The SEC is a very polar topic when it comes to college football. Either you are convinced that the SEC is the cream of the crop of college football, or you are of the opinion that they are overrated.
When the first round in the NFL draft is dominated by SEC talent and you see Rookies from the SEC making waves in the NFL, you know where the best football is being played.
That being said, there is a large difference between having the most talented individual players athletically, and being capable of winning games. There have been many occasions that have proved this. Utah’s victory over Alabama was due in large part to the Utes game plan and the higher level of coaching and play calling. Same with TCU over Wisconsin, Boise State over Oklahoma, and BYU over Oklahoma.
But when all is said and done, SEC players, more than any other conference’s players, are better prepared for NFL play because so much is expected of them at the college level when compared to the teams playing in the Mountain West and the WAC for example. You see it all the time with players that put up huge numbers in lesser conferences and then those numbers tank in the pros.
Alex Smith and Max Hall are proving examples of this.
On the other end of the spectrum, you have players such as the Pouncey twins. Maurkice and Mike Pouncey both played football for the University of Florida on the offensive line. Maurkice played right guard and forewent his senior season to enter the 2010 NFL draft. He started all 16 regular season games at center for the Pittsburgh Steelers and has made a name for himself. Mike Pouncey played his senior year at Florida as their center and was highly regarded as one of the best offensive linemen in college.
These are the types of players and talent that exist in the SEC all around. They play for these schools to prepare for the NFL. Cam Newton might have a few things to tweak here and there, but he is able to break tackles from linebackers just as fast and heavy as the ones the NFL has to offer. Sure, they might be more experienced but that will come in time for Cam.
Cam’s biggest challenge and criticism is that he has not played in a pro-set offense taking snaps under center. He will deal a lot with this package in the NFL no matter where he goes, and will need to prove that he can handle that style of play. If he can do that, why shouldn’t he be able to make big plays like he is doing now? Tim Tebow showed potential at Denver the back-end of the season. Newton should do just fine, if not, spectacularly.