Last Modified: Friday, August 17, 2012 12:06 AM
This update just in on the spreading tide in the SEC’s quest for world domination (and, be advised, the rest of the country is not going to want to hear about it):
But, here goes anyway.
If the Southeastern Conference was a country — hey, it’s been tried; didn’t work out; not enough cannon ball factories or some such — it has come to light that the league would have finished fifth among fellow countries at the recently completed London Olympics.
The SEC Republic, we’ll call it, is a bit of a stretch in that it has to include former athletes as well those currently matriculating at league schools. It also helps that they have recently annexed Texas (A&M) and Missouri (Mizzou).
But still, 58 total medals is pretty dadgum impressive when you consider that the SEC Republic was completely shut out in quad sculs, ping pong (table tennis) and women’s keelboat match racing. Or that Lolo Jones, the ex-LSU heartthrob, didn’t scratch, and the league had nothing at all to do with the ugly badminton scandal.
Perhaps that is why the SEC has announced plans for 2013 to suddenly sponsor championships in the mind-numbing sport of equestrian. They are feverishly trying to fill in the gaps for the sports(?) that seem to be lagging.
But 58 is still up from the 51 SEC Republic medals at the 2008 Games in Beijing and ranked behind only the good old USA (104), China (88), Red Russia (82) and Great Britain (65).
That put the SEC Republic well ahead of Germany (44), Japan (38), Australia (35) and of course France (34) and especially Italy (28).
Go for the gold?
The SEC Republic had 25 gold medals in that stash, which would actually rank fourth in the world behind the USA (46) China (38) and Great Britain (29), with Russia (24) relegated to ACC status.
Any maybe you already did the math.
Not suggesting anything here, you understand. Not even hinting that Fort Sumpter should be put on Defcom Five alert again, but if —IF — the SEC Republic was to secede from this Great United States, it would have had 58 medals to only 46 for the rest of the USA.
Gold rush? Take away the SEC’s 25 golds and that makes it SEC Republic 25, Rest of USA 21.
Not really, of course,
This is somewhat flawed logic. The SEC’s medal count includes, for instance, the team sports and relays where it was possible that they had assistance from other parts of this great nation that the SEC Republic fully expects to remain a part of. The SEC Republic’s official tally includes how many athletes won medals, not how many single events the SEC Republic won as is the case in the USA’s tally.
Also, full disclosure, every SEC medal isn’t necessarily subtracted from the USA total since some of them actually were won for foreign-type countries from which the athletes are actual citizens.
But play along. There’s absolutely nothing to be gained by ruining a good story with pesky facts.
The leader for the SEC Republic was Florida with 18 medals, which allowed the Gators alone to finish just ahead of Spain and Brazil and tied with Oh Canada.
LSU, if you’re wondering, had five, which tied the Tigers with Ireland, Lithuania, Mongolia and Turkey (but well ahead of Tur-Duc-Hen).
And keep in mind that that medal haul was accomplished far, far from home, which refutes the widely held notion by some (Big 10, mostly) that the SEC Republic’s success is due mostly to the bowls mostly being in the South (where they belong).
But surely the most astonishing thing about this data is that it was accomplished even though football — real football, not futbol — is the SEC Republic’s real specialty and is sadly not included on the Olympic menu.
It’s probably not an oversight. Probably Eastern Block bias.
But the SEC Republic apparently shined and fairly well dominated in the Olympics for the same reason it usually prevails in those bowl games and always runs circles around outmanned foes in the BCS title game.
They were faster, quicker, stronger, especially the defensive ends.
Imagine if the SEC could lure Uzbekistan onto the gridiron. It would be two weeks of Homecoming games.
Of the medals, 17 of them came in men’s track and field, another 11 in women’s track and field, even though it’s a sport the SEC Republic largely ignores unless the athletes are willing to multi-task and occasionally lend a hand on third-and-long.
But the SEC Republic’s football influence was surely felt with the Olympic Committee.
They had the good sense to get the festivities over with in plenty of time for the real sports season to begin.
Scooter Hobbs covers LSU athletics. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org