appear this week. It will return in our next issue, Jan. 7.
Last year four SEC teams—LSU. Auburn, Georgia and Tennessee—were listed in the first 14, while the Big Ten had only three in the Top Twenty, just Michigan State at No. 8, in the first 14.
At the conclusion of the 1988 regular season the SEC has four teams in the AP Top Twenty—Auburn No. 7, LSU No. 16. Georgia No. 19 and Alabama No. 20. The Pac-10 has three—Southern Cal. UCLA and Washington State. The Big Eight has three—Nebraska. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State. The Southwest has two—Arkansas and Houston.
The Big Ten has only one, Michigan, as do the Atlantic Coast (Clemson) and Western Athletic (Wyoming) conferences.
But the Big Ten has managed to secure invitations for five teams to the bowl games, the same number the SEC has received.
In two bowls, the Ail-American and the Gator, they square off against one another. Florida meets Illinois in Birmingham Dec. 29 and Georgia faces Michigan State at Jacksonville Jan. 1.
Other Big Ten games are: Indiana playing South Carolina in the Liberty Bowl Dec. 28, Iowa playing N.C. State in the Peach Bowl Dec. 31 and Michigan playing Southern Cal in the Rose Bowl Jan. 2.
Other SEC games are: Alabama meeting Army in the Sun Bowl Dec. 24, LSU against Syracuse in the Hall of Fame Bowl Jan. 2 and Auburn versus Florida State in the Sugar Bowl Jan. 2.
Should Illinois and Michigan State beat Florida and Georgia, the Big Ten would post a definite gain on the SEC in the final AP poll.
In fact, any Indiana. Iowa or Michigan win. or any Alabama. LSU or Auburn loss would project the Big Ten upward and the SEC downward in the natural opinion of the writers around the country.
The coaches and players of the Southeastern Conference are engaged in a battle for college football superiority across this nation.
SEC alumni and friends: Support all five teams.
It will take a truly unified effort to defend our position, for which so many fought so hard nearly 50 >ears to attain.
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