Oh, SEC fans. Sure, your conference is great at football. That does not cover for your various transgressions and questionable decisions. Take for example a recent poll conducted by The Tennessean to name the best SEC player of the last 50 years. Take a moment to think about the last 50 years of SEC football. Think of all the legendary names the conference has given us. Now, get ready to digest the results. The winner of the poll to name the best player in the last 50 years of the SEC was Johnny Manziel.
Yes, Johnny Football, the former Texas A&M quarterback and current NFL bust, has topped the poll. We’re not saying that Manziel was a bad college football player. He won a Heisman trophy and was a lot of fun. However, to call him the best player in 50 years of SEC football is insane. The poll pitted players head-to-had over several rounds. Manziel took down Derrick Henry, Steve Spurrier, Jack Youngblood, Reggie White, Herschel Walker, and, in the finals, Bo Jackson. In that final round Manziel got 95.3 percent of the vote. Johnny Football beat arguably the best athlete of all time by almost 90 percent.
This really seems to reek of vote stuffing, but there is no situation in which this isn’t a stupid result. In addition to some of the legendary football names previously mentioned, the SEC was also the home to the likes of Peyton Manning, Cam Newton, and, sure why not, Tim Tebow. Not to mention a bunch of athletes from the ‘70s and ‘80s that people voting in this poll probably don’t remember. This feels like recency bias and people putting style over substance. Or maybe it’s just people thinking it’s funny to vote for Johnny Manziel as the SEC’s best player in the last 50 years. Regardless, this isn’t going to raise the profile of SEC fans in anybody’s mind.