It's not like others weren't thinking it. I mean, sure the conference hadn't had a national champion in a decade, but it was still the bully on the block so to speak. It had three teams in the top ten just one year earlier. It was the type of conference that made the toughest of tough guys cower. Had the Dos Equis guy been around even he would've feared the SEC. So someone had to say it. However, no college football fan expected it to be the legendary Bobby Bowden.
In an August 3 1990 article in the Atlanta Journal Constitution about conference realignment, Bowden admitted that he feared the SEC. Well, he kind of said that.
"I like to win games, and I can't think of a tougher place to do that than the SEC. Most conferences have got two really strong programs, but top to bottom there isn't one close to them."
That's what Bowden actually told David Davidson of the AJC, but had he said that currently it would've quickly turned into him being scared of college football's powerhouse conference. It did a bit back then, but not to the level it would had it happened in 2014. Twitter would explode, SEC discussion boards would light up, bloggers would take aim and memes would be made. Glorious memes would be made.
Louisville's arrival in the ACC and the journey Rutgers and Maryland took to the Big Ten mark the end of this round of major shifts in conference realignment. Bowden's remarks came during the last massive movement of the college football landscape. There's no better time to reflect on his statements and take a hypothetical look at what may have happened if Bowden wasn't smart scared to the SEC.