A fascinating history of the Southeastern Conference and its rise from a regional league to the most dominant conference in college football.
The story of the Southeastern Conference has humble origins. Born in a Knoxville hotel in 1932 after splitting away from another league, the SEC was built by southern gridiron pioneers who believed football could bring prominence and prestige back to the region. Early dynasties at Alabama and Tennessee, along with legendary coaches such as General Robert Neyland, Bear Bryant, and Shug Jordan, pushed the conference forward as the SEC and its member schools embarked on an 80-year journey to the top of college football.
In SEC Football: How a Regional League Became a National Obsession, Colby Newton traces the roots of the Southeastern Conference back to the very beginning and underscores the important achievements along the way that led to the unprecedented success the league now enjoys. Featuring Heisman winners like Herschel Walker and Bo Jackson, iconic coaches like Steve Spurrier and Nick Saban, and significant moments such as the integration of SEC rosters, a momentous lawsuit against the NCAA, conference expansion, and the SEC’s historic contract with CBS, this book covers it all.
The official slogan for the SEC is “It just means more.” And they are right. SEC football means more passion, more money, and more titles. From backroom deals to a captivated audience on national TV and everything in between, SEC Football is the ultimate story of how the SEC morphed from a regional league with a territorial yet fervent following into a nationwide brand that dominates the sport.
Colby Newton owned and operated collegefootballwire.com from 2001–2004 and was its editor and senior writer before he moved on to work in the college football bowl industry for the next 14 years. He also wrote for Lindy’s College Football and for the Deseret News in Salt Lake City. Newton founded an analytics company in 2019, supplying data to clients that include Baylor and Virginia, as well as numerous Division II and Division III programs. Newton has appeared as a guest on over 30 sports talk radio shows nationwide. He is the author of BYU vs. Utah: A Decade of Drama.
Colby Newton has written a powerful history of SEC football. I was overwhelmed by the depth of his research. I highly recommend the book.
SEC football has a fascinating history and Colby Newton has captured it beautifully. This is a must read for college football fans.
No one takes college football more seriously than the SEC, but it took decades for college football to take the SEC as seriously as it should. Colby Newton does a tremendous job chronicling all the challenges that league had to overcome.