The Next SEC “Dynasty” and “Glass House” Football Program

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The SEC has been the gold standard in college football since Florida and Urban Meyer won the BCS National Championship in 2006-2007 season.  That was the beginning of seven years in a row of SEC dominance.  The SEC has seen programs rise to the top, a dynasty started and a glass houses built. 

Alabama has been the dynasty in the SEC since Nick Saban's arrival at Alabama in 2007.  In 2007 Nick Saban was changing the culture in Tuscaloosa and building the foundation during a 7-6 season.  From 2008 onward the Tide have been the benchmark for success in college football averaging 12 wins per season and playing a prominent role in the National Championship conversation each season.

Early in Saban's tenure at Alabama the Tide's biggest rival was Urban Meyer's Florida Gators.  Meyer arrived in Gainesville in 2005 and changed the culture of the program and built the foundation on the back of Tim Tebow.  During Tebow's four seasons the Gator's won 13 games three out of four years and two BCS National Championships.  Then, Tim Tebow graduated and all of the flaws in Urban Meyer's glass house began to reveal themselves after Tebow's brilliance faded to only a memory.  In 2010 the Gators went 8-5 and were left with a fundamentally flawed leading to Meyer abandoning the program for greener pastures and the once proud Gator football program crumbling to the ground.  Five seasons later the Gator's are still trying to rebuild their foundation.

During the time period Nick Saban has built a dynasty at Alabama and Urban Meyer built a glass house at Florida, Les Miles has built a strong consistent program at LSU as has Mark Richt at Georgia.  Both teams have had ups and downs and neither has been consistently dominant.  However, both programs have strong and stable foundations that have allowed them to weather the storms and become two of the most consistent and stable programs in the nation for over a decade.

The Auburn Tigers have been brilliant, mediocre and terrible since 2007.  The program may be a glass house with fundamental flaws but they rebuild quickly.  The rest of the SEC includes programs that are on the rise like Missouri, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Tennessee and Texas A&M and programs who are what they are like South Carolina, Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State.

Georgia and Texas A&M have programs that are heading the direction of potential dynasties.  The addition of Jeremy Pruitt to the UGA program has changed the entire culture in Athens and solidified the foundation along with the acquisition of Mark Hocke from Alabama as the Head of Strength & Conditioning.  The Dawgs are recruiting at a higher level than ever and for the first time since, maybe ever, the Dawgs have gone the entire offseason without any player suspensions.  UGA appears poised to take a stranglehold on the SEC East.  Texas A&M is also on the rise with an administration 100% dedicated to winning and facilities rivaled by few in the nation.  Add defensive coordinator John Chavis to the mix who will build a strong defense and the Texas base for recruiting and the Aggies are poised to take that next step.  Once they arrive at the top of the SEC West they will be difficult to unseat.

And who is the new “Glass House” program?  The Tennessee Volunteers.  Butch Jones is building the Volunteer football program “brick-by-brick” but what foundation is he building it upon?  The Vols are adding some incredible talent in the recruiting but the attrition and off-field trouble is concerning.  There were at least six football players on the Volunteers team in 2014 accused of sexual assault and now there is a U.S. Department of Education investigation ongoing in Knoxville.  Thus far nothing has stuck but often where there is smoke there is fire and there are some big smoke signals coming out of Neyland Stadium.  Tennessee should compete with UGA for a spot atop the SEC East, however they may crumble not shortly after if they don't find a way to fix their foundation.

Ladies and gentlemen, football season is back and the storylines will be endless.

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It would be nice to see them hit rocky bottom. So glad football is back!

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Matthews, North Carolina

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