As we are about to finish off another amazing college football season it is pretty clear who the two premier college football conferences are. The SEC and Big Ten are the two premier conferences as it’s almost an arms race to make the most compelling league possible. This year the Big Ten has sent multiple teams to the College Football Playoffs, something the SEC did first in 2017 and 2021. The teams from both conferences meet numerous times in bowl games. It had me wondering which conference has the upper hand in the major bowl games. This article is going to detail the record between the two in BCS and New Year Six Bowls.
SEC vs Big 10 Notes
- The bowl games that will be noted below are from the BCS era (1998-2013) and the NY6 Bowl Era (2014-Present)
- The BCS Bowl Games include the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, and Rose.
- The NY6 Bowl Games include the Orange, Sugar, Fiesta, Rose, Cotton and Peach.
- National Championships Games are included for both eras.
- If a team was not an active conference member of the SEC or Big Ten their bowl game is not recorded below.
- The Bowl Game could have been in January but we listed the year from the regular season.
The BCS Era SEC versus Big 10
1999: Orange Bowl Michigan 35 Alabama 34
2001: Sugar Bowl Illinois 34 LSU 47
2006: National Championship Ohio State 14 Florida 41
2007: National Championship Ohio State 24 LSU 38
2010: Sugar Bowl Ohio State 31 Arkansas 26
BCS Era Record: SEC Advantage 3-2
The NY6 Era SEC versus Big 10
2014: Sugar Bowl Ohio State 42 Alabama 35
2015: Cotton Bowl Michigan State 0 Alabama 38
2018: Cotton Bowl Michigan 15 Florida 41
2020: National Championship Ohio State 24 Alabama 52
2021: Orange Bowl Michigan 11 Georgia 34
2022: Peach Bowl Ohio State vs. Georgia (scheduled for 12/31/2022)
NY6 Era Record: SEC Advantage 4-1
The reasoning for only doing the major bowl games come down to two simple reasons. The first one is we want to measure how the best of each conference fared against each other. What better measuring stick than seeing the results of a best on best matchup. Usually the top teams will meet each other in these major bow games. The other reason is that so many players choose to sit out the minor bowl games.
I think you can see the gains of improvement the SEC made from the BCS era to the NY6 era. Since that Sugar Bowl win from Ohio State in 2014, the SEC has been on a four game winning streak. Not only a four game winning streak but the games have not been close. In the last four games the SEC is outscoring the Big 10 165-50.
The question is, can Ohio State or maybe a future game with Michigan close the gap on these SEC – Big 10 Matchups?