Commentary

The SEC's offense problem

The league's defenses are the nation's best. But on the other side of the ball ...

Updated: November 16, 2011, 12:19 PM ET
By Brock Huard | ESPN Insider
Mark BarronMarvin Gentry/US PresswireSEC defenses like Alabama's deserve lots of credit. But the league's offenses deserve some blame.

Last week, many of you took exception to my argument that an undefeated Boise State Broncos team was deserving of a shot at the BCS title game and capable of beating the SEC's elite teams on a neutral field. The Broncos then went out and lost to the TCU Horned Frogs, done in by TCU's pass offense and yet another critical missed field goal, ending the debate over whether Boise should get a national championship opportunity this season.

But one aspect of my argument that remains unchanged even after the Broncos' loss is that the extent of the SEC's dominance this season has been inflated. At the center of this issue is the fact that even though there's no questioning the quality of the conference's defenses, the SEC is a league full of very weak offenses.

Before I discuss the offenses, though, let's give credit where credit is due. Objectively speaking, the SEC is without question the best defensive conference in college football and has been for many years. The players, especially those on the defensive front, are collectively head and shoulders above those of any other conference in America. More defenders from the SEC play on Sundays than from any other conference, and the adage "offenses win games, defenses win championships" has certainly held true down South, with the conference boasting the last five national champions.

But especially when looking at the quality of SEC teams this season, it seems only fair to apply the one factor that comes up in nearly every college football debate this time of year: strength of competition.

• College football analyst for ESPN
• Six-year NFL QB and three-year starter at University of Washington
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