Gary Patterson's theory on why the SEC is so dominant: It's in the genes

By Tom Fornelli | Staff Writer
There aren't many states in the country that love the game of football like Texas. The sport is a part of the fabric of the place, but as the Fort Worth Star-Telegram's Mac Engel points out, since 1970, only one team from Texas has won a national title: the 2005 Texas Longhorns.

So in an effort to figure out why that's the case, Engel asked TCU head coach Gary Patterson for his theory on why the SEC has dominated the college football landscape for most of the 21st century.

For Patterson, it's all genetics.

"There are a lot of good players every where else," Patterson told the Star-Telegram. "If you look at the NFL per capita, Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi they put out more NFL players than anywhere else in the country. It's the body types in the regions of the United States that make a difference, too. You are going to find the skill players, but what we don't have as much in [Texas] is the size of bodies of offensive and defensive linemen that the southeast part of the United States has. It's the gene pool.

"Alabama is playing with 350 pound guys. Like the guy who just transferred to Texas; he's 6-7, 340. They ain't had 6-7, 340 guy forever that can run like he does.

"(The state of Texas) has skill players. It doesn't matter whether it's 1-A or 5-A, they can all run. I'm not knocking what we do here at all. It's just a different body type."

And as Patterson goes on to explain, it's that body type that goes a long way in determining the kind of football we see regionally. The Big 12, with the bevy of skill players available in Texas, is mostly a spread league. In the SEC you see more pro-style offenses that try to win with defense first and foremost. Then there's the 4-3 defenses and "three yards and a cloud of dust" we've seen for so long in the Big Ten.

Still, no matter what kind of football you play, coaches will always tell you that every football game is one in the trenches between the offensive and defensive line. Right now, according to Patterson, there's no place in the country producing stronger linemen than the southeast, and that could explain why the SEC has won six straight national titles.

Hat tip: Dr. Saturday
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