SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
10/21/2007 06:24:00 PM
Five Things We Learned This Weekend
Kentucky's Andre Woodson threw for 415 yards and five touchdowns but lost his duel with Florida's Tim Tebow.
Jim Owens/Icon SMI
1) That two of your Heisman finalists played in Lexington yesterday. Much like the national title race, sorting through the Heisman candidates this season has often felt like a process of elimination. Colt Brennan got hurt. Ray Rice struggled. DeSean Jackson disappeared. BrianBrohm's team went in the toilet. Darren McFadden's team became irrelevant. One by one, the popular preseason candidates exposed their blemishes (some by no fault of their own) to the point where filling out my top-five list last week for the HeismanPundit.com straw poll was nearly as difficult as my past few AP ballots.
Which is why watching Saturday's Florida-Kentucky shootout was not only entertaining but enlightening, providing some much-needed clarity. In what has been a rare occasion this season, two transcendent players each delivered the type of jaw-dropping performances on which Heisman seasons are built. It's nowhere near time to project a winner (as so many of us had already done for Troy Smith by this point last season), but I do think it's safe to predict that, barring injury or a total collapse by one or the other, Tim Tebow and Andre Woodson will be in New York the second Saturday of December. Tebow currently holds the advantage, having beaten Woodson head-to-head and having now delivered three of the most impressive individual performances all season (against Tennessee, LSU and Kentucky). Come December, however, voters may wind up siding with Woodson because he A) beat LSU (if the Tigers remain in the national title mix until the end) and B) has helped elevate a longtime doormat, whereas Tebow took over the reins of the defending national champs.
There are no shortage of other factors that will come into play as well (most notably, Tebow and Woodson would likely need to keep their teams in SEC title contention until the end), and the pair certainly aren't the only worthy candidates out there. Despite missing Saturday night's Illinois game, Mike Hart still has ample opportunity to rise to the top, especially if he were to go off on No. 1 Ohio State in the season finale. And Boston College QB Matt Ryan is already high on a lot of lists heading into a golden showcase opportunity Thursday night at Virginia Tech. If someone winds up outshining current leader Tebow, so be it -- so long as age is not the deciding factor. It's 2007, people. In an age when Vanderbilt has a better football program than Notre Dame, an underclassman should certainly be able to win the Heisman Trophy.
2) That reports of the Pac-10's ascendancy were premature. I wrote it, as did so many others. Through the first month of the season, no conference had done more to distinguish itself than the Pac-10, with rousing non-conference wins by Cal (over Tennessee), Oregon (over Michigan), Washington (over Boise State) and USC (over Nebraska). In the weeks since, however, we learned that shredding Tennessee's defense, as Cal did, isn't particularly difficult (ask Alabama) and that Nebraska is closer to No. 120 than No. 20. The Trojans wound up losing to Stanford, the 2-5 Huskies haven't won since that Boise State game, and the Bears have now lost consecutive games to Oregon State (itself a 34-3 loser to Cincinnati) and UCLA (44-6 loss to Utah, only team this season to lose to Notre Dame).
Obviously, it doesn't speak particularly well of our West Coast friends that, at the near-halfway point of the conference season, those same Bruins are tied for first at 4-0 in the Pac-10. Its co-leader, 7-0 Arizona State, had been looking toward Saturday's home date with Cal as chance to finally prove its worthiness, but suddenly everybody's beating Cal. Still, this coming weekend will be a very interesting one for the conference. In addition to Cal-ASU, No. 9 USC visits No. 5 Oregon in a game with serious BCS implications. The Ducks, despite losing that home game to Cal, remain the league's most viable national title contender. That Michigan beatdown looks better and better with each subsequent Wolverines victory. But Oregon finds itself having to reinvent the nation's No. 2 offense on the fly after losing a bevy of key personnel (three receivers, plus No. 2 tailback Jeremiah Johnson). They did more than fine against Washington, riding RB Jonathan Stewart to 55 points, but USC brings a far more challenging defense.
The previously struggling Trojans, meanwhile, turned in their crispest offensive performance of the season at Notre Dame, with QB Mark Sanchez shining in his second career start, but how much can we really read into performances against the Irish this season? (Other than the fact USC obviously fared far better than its cross-town rival ... you know, the one leading the conference). Right now, Oregon and ASU seem like the league's teams to beat; by this time next week, however, it could be back to USC and UCLA. Think about how crazy that would have sounded just two weeks ago.
3)That USF is not-yet-ready-for-primetime. Last Sunday, I was one of the 11 AP voters to elevate the 11-year-old South Florida Bulls to No. 1 in the AP rankings -- yet even then I could see Thursday night's Rutgers upset coming from 33 miles away (the distance from Manhattan to Piscataway). Just four days after debuting at No. 2 in the BCS standings, the young Bulls would not only be facing the pressure of trying to prove themselves to a nation full of newfound skeptics, but they'd have to do so in a sold-out Thursday night road game against the one team in their conference that's caused them the biggest matchup problems in the past. (Specifically, one matchup: Physical RB Rice, he of the 202-yard day against USF's otherwise unmerciful run defense just a year earlier.) The fact is, USF's D is all about speed -- hence why they've performed so well against West Virginia -- whereas Rice and the Knights are all about power. Sure enough, Rice exploded for 189 yards and Rutgers pulled off a 30-27 win.
So why, might you ask, did I move the Bulls up to No. 1 if I already had such reservations about their ability to beat a 4-2 team? Well for one, as I said last week, we're supposed to vote based on past results, not predictions of the future. I could not have known at the time whether my instinct would prove true, whereas USF's resume at the time was undisputable. And secondly, as I wrote from Thursday night's game, is there really that big a difference between USF losing at Rutgers and LSU losing at Kentucky? Or Oklahoma losing at Colorado? These days, everybody's vulnerable. I happen to share Rice's opinion (expressed in that column) that the week-in, week-out difficulty in the Big East is not dramatically different than the SEC's or Big 12's. Preemptive note to the expected, indignant SEC fans: I am not saying the Big East is a "better" conference than yours; I'm saying that, just like there are almost no "weeks off" in your conference anymore, the Big East's schedule, albeit shorter, is similarly grueling due to that league's depth and balance. (In fact, it's arguably more difficult to run through the Big East undefeated now than it was in its previous configuration, which for the majority of its non-Michael Vick existence was basically Miami and the seven dwarfs).
All of that said, I'd be lying if I didn't say covering my first live USF game was a bit of letdown. While the Rice shredding was not entirely unexpected, the Bulls' offensive line made Rutgers' previously struggling defense look like an NFL team's. QB Matt Grothe, while obviously supremely talented, was far too reckless with the game on the line -- and then, with reporters waiting outside the locker room afterward, refused to conduct a single interview. While I'm told that's not entirely uncommon in MLB clubhouses or NFL locker rooms, in nearly a decade in this business, I've never encountered that from a high-profile college athlete (except in instances where school officials or coaches purposefully shielded the player.) But alas, how could Grothe have known? He and his teammates are completely new to this kind of stuff -- to the point where Thursday night marked the first time in its young history than an opposing team's fans stormed the field after beating USF. The Bulls should certainly hope it's not the last time -- that is, if they're planning on making such big games a regular occurrence.
4) That Notre Dame's woes likely aren't over yet. Following the Irish's 38-0 loss Saturday to rival and traditional measuring stick USC on Saturday, Charlie Weis was asked whether his team had hit rock bottom. His responded in part, "People better enjoy [it] now, have their fun now." Was Weis referring to the people who've already had their way with ND -– or issuing an invitation to others?
When the Irish's lopsided losses initially started piling up in September, one could look at their schedule and reasonably conclude that, even if Weis' team started an unthinkable 0-8 (thanks to Dorrell, they made it through at 1-7), they could at least count on four wins at the end. At this point, however, that no longer seems like a given, and in fact none ND's four remaining opponents –- Navy, Air Force, Duke and Stanford -- seem like all that much of an underdog anymore. The Midshipmen and Falcons are a combined 10-5. The Blue Devils, though 1-6, have a dangerous quarterback (sophomore Thaddeus Lewis, one spot below Ryan among NCAA pass efficiency leaders) and have been more competitive than the Irish (beating 5-3 Northwestern and playing the likes of Virginia, Wake Forest and Miami tough). And much-improved Stanford not only beat USC but improved to 2-3 in the Pac-10 with Saturday's comeback win over Arizona.
Of all the historic indignities Weis' team has accrued this season, losing to 4-3 Navy in two weeks would invariably represent the most galling yet. As has been well documented, ND currently holds an NCAA-record 43-game winning streak over the Midshipmen, having last lost to them in 1963 when Roger Staubach skippered Navy. Even as PaulJohnson's program has erased years of misery to reach bowl games the past four seasons has been unable to topple the Irish. This would certainly seem the year to do it, it's almost impossible to handicap how well an opponent will handle Navy's option attack. (So far this year, Navy has beaten Pittsburgh and Duke but been crushed by Rutgers and Wake Forest). Similarly, while Air Force has won five of its first six Mountain West games (including Saturdays win over Wyoming), the Falcons themselves lost to the Midshipmen. The guess here is that ND wins those but loses to the Blue Devils and Cardinal.
5) That Temple has found a home in the MAC. Lost in the wilderness, a program without a home after getting the boot from the Big East, long-hapless Temple went 1-22 the past two seasons while playing an often murderous, mercenary's schedule. In this, the Owls' first in the Mid-American Conference, however, AlGolden's team is currently enjoying its first three-game winning streak since 1990 –- and is sitting a half-game out of first in its new division (the MAC East).
Give oodles of credit to Golden, Temple's 38-year-old, second-year coach, whose relentless energy and enthusiasm since taking over Division I-A's biggest reclamation project reminds many of Rutgers' Greg Schiano. It takes a team with a sense of confidence to do what the Owls did Saturday, which was to overcome a second-quarter, season-ending injury to starting QB Adam DiMichele and hold off a late Miami of Ohio rally to beat the division leader, 24-17. This on the heels of previous close victories over Northern Illinois and Akron.
Note that the RedHawks (2003) and Zips (2005) have both won recent MAC championships, while the Huskies have been to bowl games two of the past three years. Not taking anything away from the Owls' accomplishments, but they seem to be joining the conference at a perfect time. For whatever reason (your theory is as good as mine), the MAC is really struggling right now. There was a time just four or five years ago when you could count on the league to produce at least a couple legitimate stars (Ben Roethlisberger, Byron Leftwich, et. al.) each season, not to mention pull off its share of BCS-conference upsets. But with the exception of Bowling Green and Kent State's early wins over Big Ten and Big 12 cellar-dwellers Minnesota (by Bowling Green) and Iowa State (by Kent State and Toledo), that hasn't been the case at all lately. The door is open for a rising program like Temple to become an immediate contender, which in turn should spur much-needed fan interest. Saturday's win drew 21,041 to the Linc, up from 15,629 for their first MAC home game against Buffalo.
I've not once heard an interesting "bias" comment. The article wasn't about the big 10. He had plenty to say about the big 10 yesterday. People who see "bias" against their league or team everywhere obviously think that everyone who doesn't think obsessively about their team/league is "biased."
Stew, putting USF as No. 1 (or No. 2, 3, etc.) was kinda ridiculous. C'mon, they're obviously not in the same league as the LSUs and USCs of the world. Just look at them.
And no, you're pick is not supposed to be a prediction of future results -- but it's not solely a reflection of past performance, either. Instead, it's a judgment call by you, the journalist, about how good you think THIS team is now. By that measure, USF at No. 1 was illogical.
The last I hear the Heisman means the MVP on the potential best team. I thought it was for the best player in college football. I think I'm going to stop reading your articles, they are becoming more and more idiotic. I'm pretty sure that Mike Hart and D. Mcfadden are pretty much the best players right now. Also what the heck is up with you and the SEC? Face the facts, they SEC has great talent but sadly they waste it with lack of preparation. Why do the loose so often to unranked teams? And please do not use, "Well the SEC struggles because they conference is so tough, they get beat up." Toughness is relative and winning is just that, WINNING.
Stewart's changing view of the PAC 10 illustrates the folly of trying to predict the strength of conferences. There are few head to head matchups between teams in competing BCS conferences other than early season matchups between teams just forming their identify. Going into mid-November last year, after 80% of the season was complete, everyone agreed Michigan and Ohio State were the best two teams in the country. Everyone was wrong.
Then, everyone said the SEC was by far the best conference, but they lost the other two head to head matchups with the Big 10.
There are good teams in each conference, and it is impossible to compare teams across conference right now. LSU looks very tough and battle-tested, but it would not surprise me if Oklahoma were to beat them by 4 touchdowns.
I am one of those obnoxious SEC fans that constantly rant on about how ridiculously stacked our conference but...I still feel that South Florida is getting shafted by losing to a quality team on the road and being downgraded to No. 11 in the latest AP poll. Like Stewart I feel that teams should be judged on what they accomplished this season and Rutgers has beaten two top 20 teams and played another quality team tough. In my book, that ranks them above a lot of the teams that were slotted above them.
I can see it now. OSU, BC, and LSU win out. The AP moves LSU ahead of BC, but the coaches and Harris polls send the undefeated teams to New Orleans for the title game. LSU goes to the Orange bowl and dismantles Oklahoma, then BC squeaks past OSU in a mistake-filled title game. The AP votes LSU #1 while BC gets the BCS title. Knowing how LSU feels about shared titles, do they refuse their half of the national championship?
About time somebody on SI gave Andre' Woodson some credit (Gene Menez get your stuff strait) That said, without a doubt, Kentucky still belongs in the top 10 if Florida and LSU are there. First, they beat LSU, and then have part of a week to prepare for Florida, the early part of the week spent resting from LSU, and with your #1 runningback out, it gets even harder. And the PAC 10 has always been weaker than anyone believes, with exception to Oregon and maybe USC it is overall a joke. On USF's #1 ranking in your poll, i 100% agree. Although without a doubt they are no where close to the best team in the country, you have to look at what they have done to establish themselves (and on that scale OSU would not be in the top 15) Go UK!
Chris- its not a matter of hating the big 10, but its that the big 10 has not performed at all in the few decent nonconference games it has played thus far (see Michigan- Oregon) Also, the big 10 is admittedly having a down year, as anyone in the country will acknowledge
MJD- Simple reason- USF was not as good in the first place as USC or Cal, and being the new team to the top 10, they will naturally drop more because AP voters don't have much respect for them yet. Let them keep on winning a few years, and without a doubt they will recieve the same kind of respect as a USC or Cal
Kentucky - Wow. You really don't think USF is as good as USC or Cal? I suggest you buy another television and have Sportscenter (complete with USF highlights and USC/Cal lowlights) running on one and the 1992 NCAA Final Four on the other.
Anthony said... I still feel that South Florida is getting shafted by losing to a quality team on the road and being downgraded to No. 11 in the latest AP poll.
Excellent point. I don't claim to be inside the heads of the pollsters, but a move like this almost looks like that time-honored football practice of rookie hazing. Smells like there may have been a lot of people out there looking for an excuse to dock USF on their ballots. What's so different about losing to Kentucky in 3OT from losing to Rutgers by a FG that makes the former worth a 3-spot poll drop and the latter a 9-spot fall? Makes no sense.
This, by the way, from a guy whose team (OSU) benefits as much as any from this type of poll bias. You know, since we're taking a break from the mindless chest-beating and all. :)
AND by the way chris i'm all football fan at UK. I go to about 1-2 UK basketball games a year, but haven't missed a UK home football game in 7 years. I'm just happy we're finally good, and people can stop giving me crap about being a football fan and not as much of a basketball fan
Stewart - you said the USF loss "rendered the Big East irrelevant" in the national title picture in your postgame analysis. But in this blog, you acknowledge that the Big East has parity similar to that of the SEC.
Do you really believe that it is impossible for a one-loss USF or West Virginia to make it back into the #1 or #2 BCS ranking?
The Big Ten this year can boast of two victories over Syracuse, four over Notre Dame, and a victory over Pitt, Wash & Wash St. Not a quality win anywhere. They have played two good schools, Missouri & Oregon, and lost both, plus they have losses to Duke & Iowa St. I just don't see anything in the resume to be proud of. The eleven members have played a total of two quality teams thus far. Could it be sadder?
Let us get this out into the open. I am a Buckeye fan.... an alumna of the University and a faithful follower of all things Buckeye football.
I will not bash another school.... unless they wear maize and blue (instinct...sorry). I will not insult another person's intellectual level based on the love they have for their school and conference. I would hope that other people would have the same amount of courtesy.
Now about OSU for a sec.... did they look into a crystal ball and predict the wins and losses of every other team in the country when they made their schedule in advance? I seriously doubt it. After losing the number of talented players last year to the NFL, they were expecting a rebuilding year to develop young talent for the next couple of years. They were probably expecting a loss by now. That did not happen. They are playing well and winning when other teams are not- which to me is the most important thing in ranking a team. They can't help that other teams in the Big 10 are not playing as well. Don't blame them for doing what they are scheduled to do every Saturday.
I can't tell the future. I don't know if the Buckeyes are going to do undefeated or not. I hope so... I'm a fan. But I will not wallow in self pity and cry " oh, woe is me" and " you don't like us because we're Big 10," if we lose a game... after all.... it IS just a game.
Lets make it clear which Anthony Lock Ness Monster is referring to... I'm a huge Nittany Lion Fan and heading into Saturday night's showdown with OSU lets make that clear. And I think South Florida should be #5.
first of all the sec is by far the toughest conference in football. If you take florida lsu auburn south carolina or kentucky and put them into a differnt conference they would easily be undefeated every year. They should get rid of the bcs and creat a new system that says the team that wins the sec championship atomaticly goes to the national championship. Oh and for any ohio state fans, remember last year everyone said yall couldnt be beat, well u saw what happen when u played a good team. What was the score? oh ya 41-14. Yall suck
Alexis - You are saying that when OSU scheduled Kent St, Youngstown and Akron for this year there was a genuine feeling that these schools would constitute quality competition? I am having a really hard time seeing it.
This guy is so biased towards the east, it is really funny. Why would Mike Hart get the nod for Heisman over Dennis Dixon, or Jonathan Stewart? Because the media thinks Michigan is important for some reason even though Oregon destroyed them in the Big House. The west coast anti-bias has been obvious for years, but it is so blatant this year it is laughable. Whatever, let the Big 10 keep their traditions, I mean, I feel sorry for the people that live there, have you visited the Big 10 states recently? Ha. West is the best.
I wish more sports columnists used the same level of critical thought in crafting their editorials. I find your pieces to be insightful, economical, peppered with a good amount of self-humor, and never bogged down in fluff. Despite being a rabid Buckeye fan, I find it deplorable--but not surprising--that so many of your readers take umbrage at the critiques/judgements of their favored team. Silly. These are the "value-added" moments, the insight, that helps people like me better understand our team's strengths, weaknesses, and national perception. Whether it is gained from observation or through communicaiton with coaches, this is where I find value and insight. No one else provides this value. More should. Stewart, I'll continue reading your submissions as long as you continue your diligent work.
Stewart, I hope you have as much fun reading the comments as me. It's a treat. On to which conference is the best, No one will know, every conference is the same. Any one team can win, College Football is unpredictable. That's what makes it the best sports program to watch. I see all the talk of this conference being better and this conference being weak, Being a fan of Ohio State I'll use the Big Ten as an example. When Akron came in, they came into Columbus to win, as did Kent State, these teams might not be the best teams in football but, every game played was played hard, this goes for all Big Ten teams, your going to get a hard played team each week, no matter what the pollsters think. This goes for every conference out there. Who can actually put a finger on which one is better and how ? Everyone I see, can only judge Ohio State by last year, why ? Are we forgetting the Miami/OSU game ? Same game, different year. This applies to every conference, any one team can win, Vandy/South Carolina ring a bell, Stanford/USC, Colorado/Oklahoma, Whatever the outcome this year, it's been a heck of a ride so far. Go Bucks !!!!
Charles- By contrast, the best the SEC can do, in regard to non-conference play, is boast wins over Kansas St., Oklahoma St., Louisville, Va. Tech, and Southern Miss (combined 22-14). They've also lost to Florida St., USF, Missouri, WVU, and Cal (combined 27-8). In other words, they've won against the mediocre and lost against the so far so good while the rest of their non-conference games have been played against traditionally weaker opponents. This might be better than the Big Ten's non-conf. schedule, but is it really something for all the SEC boosters to pound their chests over? Unfortunately for the Big Ten, the conference is suffering greatly from the poor showing of Notre Dame and some other teams that do in fact have strong traditions. It can also be said that Minnesota and Northwestern are doing more than their share to drag the conference straight into the trash heap. However, just because the stars have not been aligned favorably for certain teams' strength of schedule, does not mean that they are not good teams. Why penalize Ohio State because Notre Dame is lousy? It makes no sense.
first of all the sec is by far the toughest conference in football. If you take florida lsu auburn south carolina or kentucky and put them into a differnt conference they would easily be undefeated every year, blah, blah, blah, and other opinions backed up by not one single fact
Tyler, please, we're trying to have a serious discussion here. You're not quite ready for the Big Kids' Table.
The fact that you would even include Kentucky, the biggest one-hit wonder in recent college football history, in your so-called example pretty much tells the rest of us every single thing we need to know about you. Newsflash for you, genius: that's not much of a football program. Here's UK's recent history:
Charles- In response to your question posed to Alexis, no I do not think that OSU intended to schedule quality competition when they slated YSU, Akron, and Kent. Instead, I think they hoped to schedule some fairly easy warm-up/"pre-season" games while placing some regional programs in the spotlight. I believe that their motivation was the same as LSU's when they scheduled Middle Tennessee, Tulane, and La. Tech or when Florida scheduled Western Kentucky, Troy, and Florida Atlantic. Is there a difference? Here's a question for you: Do you really believe that Big Ten programs hoped to schedule easy games when they made dates with ND, UW, WSU, or Pitt?
There is only one undefeated team that deserves the No. 1 position in the polls, and that is Ohio State. The rest of the Big 10 is unspeakable. The Big 12 is a mess. Pac-10 can't figure out which games to show up to. The SEC is great, but they too have their flaws. Did anyone really think S. Carolina should be ranked as high as they were?
Please be more responsible with your voting, and vote who you believe to be the best team as No. 1. None of this USF No. 1. That is irresponsible.
We all know BC isn't the No. 2 team in the nation. If they really are, why isn't Hawaii sniffing the Top 10? Talk about disrespect, if that is how you vote.
In brief, what the Big Ten and the Big Ten region has done for the SEC and the Big 12:
-Urban Meyer- Born and raised in northeast Ohio and graduated from U of Cincy and Ohio State. Started his head coaching career at Bowling Green.
-Les Miles- Born and raised in northeast Ohio and graduated from U of Michigan. Started his coaching career at Michigan.
-Bo Pelini- Born and raised in northeast Ohio and graduated from Ohio State.
-Mark Mangino- Born and raised in western Pennsylvania. Graduated from little old Youngstown State University in 1987. The same school that brought us Jim Tressel.
-Bob Stoops- Born and raised in northeast Ohio. Graduated from the University of Iowa.
Need I go on? Heck. Even the best pro football team to ever come out of the southeast, the 70's Miami Dolphins, were coached by Don Shula, a guy born and raised in northeast Ohio. I'm starting to sound like a broken record.
Indeed, this is the most amusing comment thread I think my blog has ever seen. I'm loving it.
Especially this ...
Tankerdawg - Stewart has a tiger tattoo on his butt and he does the gator chomp in his sleep. Asking him to be impartial is like asking Northwestern to be relevant."
In response to Tankerdawg, it appears the pollsters have jumped West Virginia back up high enough that the Big East has not been rendered irrelevant yet. So that's at least somewhat encouraging to the league. That said, as some of you pointed out, it doesn't make a whole lot of sense why the Mountaineers are now so much better off than the USF team to which it lost. USF dropped from 1 to 7 on my ballot, WVU is 8.
what does kentucks past have to do with how good they are this year? and yes those 6 teams would destroy osu. Look what happen last year a one lost sec team killeeddddddd a undefeated ohio st team that was suppose to be unbeatable. That proves my point sec is toughest in the land
what does kentucks past have to do with how good they are this year?
Ummmm ... hey, genius? YOU were the one who brought out the "every year" argument. Or have you already forgotten your first post? (not that it's worth remembering, so I guess I shouldn't blame you for that).
So, in case you're having trouble following along, I was pointing out to you that not only would Kentucky not go undefeated "every year" in another BCS conference, they wouldn't even go undefeated in the Big Sky Conference.
any team of the top 6 teams in the sec would absolutly kill the osus and uscs and the oregons
When I read nonsense like this from the SEC's Kool-Aid Nation, I always find it helpful (after first vomiting) to remember the wise words of a philosopher named Stewart Mandel, who discussed SEC fans' selective memory and separation from reality as follows:
"Tennessee beats Cal last year? Yet another feather in the SEC's cap. Cal beats Tennessee this year? Completely irrelevant.
"USC beats Auburn 23-0 in 2003? That wasn't one of Auburn's better teams. Auburn goes 12-0 the next year and gets left out of the BCS title game? A crime against humanity, seeing as the Tigers obviously would have beaten the Trojans.
"Big East champion Louisville comes within an offsides call of edging SEC champ Florida out of last year's BCS title game? Exhibit A why the whole system needs to be blown up. The fact that Big East champion West Virginia beat SEC champion Georgia in the Sugar Bowl just a year earlier? Eh -- the Dawgs weren't up for that game.
"Les Miles calls out USC's "soft" Pac-10 schedule? Well ... duh. But wouldn't that make SEC divisional champion Arkansas -- whom the Trojans beat 50-14 just a year earlier -- even softer? No, because Darren McFadden wasn't healthy, and he's obviously capable of producing 36 points on his own.
"Florida beating Ohio State like a rented mule in last year's title game? Indisputable confirmation that the Big Ten can't hold a candle to the SEC. The fact SEC teams lost their other two bowl games against Big Ten foes? Never happened."
I am a Buckeyes fan, OSU alumnus and follow college fb via the internet as I live and work in India.
I don't understand how the relevance that we earlier used to determine cf's worthy comabatants for a national championship can dramatically change because Appalachian St. beat Michigan. I can only point to embarrassment from the sportswriter fraternity over the heir apparent (OSU) losing to Florida in a dramatic fashion. Why that should require an overhaul of the system perplexes me though as it tends to happen most years. How many championship games actually have a nailbiting finish? Most seem to be over by the 3rd qtr which suprisingly isn't any different from the Superbowl. With that said, why is the Big 10 less or more deserving recognition than the Big East, Big 12, or dare I say S E C. At the end of the season like it or not most teams will have lost a game and based on the remaining # of unbeaten teams we "annoint" 2 opponents who will battle in the championship. Until a playoff is created, this is the system and winning is the main criteria.
florida a 12-1 team destroyed a undeafted unstoppable team? but you know your right it should have been a rematch between michigan osu, because there were the better teams? i guess thats why michigan was stomped by usc and osu was stomped by florida. the only reason those teams get all they hype is because of there schedule. osu hasnt played a ranked team yet
For Eric Y-town - The Big Ten has only played two quality non-conf games this year and lost both. I think that is a dismal record. As you say the SEC does not have a whole lot more to boast about, but wins over Kan St, Ok St, Va Tech, & Louisville are a small step. Even if the 11 Big Ten teams thought that Pitt, Wash and Notre Dame might be quality competition that still isn't much for 11 teams to boast about. OSU scheduled Wash, Youngstown, Kent St & Akron as non-conf foes. That should embarrass any real fan of college football. Equally embarrassing are the SEC contests you cited with weaklings. But instead of being embarrassed we reward a Boise St with a BCS bid and we say things like 'great teams find a way to win'. Great teams become great teams by slaying giants, not running up the score against weaklings as Hawaii would want us to believe. The goal for a typical BCS team is now to win at least 3 non-conf games, combined with an average conf record and get a bowl bid. The goal for the better BCS teams, except USC, seems to be to go undefeated in conf and don't risk the season with a quality non-conf opponent. Auburn playing USF & K-St is an exception, but Aub has played its share of weaklings in the past. No longer does a mid-major have to play a quality BCS team to get a BCS bid or high ranking (see Boise St last year & Hawaii this year). No longer do teams like Tex & OSU have to risk the encounter to get a bid to the NC. An undefeated season should get a BCS team a bid to the NC. I think the current state of affairs is pretty bleak, and OSU and BC are good examples of why. At this point in the season we should be able to rank teams based upon accomplishments. You believe winning is everything no matter the competition and I think LSU's record against Va Tech, Aub, Fla, Kent and S. Car is a much stronger resume for a champion. OSU, BC, Kansas, & Hawaii have accomplished little. There may be one quality win amongst the four of them. The truth is that the 11 members of the Big Ten have no quality wins outside of conf and have done nothing to make its case as a strong conf. Nothing. You say it's not their fault and I say it's pitiful no matter whose fault it is.
the went to the wire with louisville yes and that was there worse game of the year. they beat a #1 lsu team and lost to a south carolina and florida. And florida is the best team in the nation no doubt about it. GATOR BAIT
You are correct. Thanks for citing that litany against SEC fans in a response to a mailbag question about them. I liked it.
I guess that "tiger tatooed on his butt" must be a Princeton Tiger.
In any case, I think the reaction to SEC fan support of their teams and conference is more amusing than this blog.
I think OSU is a good team, with passionate fans. I like the team. Better defense this year. Good coach. Great game against an inexperienced Washington Husky team that made a lot of mistakes but fueled my hopes for their future in the PAC 10 and beyond.
I wonder if the team is as proud of the fans as the latter are of the former. Those fans (present company excepted for the moment) have come into blogs arguing the superiority of their current team because (1) SEC fans are "inbred" "morons" who just don't understand the superiority of the Big Ten; (2) the institutions of the SEC are "academically inferior" and "cheat"; (3) OSU did not bring it's "A Game" against Florida; (4) LSU fans don't know how to spell "Go" (they use "Geaux") or Tigers (they use "Tigres" sometimes); and . . . my personal all time favorite . . . (5) "you are just jealous because you lost the Civil War." There's more . . . but my present disgust with the list is keeping them in reserve and me from defending against this ludicrous list of tripe. Perhaps another day I will.
I do hope your wish (and mine) is fulfilled and you make it to N'Awlins against LSU. Pretty good teams that you would have to earn significant "style points" to overcome if they continue to bring their "A Game" against a far tougher schedule. LSU will also have to face some more pretty good teams (one probably twice) to get there. Yet, I am with you . . rooting for you to be there with the Tigers those of you who wish for that on the presumption that you have "unfinished business" against the SEC.
Whats your problem with UCLA, you act like they're lucky to even win a game. The only reason they lost to ND was becuase they had their 3rd string qb start. Oh and didnt Bethel-Thompson also play most the Utah game. If Pat Cowan was healthy the whole season UCLA would be undefeated and be up there with Ohio State.
hahahahaha sasquatch the big ten sucks...guess how many ranked teams are in the sec 7 guess how many are in the big ten i think 1...but your right the big ten is def a better confrence...and osu brought there a game, they just suck. the only reason troy smith put up good numbers last year is the teams you played. what he do against a sec defense i think i was like like 4-13 and 47 yards. those are def heisman numbers
Posted: 10:42 PM by Stewart Mandel Indeed, this is the most amusing comment thread I think my blog has ever seen. I'm loving it.
Stewart, I think it's probably because we've all finally blown a collective gasket over this season, and there is little left but for loopiness to ensue. I mean, good gawd. . . if there is anyone who can give me a rational explanation of the new BCS rankings, I'd love to hear it. I sure can't make any sense out of it. Sometimes all that is left is to grab a box of popcorn, sit back, and just watch the carnage passively until something comes out at the other end.
the reason UK went to the wire with the ville is because its a rivalry game- neither team had figured out how good or how bad they were yet, too. Any rivalry will be closer than a normal game- see LSU-Tulane, Iowa-Iowa State, BC-ND, Cincinnati-Louisville, the intensity goes up a notch
SEC is overrated. Mandel and all you other SEC clowns can't seem to get off of this kick that the SEC is the strongest conference. The only way to see the true strength of a conference is by looking at the conference bowl standings at the end of the season. Last time I checked, the SEC has not even had the second best showing the last 3 seasons. Big East was the best last year, Big 12 and PAC 10 the year before that, and The mountain West before that. Look it up you southern dorks. Also, if the SEC was so tough, how do you explain Wake Forest being able to beat anyone in the SEC...Wake Forest beat FSU, who beat Alabama, who beat Vandy, who beat South Carolina, who beat kentucky, who beat LSU. You SEC geeks can't stand that comparison unless it makes your stank conference look better.
Since ND has slid into relative obscurity (except to be the brunt of jokes at this point), I find this observation to be interesting:
It seems to me that Charlie Weis is terrible at player development and recruiting, and a genius at drawing Xs and Os when given good talent on the offensive side of the ball.
This is not a good recipe for success in a school without a conference, and with the regular shellackings administered by an average Big Ten conference, I can't imagine that ND has very many options.
My prediction - Charlie is given a short leash next year to show "player development," and then he will unceremoniously be shown the door, because I don't think he can deliver. Then, he will return to something he is actually good at, and be an offensive coordinator in the NFL. (But not with NE...heck, I could call plays for them right now and they would score.)
"Wake Forest being able to beat anyone in the SEC...Wake Forest beat FSU, who beat Alabama, who beat Vandy, who beat South Carolina, who beat kentucky, who beat LSU" ever heard the term 'upset'? And how is a team able to beat Anybody just because of one win? If that is the case, why didn't kentucky beat florida? And why didn't UCLA beat Utah, who got beat by Oregon State but UCLA beat Oregon State? That right there is the most non-thought-out reasoning I have ever heard. You should probably never post again.
trojan warrior your just mad that usc lost to STANFORD. you dont have the right to talk. and peter sorry im not using spell check or trying to right a paper and using good enough grammar for you..cry about it
It appears that Florida, Kentucky, and LSU might actually be as near equal in quality as any teams out there. We all know that on any given Saturday the results of their respective games against each other could have gone the other way, and the scores would remain close. I could easily see these three teams sharing a spot in the polls.
That said, I believe that LSU is every bit the power house that they were once touted to be and that they could easily puppy-whip Ohio State. But so could Florida and Kentucky and possibly Auburn at this point in the season. What do you think?
How can you discuss the Heisman and not include Dennis Dixon of Oregon?
He's the unquestioned leader of the #5 team in the nation and the QB for the #2 offense in the country. Except for a fumble and a quirky bounce against Cal he be leading the #1 or #2 team in the country. He doesn't make many mistakes and he comes up big a ton this year.
Although, if Jonathan Stewart keeps putting up huge numbers for the next 4 weeks now that he will get increased carries with Johnson out, he should be in the picture too. The guy is Adrian Peterson without the hype. (unfortunately right down to the injury problems as well).
K.. the kids (USF) did NOT play 1/2 as well as I expected (second 1/2 was due in part to crappy coaching) @ Rutgers... however... would not be terribly surprised that the NCAA officials are reviewing tapes, as the refs took one legit touchdown away from USF (the other had a foward pass ~ therefore was a no brainer).
I'm a bit confused as to why the spearing of Selvie (EXTREMELY BLANTENT)in the first quarter, along with some other nasty play, was never called on Rutgers... however, when USF tossed the ball in the end zone an scored, refs were all about keeping the 'celebration' for USF to a minimum. Gator fans have attested to me in the past 72 hrs that we got screwed by the refs, confirmed my belief that the coaches damned the "crew" by playing a passing game 2nd 1/2...... and lastly...Jim finally showed on national TV why he's had issues keeping some key talent (ask Bethuen Cookman and other FLA schools how many 'previous' USF players they have. (Love you Loon!!!)
Hate us 'cause we're beautiful.. but these guys are on the grind and have been workin' the program for so long.... hurts my heart that others don't love 'em as much as me.........
BTW: an FYI to all of the Big East haters...... the Big East is SO there.... Look at the talent, skills and stats.. I got money that the 'darling SEC' and Pac 10 that everyone foams about don't have the what for that the BIG EAST can dish out.......... BRING IT. BIG EAST CAN HANDLE IT...
Posted: 12:14 AM by ReGenesis It appears that Florida, Kentucky, and LSU might actually be as near equal in quality as any teams out there. That said, I believe that LSU is every bit the power house that they were once touted to be and that they could easily puppy-whip Ohio State. But so could Florida and Kentucky and possibly Auburn at this point in the season.
I hope you keep thinking that, because that kind of crap is exactly what fueled OSU's downfall last year. People were already having them replace the Cleveland Browns in the NFL, and they got cocky, were unprepared, and got housed by a hungry UF team trying to prove they even belonged in the game.
Every time a reporter, or a blogger, or a fan tells how much OSU DOESN'T deserve to be #1, it only reminds them of last year, and makes them train harder. So keep the locker room postings coming, and we'll see what happens on the field.
Maybe I'm missing (or via selective attention ignoring) the kind of Big 10 fans you mention in your comments, but I don't seem to remember seeing that many of them (although the same could be said of what WE see as numerous ridiculous SEC comments). In any case, I think it's easy to separate the wheat from the chaff on these blogs (and a lot of chaff there is!). I don't think the Big 10 is superior to anyone else this year, only that it's not as bad as some people say. I don't think OSU is the best team right now, but I didn't think it was in 2002 either and they made it happen. Incidentally, I personally think your Tigers are probably the best team out there right now, but guess what? I remember 2002, and after last year I know last year ain't gonna happen again, so a game with you would be a great one I think!
Take care all.
P.S. I'm hesitant to do this since it's obvious the only reason he's posting such ridiculous things is to get a reaction (sad, really) but I still gotta do it:
Tyler, you're an idiot. Stop embarrassing yourself.
i love how ive proved dukester wrong on every point his tried to make so now all he can do is try to make fun of me because im not trying to be grammaticly correct. Now dukester this is a blog about college football, try to make another point so i can prove it wrong, AGAIN. Doing that tonight has been fun.
You'd downgrading the Pac's wins over Boise St., Nebraska, Michigan, and Tennessee? Well perhaps the Pac should have played Eastern Kentucky, Western Kentucky, Troy, and LA-Lafayette. Apparently those wins from the SEC aren't degrading your confidence in the conference one bit!
Well, I should say that the SEC didn't just play those teams. Alabama lost to Florida State. Tennessee lost to Cal. Auburn lost to South Florida. Ole Miss Lost to Missouri. LSU beat VTech.
I guess that makes the SEC 1-4 against ranked BCS opponents? Yep, no reason to question their legitimacy!
At the end of the season it's going to be like it always is...the SEC will get credit for beating their own ranked teams. Teams that are still ranked despite losing to just about every tough OOC opponent they faced this year.
ok since everyone seems to love destroying osu for their non-conference schedule lets take a look at lsu who plays Va tech, middle tennessee, tulane, and LA tech...now outside of VA tech that is an absolute cakewalk, and since people like bringing up last year so much how about we remember when osu dominated what was then a #2 texas team...osu also has future games scheduled with USC and Maimi (fla), so i think they deserve a break, and they certainly can't be blamed for other program's badness
oh and uhhh tyler...if your age exceeds 12 i've lost all respect for you as a human being
ok ole miss tennessee and alabama could be the worse teams in the sec. If it were to be florida kentucky or south carolina to play those teams sec would be 5-0. And troy might not be a great team but they put up 31 against florida and destroyed oklahoma st, and they have lost 1 game this year...they are a decent team.
Ken"suck"y Rouse...that meant to be sarcastic when I said Wake Forest can beat anyone in the SEC. I constantly read how SEC fans use that same type of comparison. I noticed you didn't comment on the bowl rankings. Nothing you can say about that, I guess.
trojan didnt usc lose to stanford? so quit posting, atleast most people on here deserve to talk about there team, osu fans have a right to talk because there ranked 1, and anybody thats a fan of he sec can talk, because sec is a powerhouse, they always have been and always will be. Oh and i want to give usf credit, beating auburn and west virgina is a hard task, tough lost to rutgers
09/01 YSU W 38-6 09/08 Akron W 20-2 09/15 at Washington W 33-14 09/22 N'western W 58-7 09/29 at Minnesota W 30-7 10/06 at #23 Purdue W 23-7 10/13 Kent St W 48-3 10/20 Mich St W 24-17 10/27 at #25 Penn State 8:00 PM 11/03 Wisconsin TBD 11/10 Illinois TBD
so osu has played one ranked team against purdue which lost go michigan which lost to app st and oregon. and they have one ranked team on there schedule which is penn st who is barely ranked at number 25 who lost to illinois and michigan, face it osu schedule is awful and they shouldnt be ranked number 1
You are right Tyler...USC winning 11 National titles, 2 of them within the last 5 seasons, the team that has produced 3 heisman trophy winners this decade and still being in the national title hunt with 1 loss...I shouldn't be posting. Idiot.
I wish Mike Hart were getting more Heisman love. I think it's sick what's happened to the most "prestigous" award in college football. The trophy needs to be awarded on something more than gaudy stats. Players like Mike Hart, who may not necessarily be the most skilled in the sport at their position who nevertheless play with everything they have, giving it 110% on every play and providing the heart and backbone of their team deserve so much more credit.
Yes, Tim Tebow and ANdre Woodson are extraordinary QBs (the latter more than the former), but I think the Heisman has to be about more than being a fantastic QB on a big-time team. There is an intangible aspect that seems completely overlooked. Mike Hart is special because of what he does for his team and the character he's shown. When Michigan was struggling, Mike Hart was there for his team and I think he's a huge part of the reason they've showed such improvement.
I just hope the voters will give him SOME love, whether or not UM beats OSU. BTW, I'm a huge SEC supporter, and I still want to see Hart win out in NY. (pun intended)
Speaking of schedules, next year is going to be awesome for the Florida Gators. Their non-conference schedule: Hawaii, Miami (FL), Citadel, and Florida State. Should be fun as heck and I expect them to turn each team into delicious morsels of Gator Bait. As for this year, if the Gator's win the SEC chamipionship, they've left me more than happy.
You're right...I was reading the Observations III comments and saw a bit of what you're talking about. I will tell you, however, that the VAST majority of OSU fans I know (including myself) are NOT saying we're unbeatable, or the best team, blah blah blah. I think if we make it through the season undefeated, and get to the NC game, you'll see a different team than you did last year. Every major team, I suppose, has to have a shellacking every once in a while, and that was ours.
BTW, I saw you got drawn into the "conference strength" thread my friend...easy to have happen isn't it? Although it appeared as if you had been up really late...never MY best time for rationality or judgment either. I've gotten pretty good at not responding to them now though, since it's obvious it's the same comments, "arguments" etc. ad nauseaum...I've simply added "conference strength" to "politics, religion, etc." as things to not argue about"...makes it easier for me to go to my happy place!
Last but not least, if there are any BYU fans out there, hats off to you for a neat stadium, an incredible view from the stands, and really nice people (yes, even the students). Definitely a class act! I really enjoyed this last Saturday's game even if I did get covered in snow!
chris i bet you were one of those kids that got picked on as a kid werent you? one that sat in the corner in class and no one talked to..you prob have never had a date in your life and you sit on your computer all day trying to win agurements but that doesnt work out for you either, so u pretty much suck at life
Polls are so pointless until maybe the very end of the season. They are plagued by irresponsible voting, voter bias, and an inability to compare records across conferences. We need a friggin playoff system now!!!!
BTW Stewart your continued Big East bias continues to digust me. (that felt good)
Yeah, mea culpa. Just got back home here in WA from a conference in Columbia, MO about 12 hours of hard travel . . . taking care of business online . . and got drawn into the "conference debate" due to fatigue and a very low guard. I thought of deleting my stuff there, but then . . I did it, so *shrug*
What are people smoking to think that Ohio State and BC are the top 2 teams in the country? Undefeated....good for them! Who out there can look in the mirror and truly say that either of these teams would be anything other than an "also ran" deep on the list of unranked teams if they had played the likes of Florida, South Carolina, Kentucky, and Auburn? They'd both be lucky to be at .500!
No, I wasn't giving you a hard time at all! I've done my fair share of those freakin' things, and sometimes you just gotta wade in and stand up for your conference and/or team (although I like to think I've never said we're the best...I do think we'll stand tall this year though). Actually, when it gets kind of irreverent (e.g., the "anti-bias bias" thread), it kind of makes it all fun...the way it should be, you know?
remember the one time when the North All-Stars played the South's best, and the South had the home field advantage? And the North killed hundreds of thousands of the Southerners, and destroyed their homes and cities so that the South continue as a land of inbreds and poor trash, for centuries thereafter?
I like Woodson because of what I think should be the criteria for selection. Stephanie said it better, but it involves excellant play at position and leadership. Woodson and Tebow both have superb athletic ability. Both are well coached. Woodson, however, has done more with a traditional doormat of the SEC than Tebow has with a perennial power. I know that goes against the hype grain, but that is why.
I've also watched both play. Woodson has finesse, Tebow is still raw. While I think Tebow will win that Heisman in his career, I think Woodson should win it now if votes were cast today.
the sec is good because we play the hardest schedules every year. We put the most players in the nfl every year. We have more teams make bowl games than any other confrence. We have more teams in the top 25 more constistly every year. And we have the most national titles then any other confrence. thats about the only reasons tho
Okay, well I did a quick Google search on Heisman Trophy rating criteria, and couldn't find squat. It seems from the little I saw that the criteria are pretty fluid. I find that hard to believe; there HAS to be a set of criteria doesn't there?
So how about it, sports fans? What SHOULD the criteria be?
i'm not saying the pac-10 is in fact the best conference, but isn't it a show of a conference's strengths if any team in it can beat any other team? although i guess that could mean that either all the teams are really good, or they're all really bad, so nvm. i love me some circular logic...
thanks sas. i was just wondering why you thought that. I understand woodson has better numbers but tebow has a better rating and fewer picks. also tebow has more total tds. And leads florida in rushing yards. But i agree it would be a very tough choice at this point of the season
I agree with Kathy that we have no way of knowing exactly how good the conferences are relative to each other. The following is the record of each conference in games against other BCS conferences (with record against Top 25 teams in parentheses).
Big East: 7-8 (1-3) ACC: 7-7 (1-4) Big 12: 5-6 (0-4) Big 10: 5-4 (0-2) Pac 10: 5-3 (1-1) SEC: 4-5 (1-4)
There were so few games between top teams from different conferences, that it makes judgment impossible. In fact, only 4 teams have beaten a current Top 25 team from another conference:
1.) S. Florida beat Auburn 2.) Florida St. beat Alabama 3.) Oregon beat Michigan 4.) LSU beat VaTech
"the sec is good because we play the hardest schedules every year."
Can you please elaborate on why your schedule is so much harder? This seems pretty circular because your OOC schedule doesn't seem that tough.
"We put the most players in the nfl every year."
Link, please. Please limit to last 10 years.
"We have more teams make bowl games than any other confrence."
Link, please. Please limit to last 10 years.
"We have more teams in the top 25 more constistly every year."
Why is this the cutoff? For instance, in the final AP poll last year the Big 10 had more teams in the top 8 than the SEC. In the final 2005 AP poll, the Big 10 had two teams in the top 4. The SEC's highest team was 6.
"And we have the most national titles then any other confrence."
Yeah, and Florida State was a powerhouse in the 80s and 90s. Why is that relevant? Since 2000:
Big 12 - 2 SEC - 1.5 Pac 10 - 1.5 Big 10 - 1 Big East - 1
ok corey but you gotta think about it the 5 sec schools to play are...ut auburn lsu alabama and miss st. Lsu won there game and auburn lost to a good usf team the other 3 teams are at the bottom of the confrence. think about this if u took the top 4 teams from each confrence and they played each other, you would agree with me saying the sec schools would have the best winning percentage. If you dont agree your just hatin on the sec
Tyler, for the love of all that is holy, try to be consistent.
"first of all the sec is by far the toughest conference in football. If you take. . .auburn . . . and put them into a differnt conference they would easily be undefeated every year, blah, blah, blah, and other opinions backed up by not one single fact"
Mandel demotion of the Pac-10 is illogical, because it comes after most of the nonconference games have been played. It makes no sense to belittle the strength of the conference when Pac-10 teams are beating each other up. Mandel can only legitimately argue that there is no truly great team in the Pac-10 (although one could say that about the whole of college football). Nevertheless, three Pac-10 teams (ORE, ASU, and USC) are ranked among the top nine teams in the nation, and this doesn't include CAL, which had been ranked as high as #2. In Mandel's preseason ballot, he placed only one Pac-10 team in his top 18, so his current ballot belies the point is trying to make, as he is ranking more Pac-10 teams higher than he did in the preseason.
There's a reason why most people prefer to read ESPN.com than SI and you're the case in point why. At least Peter King has some modicum of personality. But you? You're just retarded. Reading your pathetic justification of why you had USF ranked no. 1... I mean, c'mon guy. Even Sen. Craig had a better excuse. Thank God they lost the week after, bringing your charade as an intelligent sports journalist closer to an end. Most sports journalists are fickle, I can accept that, but you're the worst. Get a new job. Work for Fox News or something.
yeah i don't understand why so many people continue to bring up South Carolina in defense of the SEC. did you not see them play Vanderbilt and not even manage a touchdown.. and also just hanging on to beat.. North Carolina? you shouldn't defend your pride of the SEC by bringing them up.. and actually, Tyler, the ACC has had more players drafted in the NFL than any other conference since 2000
I haven't seen anything at all in this entire thread about Oklahoma.
I had a post all typed up earlier about how the BCS computers are completely hosing the Sooners, but I deleted it before posting. I didn't want to confuse poor Tyler with some actual facts. He's got enough to worry about with getting on the bus and going to school tomorrow.
But, seriously, one loss on the road by three points equates to 14th in the computer rankings? How does that compute? Of course, these are the same computers that have South Florida fifth, Virginia sixth, and a a Florida team with TWO losses 10th, so I guess you get what you pay for.
Clearly, there's some anti-O bias (Oklahoma and Oregon) going in inside those mainframes.**
I agree with you about Glenn Dorsey. As a monster LSU fan, I've always got his back (like, for instance, why has no one said anything about the nasty chop block pulled on him by Auburn?!?). However, I think he is going to be a top five pick in the draft no problem, and I think Mike Hart probably won't go first round. I just want to see that kid get some major loving, because he really really deserves it.
Also, I love all your posts. It's nice to know there are still smart ncaaf fans out there in the ether.
"the week-in, week-out difficulty in the Big East is not dramatically different than the SEC's or Big 12's."
It may be difficult for BE teams to run through the BE, but it hasn't been particularly difficult for teams in other conferences to run through the BE!! Name a ranked team outside the BE that has lost to a BE team... go ahead.
And what's this about the old BE being Miami and the 7 dwarves!? Do some reading! From 1995 to 2003 VT took 3 BCS berths, Miami took 3 and Syracuse took 2. Plus Miami went 3-6 against VT during that timeframe. Hardly dominating.
Sometimes I think you don't even believe the stuff you write. You just want to get people fired up - it works!
Chris- I love the comments. The bickering about conference supremacy and bias is ridiculous, and I'm glad somebody's finally calling everyone out for it. (I think it's a "Chris" thing...)
As for me, I'm a student at Kansas, where football could never end quick enough for basketball to start. However, we are currently enjoying a perfect season, and our (going into yesterday against Colorado) 2nd ranked scoring Defense AND Offense, as well as our number 1 ranking in the Big 12, continue to be side notes to most of the media. As far as I am concerned, undefeated is undefeated, and at times I am frustrated that Ohio State is so highly ranked while Kansas has garnered little attention, with both teams playing similar schedules, and Kansas blowing out all but Kansas State and Colorado, two away games against good competition. This makes me realize a couple things: 1) Rankings are largely based on tradition - what's the major difference between Kansas and Ohio State? Few people realized Kansas played football the last decade, and for good reason, while Ohio State has experienced great success. As much as sportswriters will deny it, rankings are based on the past years, as USF would have been highly ranked far more quickly if their performance this year were based more on their wins over Auburn and WVU than their past as a program. The problem with this? Guess what? Kansas beat a certain Matt Grothe-lead team last year in Lawrence before ending 6-6 and melting down to teams like OK State and Baylor. Do I think KU should have been ranked over USF before their loss to Rutgers? Of course not, and I would be crazy to say so. 2) As somebody else mentioned, (I am too lazy to go through the comments again and figure out who) it is impossible to rank conferences with the lack of play between them. Teams are more interested in playing cupcakes at home to increase both their profit and the number in the win column than going on the road to test themselves against difficult opposition. Thus, we are left with results to games like Tennessee-Cal that say very little about both the teams that played the game and the conferences they represent. Kansas State lost a close game to Auburn, a game that they, by many accounts, should have won early in the year. Does Auburn's close win mean that the SEC is leaps and bounds better than the Big 12? Or does Florida's loss there a couple weeks later mean that K State and Florida are on the same level? As far as I can see, Kansas State, Auburn, and Florida have the same amount of conference losses. Oh and guess what? Oklahoma State got dismantled by Georgia at Georgia early in the year...but then just last weekend they went and beat Kansas State. Does the margin of victory in those games make Georgia ohsomuch better than Auburn? The most recent power rankings had Auburn at 13, and Georgia at 26. Kansas State was at 17, and Oklahoma State? 45. Still, all but OK State (with 1) have 2 losses in conference now. There are so few games between teams of different conferences, and if they prove little about the futures of the teams involved, how can they be used to decide which conference is best? Even if more teams play teams of other conferences, the teams that show up in-conference will be much different than when they played out-of-conference, and there can not be enough ooc play to justify one conference's dominance. The worst comments I've heard to this effect are those that say "look at the past bowl results". Boise State beat Oklahoma last year. Anyone think they're better than OU this year? Who thinks BYU would beat Oregon this year? How about Louisville holding Wake Forest (or any team for that matter) to 13 points? West Virginia over Ga Tech by 3? South Carolina by 8 over Houston? Notre Dame scoring (14 points, nonetheless) against LSU??? If anyone would pick these games or scores for this year's versions of these teams, let me know. I'll talk to some friends about getting you a nice white room with padded walls. I realize this is a bit long-winded, but the point is you can't rank conferences without a lot of evidence (which is not present) and can't base the present on the past. So start looking at who shows up and who doesn't, not who used to show up, or who should show up. To those who submit the rankings; as Stewart did in placing USF at the top of the charts, let the teams who have shown greatness prove you wrong, don't force the teams from whom you expect greatness to prove you right.
Thank you to any of you poor souls who read all of that, and let me know what you think.
Kentucky over LSU, Florida over Kentucky, Auburn over Florida, USF over Auburn, Rutgers over USF, Cincinnati over Rutgers, Louisville over Cincinnati, UConn over Louisville, Virginia over UConn, Wyoming over Virginia, Air Force over Wyoming, BYU over Air Force, UCLA over BYU, ND over UCLA.
Notre Dame to beat LSU in national championship. (Umm, maybe not.)
Stu, I am a die=hard buckeye fan. I do agree that the big 10 is weak this year...but some points to ponder. In the last three years the Buckeyes have had a total of three losses...to #1 Texas, to #1Florida and #3 Penn State. Does any other college have a better resume? The Big Ten has Indiana first year coach, Minnesota, first year coach, Michigan State first year coach, Northwestern 2nd year coach, Wisconsin, 2nd year coach, Illinois 3rd year coach. And as far as I am concerned, Michigan, Iowa and Penn State have not done a good job with the recruits that they have accumulated. All three have had at least one top 10 recruiting class the past few years. Give the new coaches a few years to develop their systems and get the recruits that they need, and you all may just be calling the Big Ten the premier league again.
For Netizen - I am sorry if you think I post too often, but I am not the only Charles doing some posting. You might recall that when another blogger called you 'stupid' I did dispute it and suggest that name calling served no one. So give me some credit.
Ok. #1 - Everyone knows USF gets NO respect because they don't have the tradition behind them that USC, OSU, or even Florida or LSU has. But, that's plain wrong. It's about what you are doing TODAY, not what you did 10 years ago that should count. #2 - the only way the current BCS system is going to get blown up is when a 2 loss team (say, Florida if they can come back & win the SEC) backs their way into the BCS title game and proceeds to beat an undefeated team like Ohio State. Then the BCS would HAVE to crown a 2 loss National Champion. That is when those who make the rules will discuss a playoff. By the way, the whole idea of who has the better conference is really a moot point. When the NCAA decided to add a 12th game, NOBODY went out and said, "Whoa, this gives us a chance to play somebody like USC, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, Oregon! Let's make it happen." Nope, they instead said "Hello, Florida Atlantic, Buffalo, etc., how would you like a $300,000 payday." Imagine if college football copied basketball with an SEC v. Big-10 challenge each year. Maybe rotating it every other year so it's Big-10 v. Pac-10 one year, SEC vs. Big-12 another year...
For Dan - It is unfortunate that the schools did exactly what you say when we went to 12 games, but it is not their fault. After last year a mid-major no longer has to play a team that is ranked to get a BCS bid. Hawaii is ranked high and played no one. And an undefeated BCS team is almost guaranteed a spot in the NC game. That is our fault and the voters. Games like Texas/OSU are disappearing. The 11 Big Teams have played a total of two quaity games so far (Missouri & Oregon). Other conf are not much better. Only USC consistently seems to be trying to play quality non-conf games. With four non-conf games at least two of them should be genuine efforts to play solid teams. OSU this year scheduled Youngstown, Akron & Kent St along with Wash. It may have been hoped that Wash would be good this year, but the other three were scheduled to raise money for small Ohio schools. Scheduling just Wash was a risk that left them with an embarrassing non-conf schedule. They should be congratulated on their charity work some place other than the polls. Auburn played USF and K-State. Should they finish with two losses I think they should get the bid over an undefeated OSU or BC just to send a message to schools that they need to step up the competition. Ditto USC, OK, or LSU with just one loss. If Fla wins out and covers its close loss to LSU at LSU with a win in the SEC championship they too should be favored. Many will view these statements as unreasonable, but it is time we stopped equating beating up on powderpuffs as the same as beating a quality team. As it is now OSU starters have spent the second half on the bench rather than run up scores. If challenges make us stronger then OSU might not be really challenged until the NC game like last year. And then it may be too late.
Bragging about one league or another or being offended that your favorite league is not the media darling is a complete waste of time. Mandel gives the example that Big East league play is just as grueling as in the SEC, and the same can be said of all the BCS conferences. Pac-10 teams are knocking each other off, Big-10 teams are knocking each other off etc. etc. Just imagine, no polls and no rankings. The landscape would be a bunch of league play until anticipated bowl matchups between league champs. Number 6 South Carolina losing at home to lowley Vanderbilt is comparable to USC losing to Stanford, and Oklahoma to Colorado. Every league is tough to get through and nobody is going to know who is stronger until the games are played. Sure Florida looked impressive over Kentucky, but they looked like crap at home against Auburn. Auburn came within a whisker of beating media darling LSU, but they lost at home to Mississippi State for crying out loud. The polls are nothing but biased opinion and mean nothing on the field of play.
Chase Daniel for Heisman anyone???? Andre Woodson - can you say Andre Ware? Tim Tebow - can you say Cade McNown? Mike Hart - can you say Lawrence Phillips? I'm really getting tired of no one paying the Big 12 ANY respect.
"Well, I should say that the SEC didn't just play those teams. Alabama lost to Florida State. Tennessee lost to Cal. Auburn lost to South Florida. Ole Miss Lost to Missouri. LSU beat VTech."
Stop the presses!!! Some SEC teams sometimes lose to top ranked non SEC teams (often on the road.) That must prove that the conference sucks. Let's focus more on a conference where the teams lose to 1-AA schools at home and lowly 1-A schools (ie Duke) at home. That would seem to me to be the weak conference
Last I checked, Wake Forest was the defending ACC champ. They are well coached with some hardworking athletes. Even if we accepted you faulty logic that Wake is better than everyone in the SEC (which I don't) that is hardly a complete embarrassment.
If we applied your logic, now that UM has beaten a few Big 10 teams that have beaten others, you'd think that any number of 1-AA teams would be in the mix to be Big 10 champ this year.
"I'm really getting tired of no one paying the Big 12 ANY respect."
I'll give them respect. They are better than the Big East and MUCH better than the Big 10. They are probably better than the ACC.
Not quite on the level of the PAC 10 and SEC, but the Big 12 does have some legitimate threats (inclduing up and coming Kansas and Missouri teams.) Okla. is a legit contender. Texas is solid. Colorado is improving. Texas Tech has a dangerous offense (if no defense.) On the other hand, traditional powers A&M and Nebraska are quite awful.
Those who think USF was not worthy are the type that judge a team by their name/reputation. They beat two ranked teams in WV and Auburn..the same Auburn that beat Florida and had LSU on the ropes. They lost to the third ranked team on the road after a short week. Frankly few of the ranked teams have played 3 other ranked teams.
Big East has parity similar to the SEC? Who wrote that, and have they ever weatched a football game south of Pennsylvania? The Big East, and Big 1o have no where near the parity or quality of teams as the SEC - thatg has been proven over and over...Wow...
Glenn Dorsey is a machine-- I would LOVE to see him take the Heisman; after all it is not SUPPOSED to be an offensive award... Only three defensive guys have ever won and it's been ten years since a defensive player has won, which is WAY too long (won't mention that player's name because he went to that school up north...)
LSU has always been on my radar, but they moved into my top five after their NC was stolen from them by the pretty boys out West. I've been a fan ever since... would love to see my Buckeyes go undefeated and take on your Tigers in January. Until that day...
Go Bucks! Geaux Tigres! :)
I almost spewed coffee all over my monitor when I read your comment... thanks for the humor on a Monday morning...
"No longer do teams like Tex & OSU have to risk the encounter to get a bid to the NC."
1) OSU scheduled Washington back in the early/mid 90s, when they were still a well respected team nation-wide.
2) OSU currently has a home and home with USC starting next year, Miami(Fl.) the two years after that, Cal, VaTech, and Oklahoma after that. The Buckeyes don't shy away from playing big time teams OOC, it just happened that Washington went down the crapper before this game was played.
SEC has 6 teams with 2 or fewer losses, but 7 teams ranked.
Big Ten has 5 teams with 2 or fewer losses, 3 of those teams are ranked.
This looks very much like actual poll bias, as opposed to the "bias" being thrown aroudn in these comments.
SEC fans: "If we lose to each other, it's because our conference is so tough. We should be allowed to play in the NC game with 2 losses our conference is so tough.
But, the Big Ten and Big XII and Pac 10 have teams beating up on each other, it shows how overrated all those teams are."
That's a logical disconnect.
SEC was 5-4 against BCS conference opponents in the OOC. Hardly stellar.
The SEC is clearly more competitive . Did someone magically forget about the Ohio State blowout last year???
I agree the Big East is competitive, now. As a Texas Fan, I'm not sure how we'd line up to a Rutgers or South Florida. Give any conference some bowl money and they can create good teams, esp with Thurs prime time games.
I was all for a playoff system until this season, where else does every game mean so much? Certainly not in the NFL. The real problem is how long teams have to wait until the bowl games start. Dennis Dixon's not getting Heisman consideration because he'll be playing MLB after graduation. Heisman voters don't want another Charlie Ward situation. I got Ohio State at 35-1 preseason. Yeesh, now I have to root for them. Anyone know what ND's odds were? (Rhetorical question, I'm just displaying my ND bias which seems to be the rare consistency here).
SEC is the toughest conference, you better come to play every week or you will get burned. Just ask Tennessee and South Carolina.
The Big east is the second toughest conference that has an incredible competitive balance. WV, Rutgers, Cincy, USF, Lou, Pitt, all of these teams have the potential to knock anyone off.
The Big 12 is a deceptively good conference. They do not get any respect because of the weakness of the Big 12 north but now it is much more competitive except for the embarrassment of Nebraska. Col, Kansas, K-State, Missouri I dare say is BETTER than the south and they are starting to get the wins this year to prove that the Big 12 is overall a very competitive and good conference.
Pac-10 is an unreliable conference now that USC is down. Cal gets blasted every week after their one good win at Oregon. UCLA is a joke, and ASU is unproven. Oregon at least is the most consistent, only losing once in a close game.The rest of the conference is just a wild shootout every week with no defense. Thus, the Pac-10 is essentially Conference USA on steroids.
ACC are not bad teams just 12 equally mediocre teams. Nobody is for real in that conference.
Big Ten is really weak except for OSU and an improved Michigan. Only an occasional upset/scare from the other nine teams. Minnesota has to be the biggest embarrassment of any BCS conference team. I'm not saying that if OSU wins out they should not be in the title game(its not like it is Hawaii's Schedule). But let's acknowlede that they should not be chosen over another undefeated team from any other BCS conference(except MAYBE the ACC). Moreover, with the weakness of the Big Ten and difficulty of LSU's schedule they should not be in front of a one-loss LSU.
(1) Please finish your HS education and learn how to spell properly, (2) who are you kidding-- you'll still continue to read Stewart's columns because you love it and if not for that, at least to learn proper use of grammar and spelling, and (3) he's not the only one claiming that SEC has one of the toughest schedules-- year in and year out.
How does the Big Ten compare? vs Pac Ten: Victories over Wash & Wash St, Mich loss to Oreg - Adv Pac 10 vs Big East: 2 victories over Syr, 1 win over Pitt - Inconclusive, no points for beating lower tier teams vs Big 12: Losses to Missou & Iowa St Adv - Big 12 vs ACC - loss to Duke - Inconclusive SEC: No games vs non-BCS & Div II: Terrible At this point in time there should be some quality victories for each team and conf so that evaluations can be made. OSU has two victories over teams that started well, but played nobody. The Big Ten has no quality wins against other confs. So how could I favor a 2 loss Aub or Fla, or 1 loss OK, USC, LSU over OSU? If you count quality wins against teams that have spent several weeks in the Top 25 all of the teams named with one or two losses will have a stronger resume than OSU. To make my point I would suggest that if we only count wins we could have Hawaii vs OSU in the NC but I am not sure that it would bother OSU fans. In boxing if a champion scheduled weaklings like Youngstown, Kent St & Akron, and a has been like Wash we would be hearing jokes on the late show. Absolutely no respect would be offered. Oh I forget, scheduling those four non-conf games is not the fault of OSU. It was believed at the time of scheduling that they would be quality opponents. Once you insist at this point of a season that a team has earned its position with quality wins OSU, BC, Hawaii and Kansas would barely make the radar, if at all.
As an OU fan, I too was less than thrilled to read the latest BCS results, however, that's the deal we all, if not willingly, at least knowingly entered into. I think I may have figured out how to succeed in the BCS system in three steps: 1. Win 2. Don't lose 3. Play well enough to impress voters of applicable polls. Looking back through SI's history of cover pages specific to College Football, it's obvious that controversy and indignation over who should be #1 and the manner of making that decision has long been an important part of the rich tradition that makes College Football special to so many of us. If you're looking for the largest base of USC fans over the next few weeks, you'll find it in Oklahoma.
When will the buckeyes get their due? I admit that LSU is probably the best team; however to be the best you aso need to win; is this not what the buckeyes are doing. When do they get a true win; when they played Washington; that was going to the "Test"; then they played Purdue; who was goping to be a big "test; they killed them. Then they play MSU which was supposed to be a true "test". So if they beat Penn State does this constitute another "test"?. So if they beat Michigan; do they pass and get some props?
So the Pac-10 teams go out and schedule tough non-conference competition and loses. AT LEAST THEY ARE TAKING A CHANCE!!! SEC teams do not schedule tough road games and if they do they are usually in The South. You shouldn't be rewarded with not taking a chance on the road. And every conference takes their lumps because CFB is incredibly balanced. But don't discount a conference because they try (everyone except the SEC) and then boast a conference who is too chicken to play north of the Mason-Dixon Line (SEC). And SEC fans, don't give me this "we have such a tough conference schedule that we can't play a rough non-conference schedule." You look like a tough conference because you schedule cupcakes. Come on Stewart, why are you ignoring this fact?
Here are the 10 things I know this year! (Disclaimer Big 12 fan) 1. You can never predict college football! They are 18-22 yo collge kids! 2. The SEC is still the best conference, I don't care what one game anyone pulls out! 3. Big 10=No offense 4.Big 12 has more parity than ever, it just parity and the mediocre level. 5. Heisman is the most worthless award given in college football. Most popular player on most popular team. McFadden is the the best player hands down even if he was playing for Baylor. 6.Mid Major games are alot of fun to watch, no big time star players playing their butts off! 7. Even with all the talent in the world (USC) it takes team chemistry and you can't coach that, teach that or buy that 8. The reason teams with tradition get voted a little higher is because tradition means a tradition for winning. Teams with no tradition actually do have tradition of losing. Must be prooven otherwise! 9. Its October for god's sake. I bet most all the arguments are settled by seaon's end! 10. At lastly, college football is the greatest sport on earth!
When Wash defeated Boise St it was mistakenly assumed that Wash had made some major strides. But most every year you will see Wash ranked higher than Boise St (usually 65th or so) in recruitment. If those rankings make any sense Wash is a more talented team than Boise St and should have won. Even a casual glance at the rankings shows that Boise St has made its reputation almost always playing teams ranked lower in recruitment. I think they have played four teams in the past three years usually ranked higher. That is hardly a body of work from which to draw any conclusions. We know from history that lower ranked teams can occasionally slay a Goliath, but it takes so much out of them they invariably lose the next week to weak opponents. So I don't count the OSU victory over Wash as a quality win. What quality wins are on the Purdue/Mich St resume? They were winning but again did not beat anyone to establish an independent reputation. OSU is now being ranked based on paper values and history, and not quality wins on the field. At least last season they beat a Texas squad still trying to recover from the loss of Vince Young as they are this season. But look what happened when they went up against a Florida team rated to have played one of the toughest schedules in the country. Ditto Michigan against a USC team that had also played a rigorous schedule. I would like to see teams in the NC that have played difficult schedules and not teams that have played weak schedules (but it's not their fault).
Before you criticize the education, or lack thereof, of other people, perhaps you should look in the mirror:
You call yourself "NCAA Fan" (singular), "SEC Fan" (singular), and "Gator Fan" (singular). But you also call yourself "Gator Alumni". You either momentarily became confused and started to think that you are actually multiple people, or (more likely) are one the many people out there who are ignorant of the Latin language and therefore do not know that Alumni is plural. In the context you were using, you should have identified yourself either as "Gator Alumnus" (male) or "Gator Alumna" (female). I normally wouldn't knock someone so hard for such a mistake, since it is a ralatively common one to make. But since you opened the door by slamming another person's education/intelligence, I thought it only fair to point out that you're an idiot also.
As a huge Big Ten/OSU fan, I can easily acknowledge that this is not one of the Big Ten's best years. We won't know how good the Bucks are until the season is over. Alumni and fans from every conference say the same the thing -- "we're underrated because our conference is so tough that we beat other each up." Every year, some conferences are underrated and some are overrated. But, no matter which conference you are in, it's difficult to get through the season undefeated. Can anyone say they honestly believe that if Stanford and USC were to play two more times, that Stanford would win? Conference play is tough; mediocre teams can play stellar games, and stellar teams can play mediocre games. The beauty of being a Big Ten/Pac 10/Big 12/SEC/ACC/Big East is that all you have do to make it to the NC is win all of your games. Having a two-loss team beat a no-loss team isn't going to force a playoff. Having an undefeated team in four or five of the top conferences might. For those upset about whether their conference is ranked properly, if your teams win enough games and go to bowl games and win their bowl games, you'll get props. Just be glad you aren't in the WAC or the MAC where it's almost impossible to get to the NC - no matter how many games you win or how well you win them.
your comparison of the Big East to the Sec shows not only your lack of college football awareness but your lack of sports knowledge in general. This is the same Rutgers team that lost at home to a low/mid level ACC team. There are "no weeks off" in the Big East, tell that to Virginia who hasn't smoked anyone this year, yet was able to thump Pitt. Where is the difficulty in the Big East, would any big name school fear going into UCONN, Louisville, Syracuse, Rutgers? I highly doubt it, in fact I would argue Rutgers, South Florida, Louisville, would have difficulty being .500 in the ACC or SEC. If you disagree with that, ask Rutgers why they couldnt beat up on Maryland at home. Maryland is not exactly a team feared in the ACC. You have a history of giving the ACC no respect, who would you rather play on the road, the teams mentioned above, or Virginia Tech, BC, Clemson, Georgia Tech, Florida State, Miami, etc. Florida St is down, yet they were still able to beat Alabama who is leading the SEC west and Colorado who took down Oklahoma. The Big East has several mediocre teams that look better than they are because they no longer have to get blown out by VA Tech, BC and Miami. UCONN is in first place, need I say anymore?
Charles- I'm not necessarily disagreeing with your assessment of the Big Ten's garbage non-conf. schedule. However, what I don't understand is why the Big Ten is singled out for particular admonishment by people such as yourself. Do any of the BCS schools really schedule difficult non-conference games? Let's take a look at the non-conf. schedules of some of this year's better teams in the non-Big Ten BCS conferences:
Boston College: Army, UMass, Bowling Green, and Notre Dame
Oklahoma: North Texas, Utah State, Tulsa, and Miami FL.
West Virginia: Western Michigan, Maryland, Marshall, East Carolina, and Mississippi State
Arizona State: San Jose State, Colorado, San Diego State
USC: Idaho, Nebraska, Notre Dame
LSU: Va Tech, Middle Tennessee, Tulane, La. Tech
Florida: W. Kentucky, Troy, Florida Atlantic
Kentucky: Eastern Kentucky, Kent State, Louisville, Florida Atlantic
The trend is clear: schedule a few patsies alongside one potentially challenging game, if even that. This is exactly the formula that Ohio State uses in scheduling their non conf. games. How are any of these schedules superior to Ohio State's or anyone else's in the Big Ten? The truth is, they're not. It's all an illusion, and I guarantee you that a thorough, non-biased schedule analysis will prove as much. Let's compare the SEC's non-conf. record to the Big Ten's:
Big Ten: 31-8 SEC: 30-5
There's really not much of a difference there. Plus, the Big Ten is dragged down by an absolutely awful Minnesota team and their 3 embarrassing non-conf. losses. Why punish Ohio State because Minnesota's program is in utter disarray? Plus, there's the Michigan conundrum...
Finally, your argument for the SEC places Kentucky and S. Carolina in an elevated position that they do NOT deserve. For example, Kentucky and Ohio State have both played Kent State, with Kent playing Kentucky first. According to Kent State's coach, OSU is the best they've seen. Perhaps this is irrelevant, but one thing I notice ab out the media's reporting of college football is that the analysis of the players and coaches is usually ignored. This is for good reason, but hey, Kent State's coach has nothing to gain or lose by giving his assessment. Finally, South Carolina just lost to Vandy while in mid-season form. This means, plain and simple, that they're no good.
Nice try buddy. But you're going to have to do better than that to convince me that the SEC, based on non-conf. scheduling, is somehow supreme.
The Pac-10 is now considered no longer relevant because its two best teams have lost head scratchers--USC to Stanford, and Cal to OSU and UCLA.
However, USC lost when its quarterback played with a broken finger and threw, what 4 interceptions? And Cal lost one game with their starting QB out, and a second with said QB playing injured (surely you don't believe the Nate Longshore you saw Saturday was the same player he had been two weeks prior?).
Let's take the starting QB's off of LSU & Florida and see how they perform, shall we? Or perhaps from Ohio State, or BC, or Oklahoma? To judge and denigrate a conference due to injuries to two of the best teams' most important players is ignorant and ludicrous.
Of course, my point here is that had Nate Longshore not been injured, Cal would likely be #1 right now, making Oregon's single loss that much more palatable. Or, had he been injured two weeks earlier, Oregon would be undefeated and #1 themselves.
Yes, you guessed it--this post was heavily-laden with pro-Duck bias. But looking at the facts, can you blame me?
Agreed Woodson is a great player. Just think if you had truth serum in coaches mot of them would say McFadden is the player they would pick out of this years players to start a team around. This is what part of the problem is with the Heisman, even if Woodson was by far the best player I still don't think he wins it because he is at Kentucky. I think they lose one more game and jut like McFadden since the team isn't that great the player is penalized. They will probably give it to Tebow, and don't start crying Gator fans cause he is awesome, but when you are responsible for 45 touches out of say 60, you will put up good numbers. I think what Woodson has done i more impressive because he has less talent around him. Tebow maybe in 08 or 09 but not this year. He simply is no the "best" player. But he might be the most popular. And I hope he does win it in years to come, seems like a genuine good person and teammate.
What's amusing is the whole blah blah blah and folks want to bring up 'this fact' and 'that fact' about the SEC.
SEC - this year and last - is the best conference hands down. Much is made about Cal beating Tennessee, but we've already learned:
a) Tennessee ain't what they used to be
b) Since it was the opener, Cal only had about eight months to prepare for the game.
That is WAY DIFFERENT than having to waltz into Gainesville this week and win, come home to play Auburn and win, and then go to Baton Rouge and win on a Saturday night.
And for the guy who brought up WVa beating Miss. State - you didn't bother to mention that LSU beat MSU worse than the Mountaineers did and didn't play that well until the fourth quarter.
Oh - and if the media is so pro-SEC, why is Michigan (losers to App. State and a rout to Oregon at home no less) ranked AHEAD of Alabama who lost an OT game to Georgia by 3 and on the road to Florida State by a TD?
I guess it's because Michigan beat Notre Dame, and we all know that if you beat Notre Dame, you're a good football team.
Dear SEC fans, Last year in Bowl Games, Big Ten had 2 wins vs SEC (PSU beat UT and Wisconsin beat Arkansas). Yes, Florida won the NC game. I've mentioned this over and over on previous posts and you continually come back to the NC game. If the SEC is so much better top to bottom, why did the Big Ten go 2-1 against you????
The SEC fans always say they'd crush Big Ten schools but past Bowl history disagrees with you. Even if you look at the last 5 years, the Big Ten has a winning bowl record against the SEC (8-6). I'm waiting for an explanation from you, the SEC fans, on how that's possible. You'll probably ignore it like always and talk about how Florida beat OSU.
I'm sick of the no offense, big and slow Big Ten crap. There's plenty of speed in the Big Ten. I agree that the SEC is probably the fastest top to bottom though.
I hate OSU (Penn State fan here) but they've won their games. Mostly everyone else has lost. Are they the best team in college football? I don't think so, but you can't fault their schedule and the fact that the've won every game.
Plenty of Big Ten schools schedule at least 1 tough OOC game. Speaking for PSU, they've played Miami in the late 90's, USC in 2000, Virginia in 2001, Nebraska 02-03, BC 03-04, Notre Dame the last 2 years. Also has games recently against USF, Cincy, UCF, etc. Next year
Finally, to OSU fans, get ready for your first loss in Happy Valley on Saturday. I encourage the SEC fans to watch because you will not see or hear a louder stadium in College Football! Listen to the roar of 111,000 people!
Charlie Weiss is a prime example of the Peter Principle, i.e. everyone will eventually be elevated to a position that highlights their incompetency. Although he might be trying his best, he simply is not making it.
I doubt that, based on his record, he will be able to recruit the blue chippers this year. That, of course, will perpetuate the dilemma.
As long as he's in the captain's seat, the University of Our Lady will be hard pressed to compete viably.
This does not make me happy. It simply reflects reality!
Navy and Air Force are locks to beat the Irish. The others have a better than fair chance to do so as well.
Listen I am not an SEC guy. I am an OU fan and a Big 12 fan, but anyone who says that the SEC isn't the "toughest" conference is smoking crack. Especially with Kentucky better and even Vandy was better last year with Cutler and beat SC last week. When you go thru the conference almost every team can beat you if your not playing at your best. I mean LSU, Florida, Tenn, Alab, Ark, Kentcky,Georgia, Aub. Even Miss St, Miss and Vandy can beat you. The most common rebutle I see i the Big 10. Come on, Ohio State and Mich. From there its a major drop and thats giving you a shaky Mich team. I am not hating on the Big Ten, but week in and week out the SEC is much tougher. Around 2000 it was probably the Big 12 when OU won 1 and played for 2 more, Texas won one and Tex A&M, Tech, K-State, Neb, Colo, and Mizzou were all good. Right now its the SEC, thats a fact.
Nate- Could I please obtain from you the meaning or correct use of the word "ralatively"? As I am a Southern backwoods hick, this is a new word to me and therefore I would love to know what it means.
As far as the SEC vs PAC 10 vs Big 10, I am of the opinion that you are looking at contrasting styles of football. I do believe that the SEC is the stronger conference but it has less to do with a SEC "bias" than the fact that the teams THIS YEAR are strong from top to bottom. As Stewart has preached over and over, this thing is very much on a yearly basis for "Strongest Conference". That being said, I do NOT thinkthat my bleoved Tigers are the best team in the country. I think they are ONE of the best teams in the country for among a group of OSU, LSU, Florida (a game we won when we shouldnt have), Kentucky (a game that we shouldnt have lost but got outplayed and coached in the end), ASU, BC along with a couple of others. Hence the need for a playoff. Nothing as important as a NC should be decided onthe whims of people that alot of times dont make whole lot of sense with ther desicions.
On another note, I beleive that USC has burned out to an extent. Biased or not, they are not playing GREAT football RIGHT NOW and do not deserve to be mentioned with the aforementioned teams. No I do not like them now nor did I when they were winning. However, I ALWAYS repected them as a great college football team. Possibly the best money can buy...Sorry, that was a low blow... They just arent in the upper eschelon of teams at this point.
The problem with all the bickering over the perceived strength or weakness of conferences is it is all perception and bias. After the BCS games last year (the most exposed to TV) the pundits anointed the SEC the best in the land with blowout victories by UF and LSU. At the same time The Big-10 suffered two blowout defeats, although if anyone watched, Michigan was in the Rose Bowl game for a while. Voila - the Big-10 is weak. But that was last year people! Last freakin' year! It didn't help that Michigan had a meltdown in the first two games, dropping the opener to 1-AA App. State. But now that the meadia has chosen their horses (the mighty SEC) they want to be right, they can't look at the big picture objectively so they ignore the basic facts. FSU is horrible, yet they beat Alabama who might knock off LSU. USF beats Auburn at home, but unlike Michigan's App State loss, the USF game is considered a fluke or something. Now we have Vandy beating the mighty #6 Gamecocks at Bryce Jordan. But that just means the conference is stronger at the bottom, but not the PAC-10 when UCLA nips Cal. UCLA by the way is the only team to lose to Notre Dame and was torched by Utah. Every excuse for the SEC comes out when Auburn loses to Mississippi State, while the other conferences just get piled on. Pathetic media bias.
I agree that the UK-UF game was a great battle of Heisman hopefuls. Even though Woodson played great, there were a few drives in the first half that died because he misfired on long passes. On the flip side, the worst thing that happened to Tebow were the touchdown passes dropped by receivers. If Woodson had been more on the money, I think Kentucky would have won (of course, UK could have done other things to win too). I wonder if this will affect many Heisman votes.
"Oh - and if the media is so pro-SEC, why is Michigan (losers to App. State and a rout to Oregon at home no less) ranked AHEAD of Alabama who lost an OT game to Georgia by 3 and on the road to Florida State by a TD?"
That is the ageless question that the SEC haters cannot answer.
I wish everyone would just shut up about conference superiority.
If you are a good team in a good conference, yes your conference games will be tough.
If you are an average team in an average conference (see Big 10 and Big Least) yes your confernce games will appear be tough also.
Big 10 and Big Least fans really should stop whinning about SEC fans talking about the strength of the SEC. It makes the Big 10 and Big Least sound desperate for respect.
Yes the Big 10 was 2-1 against the SEC last year in bowl games. Arkansas and Tenn were not even in the top half of the best teams in the SEC last year. I believe Wisconsin was a 1 loss top 10 team, right, and they still barely beat Arkansas, who had there butts handed to them by USC. Tenn was exposed as a fraud by a good Penn ST team. Fans of the SEC have known for years now that Tenn is on the decline. But like Ohio State fans like to point out, that was last year.
I know that the best team in the country is not always an SEC team from season to season. There are great teams in other conferences. But facts are facts. For the last 10+ years, from top to bottom, there has been no other conference consistently with as much talent and depth as the SEC. And all the bitching and begging for respect in the world can not change that for the lowly and increasingly irrelevant Big 10.
If Ohio State has the misfortune of going undefeated and handed a spot in the NC game, the outcome will be no different from last year, no matter who they play.
And one more thing for Big 10 fans and bloggers. You claim that the Big 10 is better academically than the SEC. Well when was the last time 100,000 people filled the Big House to watch kids take a chemistry test?
Name one “tough” non-conference game that is outside of the SEC that the Pac-10 has played this year so far. Having trouble finding one? It’s because they don’t play anyone other than mediocre Big 12 teams and WAC teams (with exception of Michigan and Tennessee). Here are the schedules of the top 5 teams in the Pac-10:
Arizona St- San Jose St, Colorado, SDSU, Oregon St, Stanford, Wash St, Washington, California, Oregon, UCLA, USC, Arizona
What chances are the Pac-10 taking exactly? One reason why SEC teams don’t schedule tough road games is because no team wants to take the chance on loosing a non-conference game at home. The “we have such a tough conference schedule,” is true so why take the chance when a team can prove it's worthy in it's own conference. Year in and year out SEC is the dominating conference and I see the future being no different. The Big East did make a strong showing earlier in the season but now they are beating themselves out of BCS chances. And with the big weekend coming up in the Pac-10 they can very well do the same.
"FSU is horrible, yet they beat Alabama who might knock off LSU. USF beats Auburn at home, but unlike Michigan's App State loss, the USF game is considered a fluke or something."
FSU horrible? Not so sure about that. They sure aren't great. They definitely are not offensively consistent. But they do have a good defense and are well coached. That's enough to put you in the position to at least be competitive in a lot of your games.
Are you really comparing App. State to USF? Really? Honestly? Seriously?
Is losing to Vandy really that terrible (ie: App State terrible)? Again, they are a well coached team. They also have an athletic QB who can make plays. Their final game against Wake Forest (who get very little respect) should be a good one
Enough bashing on the Big 10. The SEC is overrated. They have no offense, which makes there defenses look extremely good. Even John David Booty, an Louisiana native said the "sec coaches depend on their athletes too much, where as the PAC 10 has better offensive schemes and the ability to throw the BALL DOWN FIELD". Lets see Florida, LSU, or Tennesse travel to O-State, Michigan, or Penn State in early November and see how they play. Also, lets look at facts: Yes, O-State loss to Florida, Tennesee loss to Penn State, and Arkansa loss to Wisconsin. USC beat Auburn in Auburn when Auburn was supposedly the #3 team in the nation. Also, USC blasted Arkansa who represented the SEC west in the SEC Championship. Oh by the Urban Meyer is from the Buckeye State.
For Eric Y-town : Please re-read my posts. I never stated that the SEC was supreme. In fact I said the non-conf scheduling of all confs sucked. I did say that the SEC had good wins over K-State, OK St, Louisville & Va Tech, and the Big Ten had none. I described the difference as a small step in favor of the SEC scheduling. By the way Fla also plays FSU which is a rivalry game and FSU is a team not to be taken lightly. Just ask Alabama. You are quoting wins vs losses with no weight on who the wins came against. If your argument is valid then Hawaii belongs in the top five. I think a team needs to play several quality teams in ordered to be measured. Cal claims a great victory over Tenn, and if valid, then Fla's win is even better. Fla also beat Kentucky. Florida almost beat the number one team. Remember when Mich almost beat OSU. They claimed they deserved another shot. If that is valid so is the claim that Fla is near the same level as LSU. Fla also had a close loss to Aub which has been playing like a top team. It is possible that a team that has two close misses against very good teams plus wins some others is as good or better than a team that beat Purdue and Mich St. I think it is silly to ignore the fact that difficult schedules take something out of a team. You can claim that Fla's physical match with LSU had nothing to do with Kentucky prevailing over LSU the next week, but then you are ignoring the precious feedback from LSU players after the Fla match. Could OSU defeat Kentucky, as Kent St players think? I believe that is very possible. But I believe that Kentucky is not of the same caliber as Florida and LSU. I also believe that Mich St and Purdue have not played teams near Kentucky's caliber (except OSU). That's the sad part. The Big Ten has collectively played Missouri and Oregon, and lost both games. Missouri is not a contender for the title. Look at the record. Oregon's chief claim to fame is a defeat of Michigan when Michigan was down. Can we agree that Michigan is a much different team now? Once you agree then we throw your arguments about wins and losses out the window. I think Michigan is probably every bit as good as Oregon. If they were playing in Michigan next Saturday I would bet on Michigan. Who would you bet on? But if we use your reasoning a win is a win and a stomping a stomping. I do not believe that the SEC is supreme. I do believe that it is as good as any and better than most. If there were more good non-conf games we just might sort it out.
"SC beat Auburn in Auburn when Auburn was supposedly the #3 team in the nation. Also, USC blasted Arkansa who represented the SEC west in the SEC Championship."
No one from the SEC says that other conferences don't have good teams. Most SEC fans are even open to the possibility that the best team in the nation may be from another conference. Yes, last year a very good USC team beat Ark. very early in the season. That does little to detract from the fact that year after year the SEC has the greatest number of quality teams and thus, losses are more likely on any given Saturday.
Let's look at respectable teams by conference:
PAC 10: USC, Oregon, Cal, Ariz State Maybes: UCLA, UW
Big 10: OSU, Wisc., PSU Maybe: Illinois, Mich., Purdue
Big 12: Okla., Texas, KU, Missouri Maybe: A&M, K-State, Colorado
ACC: VT, BC, Wake Maybe: Miami, FSU, Maryland, UVA
Big East: USF, Rutgers, WVU Maybe: Louisville, UConn
This is my opinion, but all conferences have some solid teams in them. Even my "maybe" teams can pull off big wins against just about anyone given the right circumstances. Without trying to determine the best of the best, it seems to me that the SEC still has the highest number of teams that I'd classify as "pretty solid." Being that there are more good teams, it follows that there are going to be more opportunities to slip up.
On defense of OSU, the players cannot help who they play. It is not their fault that Michigan is terrible. It is not their fault that UW hasn't performed well. If they win out they deserve to be in the mix. Personally, I'd bet against them in the Championship game, but if they win out they deserve to be there.
I agree that Penn State is probably one of, if the LOUDEST, place to play in the country. Ohio State's last regular season was at Penn State 2 years ago. Even Troy Smith admitted he could not hear anything and the fans got to the team. Will be a great game. Even LSU, Florida, USC would have a hard time there. The "white-out" is one of the most distracting crowds I've ever seen on TV. Why do some teams do "blackout"?. You cant even see it so how is that distracting?
I was brave (or stupid) enough to actually read every post since last night...wow, such obvious disdain, contempt and outright hatred for so many teams. Not to mention some of the personal (although warranted in many respects) attacks on ancestry and heritage. After all this reading I can only be left with these conclusions:
1. We can hash this out on the blogs until we're all hell bent and crooked but until there's a playoff system we'll never have a legitimate standard for naming a national champion 2. Unless you have a crystal ball under your skirt, how can you honestly know how tough your out of conference schedule is going to be 5 and 6 years out? It's a mystery until you play the flippin' game. 3. Preseason polls are the most destructive thing in college football. Nothing should count until October 1st and the AP and Coaches Poll have had an honest chance to evaluate who is for real and who is leaning on their laurels from last season or some "top ranked recruiting class"
4. Tyler's an idiot, plain and simple. Anyone with a pulse must agree.
5. The distasteful Civil War reference was unfortunate. I fear the South will one day rise again and Ted Turner will make us all do the dreaded tomahawk chop or worse, Tyler will be the new Confederate President and make us pledge allegiance to the SEC every morning before we eat grits.
I honestly don't believe that any conference can claim to be "supreme" in this very turbulent season. No one team, nor conference has proven itself undoubtedly. That being said, it is too early to be making these types of opinions.
Continuing on, the majority of football fans (though not all) are biased, that's the nature of the beast. You have a favorite that you are passionate about which will then in turn blur the lines of reality. They will state statistics that are in their favor yet ignore those that aren't. Those arguing that their conference and/or team is the best are wasting their breath and will fall on death ears to the competitors.
I'd also like to ask Jkellz what Urban being born in the state of Ohio has to do with anything? His birthplace has nothing more to do with his abilities in coaching than me being born in Florida meaning I should be a tanned goddess.
7 SEC 4 Pac-10 4 Big 12 3 Big East 3 Big 10 3 ACC 1 WAC
How is the SEC over rated? I'm not even that big of a SEC fan but there is no question they are the best. Like a few other people have stated, there are good teams in other conferences that could possibly beat some SEC teams. But as a conference as a whole there is no doubt.
To Joey: You just made the point of most of the non-SEC folks here. Poor UT and Ark weren't even in the top of league last year.? UT was ranked #25 (PSU was #24) and Ark was ranked #15 (Wis was #7). There were only 2 other ranked teams in the SEC (LSU and Florida). So, believing the rankings, UT and Ark were the #3 and #5 teams in the SEC. THEY GOT BEAT! No excuses that UT and Ark were down.... Auburn was #9 and Nebrasksa was unranked last year in the Cotton Bowl and Auburn only won by 3 points. Doesn't seem like total domination to me.
When any other conference beats the SEC it's because of one reason or another. The SEC doesn't rule all things college football. And just so there's no miscommunication, I'm not saying the Big Ten is better this year... just that the SEC isn't untouchable as many make them out to be.
You state that the SEC has had more talent and better depth in the past 10 years than any other conference. Does more talent and depth = more wins? I don't know and I'm not going to spend the time looking it up.
You call the Big 10 "lowly and increasingly irrelevant" so I'm curious why? Because they're having a down year? That's just a stupid comment from someone with blinders on. I'm not saying they're great, but you're saying the just suck. That's extrememly short sighted and basically ignorant.
How much OSU football have you watched this year? Probably nothing, so how do you know anything about them and what they're chances on beating and SEC team really are. Once again, uninformed and ignorant.
Finally, your comment about 100,000 watching a chemistry test is just dumb. But since you mentioned academics, Big Ten graduates 66.5% and SEC graduates 59.8%. Big Ten has 5 schools at 73% or higher. SEC had 1 (Vandy). Do you want to get into a "my conference is smarter than your conference pissing match?"
Well my dad can beat up your dad, oh wait, I mean my conference is better than your conference. Who cares? Just like it would prove nothing about me if your dad beat up my dad, there are no awards or championship given out to the best conference. Pick a team and go with them. Until the top teams go out and schedule other top teams on a constant basis than no one will ever when an argument about something that doesn't even matter. I am a USC alum and fan, so I guess I should hope UCLA beats Utah because I want the PAC10 to look good. Actually that might be the highlight of the year for me so far, nothing better than to watch the Bruins get destroyed. It would have been even better to watch UCLA lose to ND except I am a true fan and can't stand to see the Irish win a game either. I understand being a fan of a team that is not in the SEC, it is hard for me to read all the SEC people boosting how good THEY are as well. But right now if you had to pick a conference it would be the SEC. Every conference has there time at the top right now its them. The only thing I have to say is if you want to show you are best start scheduling some other conferences top teams and don't be afraid to leave your stadium. I know LSU played Va Tech, but where? They don't even leave Louisana out of conference and its like that year after year. If you are the best go play some of the other guy's best.
I am going to settle this argument for you once and for all. If at the beginning of the season you see an out of conference top tier(1-6) SEC team and/or say the same top tier PAC-10 or BIG 12 team on your teams schedule. If any of you cyber idiots could be honest with yourself, which team would you fear the most for your school? If you had any sense at all you would worry about an SEC team coming to visit more than any other non-conference game!!! Right or wrong??? Everyone wants to scream SEC isn’t that the best but when it is put up or shut up time no one wants any part of their teams. I am not a fan of the SEC I like the C-USA but lets get real, my team Southern Miss would be a Vanderbilt in the SEC
The previous version of the Big East was not Miami and the 7 Dwarfs. As you acknowledged, Mike Vick and the Hokies were good, but so was Boston College, West Virginia, and the Donovon McNabb led Orange. That leaves Temple, Rutgers, and Pitt as perhaps the the two drawfs and Pitt. Not a bad league and not an easy schedule.
Every power conference seems to have a few perennial weak sisters or weeks off. That is changing in college football. The bottom teams are becoming stronger and more competitive, with the exception of the B10, which is still two mediocre talents, (UM & OSU) and 9 very height challenged teams
How about the fact that UCONN has only played two conference games neither of which were against USF, Rutgers,etc...so that was a weak argument...next time do a little research instead of just looking at who's on top.
It's just like BC who has not played the toughest games of their schedule and will lose 2 or 3 times before the year is over. They will end up in another mediocre bowl against some mid-major as usual.
let's not forget that these NCAA football programs are not about student athletes getting an education. they're about keeping you and I and every other football crazed maniac glued to our tv and buying jerseys and bumper stickers. so let's not start talking about whose conference is "smarter" I don't need to hear any smack from the 1 guy at Brown or Yale about why they should be in the NC game in January.
case in point, my Buckeyes. Football "program" ( I use this term loosely) generated $56M in revenue last year. Folks, that's not a "program", that's a business. It's an entertainment business and we all bought stock in it. Like any responsible shareholder, I want what's best for my "program" so bring on Youngstown State and Akron and keep that $ in Ohio, and let's see how we fare against USC, Oklahoma, VA Tech and Miami over the next 6-8 years of non conference play.
did I mention playoff system? figure it out NCAA, you owe it the "shareholders"
The previous version of the Big East was not Miami and the 7 Dwarfs. As you acknowledged, Mike Vick and the Hokies were good, but so was Boston College, West Virginia, and the Donovon McNabb led Orange. That leaves Temple, Rutgers, and Pitt as perhaps the the two drawfs and Pitt. Not a bad league and not an easy schedule.
Every power conference seems to have a few perennial weak sisters or weeks off. That is changing in college football. The bottom teams are becoming stronger and more competitive, with the exception of the B10, which is still two mediocre talents, (UM & OSU) and 9 very height challenged teams.
I think that it is safe to say that almost any team from the big conferences (excluding the likes of Syr, Minn, Iowa State, etc...) could beat anyone else from another conference at any time. I'm getting my popcorn ready for UCONN vs. USC
This year the Big Ten may very well stink, but there's a lot more to the Big Ten than Ohio State and Michigan. Purdue, Wisconsin, and Penn State are all capable of exceptional games. Throughout the past ten years, Iowa has been ranked highly in the polls as well. Minnesota and Illinois have both been strong at times. Even Northwestern has been to a Rosebowl. Yes, OSU and Mich are often the two best teams in the Big Ten, but that hardly makes the rest of the conference irrelevant. This may be a down year, but how can anyone believe that would be a permanent situation? SEC, enjoy your perceived dominance while it lasts because it can end as quickly as Ohio State's did last year at Florida.
South Florida beat Auburn, and Auburn is among the best teams in the SEC, playing LSU tough and beating Florida.
It happened a bit early and was very under the radar, but its the most telling win of this season.
Florida state beating Alabama is very telling as well. Florida State, after all, is a mediocre ACC team.
These games represent HALF of all games played out of conference against teams currently ranked in the top 25.
There's far more parity between the conferences than the SEC cares to admit.
This is college football. Win or play in a second-tier vacation bowl (any bowl that's not the National Championship). No "conference" will win the championship this year or any. A team will, a team that wins.
as to my last post, I'm not advocating that the Buckeyes schedule a weak slate of in-state teams every year and I'm certainly not hating on Akron or YTown State, both of which represent their respective conferences very well every year which is why we scheduled them in the first place. I was merely pointing out the obvious fact that all of our teams play some pretty shady schedules in September. as an example, am I to believe that Middle Tennessee and Louisiana Tech are that much better than Akron and Kent St? actually, LSU plays LT in November... now that's a little shady.
Honestly I think a playoff system will ruin the image and the excitement of college football. College football is unique, where the pressure of performing in the regular season pushes teams to levels that if a playoff were implemented we as fans would not see. It eliminates the chance of a deserving team not playing well and getting beat by a 5-7 team. To me thats too much like college basketball. Obviously something has to change and the plus one system is the best fit. From what I understand, its like a mini playoff among the top teams. Am I wrong?
Is Vanderbilt a tough SEC opponent or did South Carolina just not come to play?...
which begs the question is the SEC really that tough or would the same result happen if South Carolina played that way against Oklahoma State, Pitt, Maryland, UCLA, Indiana or any of the middle or bottom teams of each conference.
If Vanderbilt and Mississipi State can pull out upsets couldn't some of the bottom feeders from other conferences pull off upsets against South Carolina or other SEC teams and thus render the SEC not as superior as they seem?
I mean that must have been a pretty tough SEC game that South Carolina played just one week before...beating North Carolina by 6 points.
If you had any sense at all you would worry about an SEC team coming to visit
Oh, man, thanks for the laugh. Good one.
I wonder what it would be like if SEC teams ever did go on the road for their non-conference games? But this is one part of the SEC's three-part plan to fool everyone (especially their own fan-base) into thinking they are so "deep" and "competitive."
1. Schedule Wetern Carolina, Troy, Gardner-Webb, and Florida Atlantic for non-confernece games;
2. Play all of those games at home;
3. Make sure Mississippi, Mississippi State, and Vanderbilt are on your league schedule. In most years, add Kentucky to that list. In some years, add Arkansas and South Carolina. In years where they've been caught cheating (again), add Alabama.
Voila! Instant recipe for at least seven or eight wins, a ranking in all of the polls, and another element for the self-perpetuating myth that the SEC is "deep" and that the teams are so good they just "knock each other off."
Back to the original points: SEC teams have played a total of 34 non-conference games this season ... and 27 of them have been home games.
And I can think of some others, too, that are coming up: Clemson at South Carolina, Louisiana Tech at LSU (seriously, SEC fans, isn't it just a little bit embarrassing to have your pet program playing La. Tech in November?), Florida Atlantic at Florida (see previous note; seriously, SEC guys, at what point does anything actually embarrass you?), Louisiana-Lafayette at Tennessee (my God ...), Louisiana-Monroe at Alabama ... I could go on, but I'm getting physically sick.
If you want to compare football quality among entities as complex as conferences, you have to do more than one year bowl records or "Team A beat B who beat C who beat D, So there!"
In the BCS we have a nine year record of conference champions playing conference champions plus two at large choices. It's a long series--but not too long-- and it's hard to see much or any media bias in it. Here's the data by conference:
Looking at a publically avialable unbiased (although that doesn't neccessarily mean it's accurate) computer poll, the Sagarin rankings show the SEC as the toughest conference while the Big 10 is the weakest of the BCS conferences.
There's a difference between being biased and making adverse judgments based on facts. Facts like Northwestern losing to Duke, Michigan State and Wisconsin struggling with weaklings from the Mac and Big East and Michigan losing to a 1-AA team and getting absolutely schooled by a Pac-10 team. Sounds like a pretty clear evidentiary record to me. I also like the way people from the Big-10 dig up arcane "NCAA Approved" strength of schedule formulas to attempt to deflect criticism of their pre-season cupcake diets. FYI, a formula that credits you for playing teams in the future who have not beaten anybody yet is a house of cards waiting to tumble. Put most charitably, you are going to see "the big 10 teams start to beat each other up" in the mediocrity-laden scrum of the regular season. or if one is to be honest, you are going to see them lose to one another because none of them are very good. I promise you that strength of schedule indicator will look different at season's end. And at the end of that season, the Big 10 teams (besides Ohio State which is a legit good squad and is recognized a such by Mandel) are going to get HAMMERED in what will be, for some of them, their first or second test against real competition this season.
I don't think any conf fears scheduling the SEC. That was silly. If that were so we'd see lots of non-conf games between the other confs and few with the SEC. The truth is that most schools seem to fear adding a couple BCS schools to the non-conf schedule. How many schools play two of them? USC usually does and Aub did this time, but not many. The norm is the Florida schedule with FSU and three powderpuffs, or OSU with Wash and three pps. The kind of games the Dukester mentions are embarrassing, or should be. But the formula is exactly what was suggested. Add three easy non-conf wins and hope for at least 3 - 4 conf wins so you get a bowl invitation. I think the fans must pressure voters not to vote schools high at this time of the season unless there are several quality wins including one or two quality non-conf wins. That means OSU would take a hit right now, but Florida would be knocked down some too. The computers must be re-programmed to put strength of schedule high. We have done that in basketball and it can be done for football. The mid-majors might cry, but Utah showed this season that they can schedule good BCS teams if they want. BTW for fta - Vandy plays Florida close nearly every year. You can look it up and everybody says WOE Fla is not that good. But each year Fla plays Vandy after a marathon of Alab, GA, Aub & LSU, with Spurrier's USC & FSU immediately thereafter. Vandy is like a lot of schools with poor records. Come in beat up looking for a break and they'll give you one you weren't expecting. Vandy usually surprises some quality SEC team every season.
As I wrote way before, the Florida Gators have boosted up their schedule next year: it includes Hawaii, Miami (FL), and at FSU. The only real cupcake is the Citadel. Should be a great season. I would love a regular OSU vs Florida game and would also love to see Miami become a regularly scheduled team.
Furman79: OSU plays USC and MIAMI FLA in the next four years. They also played Texas the previous two years. What team in the SEC played non-conference top teams like O-State? Oh Auburn and Arkansa, which was waxed by USC, a team who torched such a SPEEDY DEFENSE. Can LSU, Florida, please play non-conference schedules of similar caliber. Please!!!!
Sick of Chris ... don't have time to study entire blog to sort sarcasm from football talk. Enjoy KU ... in case nobody's told you, it's probably time to quit giggling in the back of the class. Signing out. Have a field day, I'm out ....
take it easy buddy! have a Xanax before you blow a gasket. Chris is merely trying to add some levity to a blog quickly spiraling into the abyss of darkness we call the BCS.
c'mon in, the water's just right..it's ok.
now, for arguments sake, it's tough to dispute known facts like BobW pointed out about how the different BCS conferences have stacked up since the BCS started in 2000. It's especially tough since I'm a fan of the Buckeyes and the Big Ten and nobody wants to say the Emperor has no clothes...but I'm saying it, kind of. the reality is that this is still all purely subjective until we can get rid of preseason polls and start from scratch on Oct 1st with a real non-biased poll and ranking system. that's the only way to shake out the schools that continually schedule Southwest Sisters of the Poor and get caught with their pants down by an early conference foe.
Going back to 1996, the SEC and Pac-10 have played each other twelve times in the regular season...and it's been a draw. The SEC won six and the Pac-10 won six. This year, four teams from the Pac-10 have graced the AP top ten and four teams from the SEC have graced the AP top ten. So I don't buy the "SEC is by far the best conference" argument.
It's worse than Jonestown on here... everyone likes to drink their own conference Kool Aid...
stop with the comparisons and ridiculous rants about who beat who on what given year or who did or didn't play a tough schedule.
come together in the harmony and sanctity of a G.D. playoff so we can actually have a true champion.
nobody ever says at the end of the Super Bowl or March Madness, "they didn't really win it, they didn't play anyone this year.."
and for those of you who like this incessant bickering about which is conference is better and "this is why college football is great because it creates controversy about whose the best.." BS get out of the basement and into the daylight for a change. You blog too much. it's about who won and can say they're the best for one short span of time until next fall...
8. The reason teams with tradition get voted a little higher is because tradition means a tradition for winning. Teams with no tradition actually do have tradition of losing. Must be prooven otherwise!
South Florida does not have a tradition o losing. They have been around for only 11 seasons and have a 74-43 record and have never been shut out in a regular season game. We get no respect not b/c South Florida are the new kids on the block. Unfortunately that is life and the Bulls just need to have a few more good seasons for the voters to take us seriously.
Unfortunately I wooried about the Rutgers and Cincnnati games this year. South Florida played their worst game of the year vs. Rutgers and still ONLY lost by 3 points.
South Florida just needs to learn to handle the situation of being the team to beat.
Go Bulls! 95 graduate (i think everyone should post if they are alumni. if you are going to talk smack at least you should have went to the school!)
I have heard similar Big Ten propaganda before so I decided to do a little checking for myself.
First off lets really look at SEC and Big Ten bowl performance in 2006 games and then we will discuss who is overated.
Our #1 FL vs your #1 OSU - 41-14, some game OSU played.
Our 2 next best teams LSU and Auburn, (overall records) handled Notre Dame and Nebraska in major bowls.
Your #2 Wisconsin beat our #4 overall record team Arkansas by 3 points and your 4th best Penn State beat our 5th best Tenn by 10 whole points.
Lets look at the 2006 bowl games where we didn't play each other, but did play teams much better than Akron, Youngstown St, and Kent St. by recapping all SEC and Big Ten 2006 bowl games.
SEC FL destroyed Big Ten Champ OSU 41-14 in NC game SEC LSU destroyed ND 41-14 in Sugar PAC 10 USC thumped Big Ten Mich by 14 points in Rose Big Ten Wisconsin eeked out 3 point win over SEC Arkansas SEC Auburn took down Big Twelve North champ Nebraska in Cotton Big Ten Penn State beat SEC Tenn in Outback SEC Georgia beat ACC VA Tech in Chick Fil A Big 12 Texas beat Big Ten Iowa in Alamo ACC Maryland walloped Big Ten Purdue in Champ Sports Texas Tech beat Big Ten Minnesota in Insight SEC S Carolina beat Houston in Liberty SEC Kentucky beat ACC Clemson in Music City Big 12 OK St beat SEC Alabama in Independence
Final 2006 bowl game tally: SEC 6-3 Big Ten 2-4
The above reflects a conference with depth versus a conference being over rated.
OSU should play SOMEBODY then we can see if they deserve a #1 ranking this year.
Considering the pathetic nature of the Heisman race, and the flip-a-coin National Championship race this year, I think we should cancel the Heisman voting and the BCS Championship game. Does anyone, outside of those particular team's fans, think that having a game between Boston College and LSU will really be interesting? At least I would hope that BC would get it instead of Ohio State, which probably won't beat Michigan. And how about a sophomore quarterback who ought really be playing fullback. Wow, I don't know if I can take all this excellence!
I don't understand what all the fuss is about from the people in the Big 10. . . since when does someone route for a conference. . . I personally route for my team. . . Texas. . . I don't route for my conference to be the number one rated conference. . . I couldn't give a crap. . . I understand that if it came down to a bunch of one loss teams that strength of schedule and perceived conference strength will come into play but from my standpoint you try to win every freaking game. If you lose a game you don't deserve the national championship unless by luck all other teams lose as well.
For those hankering for a playoff. . . the system we have now really is a playoff. . .a 13 week playoff. . . Not all playoff systems are fair. . . in NBA, NFL etc. . . sometimes the AFC is better than the NFC etc.. . . in college football, sometimes the SEC is better than the ACC, but who cares. . . you win all your freakin games, you will be champ almost every year. . .
I assume the people standing up for the Big 10 are Ohio State fans who don't feel like they are getting credit. . . but you are ranked #1, so how much more credit do you need. . . keep winning your games and you will get to the championship game and then win that and you will be champion. . . that's the system we have now. . . if you are in a major conference and you win all of your games there is a very good chance you will be playing for a championship regardless of your strength of schedule. . . the fact is, it is tough in any of the major conferences to go through the whole year and win all your games. . . So personally, LSU, Oklahoma, West Virginia, Florida, Oregon, USC, etc. . . you didn't show up on one of your "playoff" games (cuz every game is a playoff in CFB) and you lost. . . so personally I don't believe you deserve the national championship. . .
Which actually makes the SEC look even worse. Think about it: the Big Ten manages two bowl wins over the SEC, but loses three times to teams from other conferences. I'll bet they wish they could play all their bowl games againt the SEC.
See, aren't statistics fun? To paraphrase Mark Twain, they can be manipulated to reflect just about any reality one chooses to see.
YOu know.. I am probably the biggest Cal fan around. I am not sure how I feel. They are basically two plays away from being #1 in the country- then again, who isnt? I think Cal has by far some of the most offensive talent in NCAA- but does anyone else feel like they play "lazy"? I feel like when Nate Longshore goes back, he is so relaxed... which would normally seem good- but I see ZERO urgency until Cal is down by 3 or 10 with 2 mins left... and then the offense goes into high gear only to have little (big) mistakes screw up their season. For the first time in the Tedford area- I am disappointed.
"Sick of Chris ... don't have time to study entire blog to sort sarcasm from football talk. Enjoy KU ... in case nobody's told you, it's probably time to quit giggling in the back of the class. Signing out. Have a field day, I'm out ...."
This doesn't help. So is your vote for coke or pepsi?
Dukester whatever you are smoking must be good to allow you to try and twist my stats to make the Big ten look better. Our #1 kicked your #1's butt. Your #2 beat our #4 while our #2 and #3 were out taking care of business lucky for you outside of the Big Ten. While practically the rest of your conference was getting their hats handed to 'em by other conferences.
Now if your #2 had played our #2 and #3 played #3 and both had won I might be willing to consider your argument, but that didn't happen.
Why don't we just send our top five top to play your mids and lower tiers makes as much sense as your reply. Not every team in the SEC is better than all other conference's teams. We just happen to feel our teams are better than most conference's teams overall.
All this talk about multi-tier playoffs is nonsense. We got a playoff system in place right now if all teams would play their conference schedule. Then the winners of the conferences would go to the bowls and fight it out. We might only need two rounds of 8 and 2 games to get to the NC game. The conference structure could be the playoff regionals if you wanna call them that. Ain't but one team from each conference going to win the conference championship and play ion the playoffs. Then we take the polls out of the picture except for preseason predictions and entertainment.
Dukester I misspoke. Besides your Big Ten's two wins over the SEC the rest of your conference bowl games were losses! No practically about it, you boys got them hats handed to you in those other 4 bowls!
Stephanie (I had not picked up on you being a Tigre), Buck-I-Girl, and Larry thanks for the kind words and understanding.
I still like Glenn Dorsey for the Heisman, but would take Hart. If it has to be a QB, would take Woodson.
By the way . . I'm reading Lars Anderson's "Carlisle vs Army" right now. Came onto it via an excerpt here and it is beautifully laid out and written. You might want to check it out. Great read (and I would not say that if it were not true and I don't work for SI.com!). Also just finished John Ed Bradley's "It Never Rains in Tiger Stadium." That one might be of more interest to Stephanie, but it is also very good.
I'll order Stewart's book sometime . . maybe when he identifies the school behind the Tiger on his posterior!
This was the best blog I've seen in a long time (thank you Chris, for the levity).
All anyone said about Georgia beating Vanderbilt 2 weeks ago was that they showed no class as they escaped by the skin of their teeth against terrible VANDY! Well, maybe we learned Vandy is not a bad team. They just held South Carolina to 6 points! They're a descent team in an AMAZING league. I guarantee they would be about 5-2 or 6-1 if they were to play in the ACC or Pac 10.
And Dukester... You are retarded... You are obviously not watching SEC football week in and week out. Theres a reason there are always 6 or 7 SEC teams in the top 25... Its the best and deepest conference in the nation. LSU, Florida, Kentucky, South Carolina, Georgia, and Auburn are all in the top 25. So you have good teams like Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama not even included in those top 6. Sounds like the best conference in the nation to me. Oh ya, and what is the SEC's record in BCS National Championship games? Oh ya, it's 3-0
But instead of being embarrassed we reward a Boise St with a BCS bid and we say things like 'great teams find a way to win'. Great teams become great teams by slaying giants, not running up the score against weaklings as Hawaii would want us to believe.
The goal for a typical BCS team is now to win at least 3 non-conf games, combined with an average conf record and get a bowl bid. The goal for the better BCS teams, except USC, seems to be to go undefeated in conf and don't risk the season with a quality non-conf opponent...
No longer does a mid-major have to play a quality BCS team to get a BCS bid or high ranking (see Boise St last year & Hawaii this year).
Charles, let me connect some dots between different parts of this one post. You're right about many BCS schools wanting to "play it safe" when scheduling non-conference opponents. They see no danger to their win-loss record by scheduling non-contenders from the mid-major conferences (Auburn vs. my alma mater, New Mexico State, for example). But as soon as a mid-major school starts to show signs of having a quality team, many BCS schools avoid them like the plague. Yeah, Hawaii's schedule isn't the strongest, but they were expected to be the favorite to win the WAC this year, and lo and behold, they had a hard time filling their non-conference schedule. I understand that they wanted to schedule one more game this year, but couldn't find anyone willing to play them.
So how does a good mid-major school assemble a strong schedule when many, if not most, "quality" BCS schools refuse to play them? USC may have gotten a scare from Fresno St. two years ago, but at least they had the balls to schedule a game against an above-average mid-major program.
And yes, great teams find a way to win. Look at what Boise St. accomplished when they finally did get to face a "quality" (top ten) opponent in the Fiesta Bowl? They found a way to win, even if it meant running a few trick plays.
You fail to mention a few major things in my opinion.... So here's a Top Ten list for ya!
#1 - South Carolina played and beat a powerhouse C-USA foe in Houston. Plenty to brag about there....
#2 - Wisconsin and PSU were supposed to lose those games. The SEC was too fast and too strong for any big and slow Big 10 team to win.
#3 - PSU beat UT by 10 whole points and barely wins in your mind, yet USC only beat Michigan by 14 and got manhandled? I agree that USC should have won by more, but it was only 14 points.
#4 - You yet again bring up Akron and Kent State and YSU, but what about the SEC playing teams like Western Kentucky, Eastern Kentucky, Louisiana-Lafayette, Troy, Richmond, Kent State, Tulane, Middle Tennessee, Gardner-Webb, etc this year OOC?
#5 - Kentucky beat Kent State 56-20 this year, but Ohio State beat them 48-3. Sounds like OSU's offense is nearly as good and their defense is a whole lot better! Total yardage for KU-KSU was 484-453 while OSU-KSU was 401-223. Kent State put up twice the yardage on Kentucky!
#6 - I agree, Florida spanked Ohio State. I also agree that the SEC is a very tough conference and probably the best top to bottom. See, I'm agreeing with you on something.
#7 - ND had no defense last year, so bragging that your #2 LSU beat them doesn't mean much to me... sorry.
#8 - Your #3 Auburn beat a bad Nebraska team with 5 losses by a whopping 3 points. But that's a lot more impressive than Wisconsin's 3 point win over the speedy Arkansas huh?
#9 - I'm not going into the rest of the games. I concede that the SEC had a better record, more ranked teams and a better record. But head to head, you were 1-2 against the Big 10. I'm not saying the Big 10 is better, I'm just pointing out the fact! Past 5 years, Big Ten is 8-6 against the SEC in bowls. Another fact you can't talk your way out of.
#10 - Finally, the SEC fans always say that Big 10 fans obviously don't watch SEC games. I think the same is true in reverse. I doubt many in the south watch games from any other conference. I watched a good bit of UK and UF this weekend. I was impressed but I don't think either team in unstoppable.
Do you ever get tired of hopping from bandwagon to bandwagon. I've read about the ascendancy of the Pac-10, the depth of the Big East and always always the dominance of the SEC. I know you'll say it's an extraordinary season of CF but c'mon you're suppose to be an expert that isn't duped by these kinds of things.
The experts this year - as in the past - have been mesmerized by any team that can score 40 points. Start watching which teams dominate their opponent versus which teams win because the other team is turning the ball over, committing penalties and failing to sustain a drive of more than 5 play.s
I hear a couple of you saying Glenn Dorsey should get the Heisman. I don't even think Glenn Dorsey is the best defensive player in the NCAA. If you get a chance, watch Chris Long of Virginia (Howie's son.) This guy took over in the Maryland game, had some big plays... the biggest being the safety he recorded which turned out being a game winner. He gets no respect playing on UVA.. but he is flying under the radar.. He is certainly just as good as Dorsey.. no one can justify who is better though.
For Wacschoolalumnus - Yes, I have heard that Hawaii tried to play Mich this year. But there is a giant leap between that and BCS schools not wanting to play Hawaii. Apparently Hawaii and Florida play next season. Two things - Add Michigan to the current Hawaii schedule and you don't suddenly turn that schedule into something to boast about. It has been shown repeatedly over the past few seasons that a mid-major can get up for one quality game a season (see TCU vs OK, & vs Tex Tech and Fresno vs USC). But getting up for those schools drains the mid-major and in all such cases the mid-major loses the following week. Montana St slew the Goliath Colorado in week one, then gets slain itself by an even lower div Chadwick in week two. The second point is that Utah established some credibility (wouldn't you agree?) and their schedule now has several good BCS teams. So much for your theories. Remember Gonzaga when they first started making waves. They were criticized for a weak schedule. Then they went out and scheduled some quality majors. They took their lumps in some cases, but won often enough to establish credibility. Colorado St a few years back scheduled Minnesota, USC and Colorado. After taking three beatings Lubick was quoted as saying they were out of their league. And that was when Colo St was winning in conf. Two years ago Boise St was waxed by Georgia, then immediately lost the next week to Oreg St, a team many said they had a chance to beat. I think any mid-major wishing to establish credibility must take on a non-conf schedule similar to what Colo St did a few years ago. The problem is that if just a few do it then it leaves them beaten up for the conf games, whether they win or lose the BCS games. Mid-majors are no different than most BCS teams in that they want to establish a winning attitude in non-conf games as a prelude to the real season. Say you don't blame them if you wish, but the fact remains that Boise St rarely plays a school ranked higher in recruitment than they are (about 65th historically). You claim they win because their coaches outsmart the BCS coaches in recruiting talent that others think are not so good. You claim they win because their coaches are better at outsmarting BCS coaches in the few games they play. I claim that a school ranked 65th in recruitment is capable of beating a school ranked much higher in talent if the lower ranked school gets up for that one game, plays near th top of their talent, and the BCS school is looking ahead to bigger games or has just been beaten up by another BCS school. For TCU this year they had a big chance to establish national credibility by beating Texas. For Texas it was not the same as they had three or four games much bigger than TCU. I doubt any Texas player glanced at the scheduled and said "Oh my God, we play TCU". Whereas it was obviously different for TCU players. Playing Texas close for a half left TCU with little left for Air Force the next week. Unlike you I will not pretend that Hawaii played Michigan and won. I will not pretend that the rest of the Hawaii schedule in any way qualifies them to play in a BCS bowl. So until there are changes in mid-major scheduling I will not put a lot of stock in Boise St getting up for one big game and defeating OK.
For some others - I think the Dukester is just attempting to rattle your cages. He's doing a pretty good job of it, too.
I think we need to give Stew a break. If he met the standards some of you are placing on him he would not be a writer, but earn his living betting on the games. Who doesn't climb on bandwagons? Before the season started most were saying this was the year for Michigan and Hart to challenge for the title. After the Oregon game even Mich fans got off the bandwagon. Now most of us are back on in the sense that we believe Mich may win out. Most of us have climbed on the USF and Kentucky bandwagons in acknowledging that these are quality teams. I remember many saying that LSU would not emerge undefeated, but I don't remember anyone saying that Kentucky would do the honors. Ditto USC & Stanford. If USC wins big this weekend their bandwagon will be near capacity again after most of us got off. Many were predicting that Notre Dame would encounter several defeats this season, but no one was saying that it would happen in the first three games. The Louisville bandwagon was pretty full to start the season. He is supposed to brag on the SEC because Fla beat OSU. He is expected to brag on the Big Ten because it was 2-1 against the SEC in bowls. He is expected to vote USF higher than Auburn because USF won the game. He is expected to vote Aub higher than USF because Aub plays in the SEC. He is human. The bigger his mail bag probably the bigger his pay raise as he is creating interest. So he probably does try to be provocative at times. But if Hawaii & Boise St fans start cancelling their SI subscriptions he may be in trouble and he would not be human if that thought didn't occur to him. Let's face it. Read the posts. If many of you (and me) were writing for SI few would follow our columns.
I cant help but laugh at how jealous other teams' fans are that they don't have Tebow for their Quarterback. I really am sick of all the "He should be playing fullback" arguments. For God's sake he has the number passer rating in the country. Not Andre' Woodson. Not Matt Ryan. Not whoever is the quarterback now for OSU. Tebow is the number one Quarterback in the nation as a sophomore and it makes all non-Florida fans sick because they know that they will have to deal with it for a few more years. Quit whining. You know you all would take him if you could.
First of all, Wisconsin was the third best team in the big ten last year. Michigan was second. So the Big Ten's third best team beat Arkansas.
Also, how can you boast about the SEC's second best team, LSU, "destroying" Notre Dame in the freaking sugar bowl? They played in LSU's backyard and didn't even put ND away until midway through the third quarter.
Meanwhile, earlier in the season, Michigan, the big ten's second best team, is up 34-7 in the second quarter against ND AT SOUTH BEND. They let some of their second string guys in and win 47-21.
But your warped logic says that because Michigan lost to USC in the rose bowl they would have gotten beaten by LSU. The games against a common opponent don't back that up.
For Enzo - If we follow your logic about common opponents then we must consider the Div II school that recently beat App St, and thus is better than Michigan. If we follow your logic then Aub was a better team than OSU last year. Fla was a common opponent. And according to Vandy players who faced Mich & Fla then Mich was better than Fla and felt Mich should have faced OSU in the NC. Let's see - Stanford defeated USC, but lost to Oregon & UCLA. So I guess you will be betting your last dimes that Oregon will beat USC this week and UCLA will do the same later in the year. What are you planning to do with all that money you are sure to win?
sigh. More stupid "My conference is better than yours...blahblahblah" BS. Personally, I think the SEC is the deepest conference, based not on bowl games (which are somewhat arbitrary due to seeding), or subjective opinion, but due to the fact that, without fail, the SEC has 2-4 teams each year which are considered to be National Title contenders, while every other league has at most 2. But still--- that's just my personal belief. In the long run, it simply doesn't matter, because the only possible reason for such arguments is, basically, "My favorite team is better even though we're only a .500 team because we play in a tougher conference," and personally? If your team doesn't win the conference or nat'l championships, it just doesn't matter. Mandel, you want to engage in some serious CFB journalism? Try to figure out why everyone is focusing on the 'best conference' argument this year more so than years previous.
oh, and in regards to the Heisman, I agree that candidates should not be judged by the record of the team that they are on, but again, it's a somewhat subjective judgement, and- of course- many voters are going to equate 'more team wins' to 'more talented player.' On my own personal ballot, right now, I still would have to put Darren McFadden up near the top. Mike Hart is up there too, although that's more of a 'career accomplishment' recognition (a la Ron Dayne) than for what he's done this year specifically. As far as the voters who matter though, I'm sure they're looking at Tim Tebow somewhat, although his Sophmore status probably keeps him from winning. So... Andre Woodson for Heisman anyone? Seriously, does anyone on the PLANET think that Kentucky would even be sniffing the top 25 at this point without his efforts?
I believe Alabama's offensive line has played the best game it has all season against Tennessee. They gave John Parker Wilson time to throw and made some holes for Grant. Previously, they looked pathetic. Now, they are impressive. I hope it stays that way.
For all you LSU fans bashing on OSU's non-conf schedule this year, take a look at LSU's non-conf schedule the next few years:
2008 - North Texas, Troy, Tulane, TBA 2009 - App St, Houston, So Miss, Tulane 2010 - TBA, UL-Laf, Tulane, TBA 2011 - No Ill, Houston, Colo, Tulane
That's even worse that what OSU is playing this year and at least OSU has USC the next 2 years and Miami (FL) after that for 2. Anyone who wants to complain about weak scheduling should talk to LSU about not doing it EVERY YEAR!
Chris, you can't be serious?? yes, I'll give you the SEC is the deepest conf this year (although I don't think it's as far of a runaway as most SEC fans think), but there's no way to gaurantee that in the future. The Big 10 was in the same position just a few years ago. You never know how a conf will fare from year to year. Mich was supposed to be in the title hunt this year (pretty consensus opinion, not just mine) and look where they are. OSU was supposed to be rebuilding but at this point might even be better than last year's team. Iowa was supposed to be competing for the Big 10 championship, but turns out they're awful. You never know what's going to happen, which is why you also have to schedule tough non-conf games. I don't care what happens, if LSU finishes with 1 loss next year with that cupcake non-conf schedule, they don't deserve to even be talked about for the national championship, regardless of how good the SEC is that season.
For Nihar & Chris - I have bashed OSU's non-conf schedule and will continue to do so. But Nihar is correct in pointing out that LSU's future is even more nauseating than OSU. Whatever excitement LSU/SEC fans derived this year from the Va Tech fiasco it looks sure to be missing in the coming years. But Chris is probably accurate to be pointing out that on paper LSU will be judged higher than OSU because of its in-conf schedule. Am I the only one wishing that we had a great deal more genuine non-conf games so we would not have to make the paper decisions?
Nope, just sorry to see conference strength monster rear his head once again. Since it's here, I'll add that the best way to see how good a team TRULY is is to see how it does against quality non-conference teams. So the old (and it's been used by others before the SEC) "we don't need to schedule good OOC opponents since in conference we're so good" just doesn't hold up. You could be ridiculously overrated as a conference and never be "found out". Besides, is there some reason you WOULDN'T want to schedule these games, Chris? I'm all for regular quality OOC games--OSU v. Florida or LSU, etc. for example, etc. early on...gets rid of the cupcakes on all sides AND provides some early ranking-relevant information to boot.
Mandel, I am starting to think that these annoying OSU fans might be on to something with you. Your top 25 makes absolutely no sense at all. If you are really a OSU hater and keep LSU ahead of them for that than so be it but that isn't the only thing in the your list that, as Arsenio Hall would say, makes you say...hmmm. Forget that LSU needed a miracle to win a game on there home field at night when they are supposedly unbeatable. LSU has played a good schedule most of which has been in Baton Rouge they finally leave and lose, to a good team but they still lose. Getting pass that, you have a one loss Pac10 team ahead of an undefeated Pac10 & ACC team. How does that make any sense? If you think Oregon's schedule is tougher than BC so be it, but ASU has beat the same opponents as Oregon without a loss. Than you got 3 one loss teams in a row starting with Oklahoma who has the worse loss out of the 3 yet ahead of the other two. Than comes your obvious statement that you think that the SEC is by far the best in the country. How else do you have not one but two 2 loss teams from the SEC ahead of a Va. Tech with one loss. Don't forget that the one loss was to your best team in the country at their place. Maybe it was a blowout but if you can forget about LSU's loss can't you forget about that loss? Boom, they are undefeated which would mean you can put them ahead of atleast one of the 2 loss SEC teams right there with the undefeated Big 12 team. I know this is way too long of a comment for people to actually read already and I am only half way through your list so I'll move on quickly. A 3 loss team still in the top 20(SEC team), a 2 loss Alabama team not even ranked last week all of sudden in the top 20 because they blowout a not so good Tennessee team? Rutgers back in the top 25 after a good win against USF? I guess thats enough to forget the two home losses to Maryland and Cincy. Hawaii can't even get into the top 20 with seven wins? And to top it off a 3 loss Kansas St still on the list? Because you say their losses were by close margins, fine, they have one good win and THREE LOSSES.
You seem to have missed half my point. sec_rules was hanging his SEC hat on the fact that LSU blew out Notre Dame. I was pointing out that Michigan did as well, and was the second place team in the B-10. So how can he say that last years SEC was so superior to the B-10 when they lost two of three to them and the second place teams didn't even play each other? I didn't say Michigan would win; I was saying that sec_rules's logic was retarded. There's no way of saying who would win.
Also, I wasn't aware that AppSt played anyone in the SEC this year. Who did they play? Oh, they haven't played? Then I guess bringing them up makes absolutely no sense since they are not a common opponent.
Your Auburn argument also doesn't have anything to do with my post either. My problem was the fact that someone saying Wisconsin was the second best B10 team and just barely squeaked by Arkansas (who I could claim is the second best sec team since they got to the sec championship game, but I won't) when that wasn't the case at all.
I must have missed all the "Tebow-Jealous" comments. I think he's a great player and evidently a pretty good person to boot (which I think is the most important) but he doesn't have an "S" on his chest. It's fun to watch him play but I haven't heard (or read) the "we're so jealous you have Tebow" comments you allude to (perhaps I missed them). Congrats on having a good quarterback but FYI lots of us are very happy with the ones we have and wouldn't trade, period.
UCLA's quarterback situation this year has been terrible. Past Olsen's first game against Stanford where he had 5 TD's, he had only 2 TD's and 5 INT's over his next 4 games as well as fumbling a couple of times and being sacked 12 times for an average of a -6.6 yards each. Completely ineffective. In both losses, especially against ND, turnovers by QB's Olsen and Bethel-Thompson are what killed UCLA, even down to turning it over on their own 1 yard line. Turnovers greatly contributed to the points Utah was able to run up as that game did not get away until the third quarter.
But, UCLA's defense holds opponents to the lowest 3rd down conversion percentage in the country (around 25%). As long as there is a QB for UCLA who can control the ball, execute the plays and buy a few yards with a scramble it gives the defense a chance to set the tone and cut the field in half for the "high powered" ( I laughed when I heard that after the win over Stanford) offense. That highlight everyone sees of a UCLA QB getting dosed by a USC linebacker shows Cowan's (he is the QB shown) ability to make something out of nothing with his legs when necessary. That game ended 13-9, UCLA.
I find it funny that Stewart and other "experts" find losses within the Pac-10's supposedly "elite" teams to "lesser" teams an indication of a weak conference - while allowing for South Carolina loss to Vandy, LSU to UK (I guess that's why LSU stays in state), Auburn to MSU, and so on - to be a statement of the lower programs being strong.
Also, looking at the respective OOC schedules within the SEC - it is a joke with several teams playing 8 games at home or loaded with teams I never even heard of.
I love the tradition of the SEC - but how good is it? They play crappy OOC teams or at home only. I guess the "experts" won't allow us to use the their records against BCS conference opponents for some odd reason too. Oh well - I give in - the SEC is the best and all the teams are great and can beat everyone else.
And what about BC? Isn't that the team that stuggled to beat ND, while UM and USC destroyed ND. The great Matt Flynn was actually kept in check - while USC's 2nd string QB throws 4 TDs no picks. Hmmm.
OK, I'm going to waste the time and energy to point out two small things to all the people who are trying to use the tired argument "the SEC doesn't play anyone out of conference" to cut down the SEC. 1) Several SEC teams have very long-standing out of conference rivalries that you folks seem to want to ignore, perhaps because they get played at the end of the year. UGA-GT, UF-FSU, UK-UL, etc, and many of the SEC teams are making an effort to beef up their out of conference slates, actually to a level beyond what other conferences play... which leads to (2). 2) Before you go throwing stones at the SEC, perhaps you should take a look at your own conference. Ultimately speaking, I think you'll find that almost ALL major conference schools play out of conference patsies; yes, the USCs and the OSUs don't, but if you actually look at all of the schools in the Pac-10 and the Big-10, you will find that they are the exception, not the rule, so stop trying to put down the SEC as a conference on that basis.
Oh, a couple of other thoughts: 1) Tim Tebow is a great college quarterback. UF will see a lot of success with him. However, that said, I wouldn't want him on my team, because I think his style is particularly likely to end up with him being injured, and frankly a QB can't help you much from the sidelines. That said, I expect him to win the Heisman at some point. 2) Larry: you're entirely right. We are grown men who have too much time on our hands, and as a result, love to debate one another about the merits of our respective favorite teams, regardless of the irrationality or futility of it. 3) AHHHHHHH the glory that is college football. I hope that all of you dedicated fans stay well, and remember- that 6'6" dude at the bar probably isn't someone you should talk trash to about CFB, regardless of how drunk you are!
All righty guys and gals... I did a little research on our friends down south- LSU. I was checking the OOC schedule that they have for this year. Besides Va. Tech, who are 6-1 (their loss being to LSU), they have played 2 schools and have 1 more scheduled. (ALL OF THIS I FOUND ON ESPN'S SITE... SORTRY SI)
When they played Middle Tennessee, MT was 0-2 at the time. MT lost. When they played Tulane, Tulane was 1-2 at the time. Tulane lost. They have an upcoming game against Louisiana Tech, who are currently 1-3.
LSU then loses one regular conference game.
OSU has played all of its teams ans won thus far. I can't tell the future, but I can hope for the best that my Buckeyes will fare well the rest of the season. Also I noticed that three teams on OSU's schedule have been rated in the top 25. Again, this is on the ESPN site for all to see.
Here are some of my philosophies concerning college football.
1. I believe that there are too many out of conference games. A school should only be allowed to play ONE OOC game per season.
2. If a team loses, they should be booted out of the top 10. PERIOD. The goal is to win games, not have better looking losses.
3. I believe that sometimes, the games against OOC schools, especially those who aren't considered traditional powerhouses can be the toughest to handle. Why? Because every little school want to be the David to the more respected school's Goliath. They are going to play their hardest. I don't think they are cakewalk games at all... and I don't think they downgrade a school's strength when they schedule one.
4. I don't think it is appropriate to demean a fan of a particular school for supporting their school. I also don't believe in lumping all of a school's fans together based on the actions of a few.
I wish everyone well and I look forward to the OSU/PSU game this Saturday. To all PSU fans... I wish you well.
how could there be big ten bias if he says Hart still has a shot at the Heisman despite being injured and he has Michigan #18 despite the horrid start. Ohio State just happens to remain undefeated. they are not the best team in the country.
For Enzo - My wife says that laughing at my own jokes is what I do best. But she might have missing the point second on her list. I thought you were seriously trying to make statements rather than raise questions and doubts. Right now we treat an undefeated team with some reverence. Hawaii, Kansas, BC & OSU have only a victory over K-St as a possible quality win. Voters should use quality wins and strength of schedule as the deciding criteria. I also think we should factor in quality losses. Mich loses by 3 to OSU at OSU and states it should not necessarily knock them down. I agree. But if Fla, also with one loss, has more quality wins it gets the nod. And Fla losing to Auburn last year was not a bad loss. I don't think OSUs game with Mich St should be held against it since OSU dominated the stats. But nor does OSU get the credit for defeating MSU that LSU would get for beating Va Tech, or Cal's win over Tenn. I also think that we can now say Oreg had a good win over Mich but not a great win as Mich was in disarray at the time. Ditto USF winning over Aub. A good victory, but not a great upset. All of this is subjective, but so is the current voting. Teams should have to earn their way into the Top 25 by mid-season. Did you notice that for several weeks Hawaii was ranked but Kansas was not? Kansas has had to prove they belong and Hawaii has had to prove they don't belong. Kansas finally earned consideration with a win over K-St. Hawaii still has done nothing to earn their rank. Start them at #15 if you wish, but when a team lower than they are gets a quality win or loss that team moves up and Hawaii might move down. This system might at least encourage OSU/Texas type games as Texas could lose to OSU, but not necessarily be knocked down.
For Alexis - Of the undefeated teams at this time it looks to me like OSU and Hawaii have the best chance to remain so. BC has played none of the better ACC teams and Kans has only played K-St. Plus both the ACC and B12 have championship games. Please tell me that you do not think that Hawaii is a fitting test for OSU in the NC game. If you do then I think many will laugh and say you are probably right. Do you realize that if one loss removes a team from the top ten we would not have a sixth ranked team? All your system does is to further encourage teams to play weak OOC schedules. No thank you.
All of the conference babble is driving me insane. I am a die hard Ohio State fan. Reality is... until we get back to the national title game and WIN, we won't get any respect. No one cares that we've won 25 of the past 26 games we've played. You should be used to hearing the Buckeye haters by now. Tune them out and enjoy what Tressel and Company are doing this year.
For Charles: Look... I am not a pro at this stuff... I just think that all of these OOC games gets out of hand. There are 11 teams in the Big 10. Add 1 OOC game and voila!- a season.
I am not a big fan of some conferences having championship games and others not. I am not a big fan of schools choosing their own OOC schedule... make the NCAA assign at random what school plays what for the OOC game. Make it interesting...
Yes, I can see your point about the top 10... my bad... I am adult enough to admit when I err. But I do wholeheartedly believe that undefeated teams should get more props in the polls... again I thought the goal was to win games and a school can't help the conference that they are in and how other schools do before they play them.
Do you think a point system each week on the different aspects of a team's performance would help? Grade the passing, grade the rushing, etc. If you lose deduct a helluva lot of points-- no, ifs and or buts... same with winning a game ( gain a helluva lot of points) Use the grading system to help out with rankings and base those grades solely on that team's performance that week.
Anyway... just some thoughts. I am still learning the ins and out of this, so please bear with me... I won't try to delve too deep past what I know. And if you can help me clarify certain things as they come up, it would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.
For Alexis - Your goal seems to be eliminating bias. That is a good goal. There is one sure way to eliminate all bias. If there are more than two undefeated teams at the end put their names in a hat and draw two for the championship. If there is one undefeated team and six teams with one loss, put the six names in a hat and the one drawn plays in the NC. The system above is totally unbiased, but it eliminates all thinking as well. If we are going to select the two best teams it will require a tremendous amount of thinking. Turn the season around for a moment. BC and Hawaii are still both undefeated and end up that way. OSU plays very well, but loses to Mich at the end by one point. OSU is out. I am not a fan of the Big Ten, but if you say OSU is better than any team in the ACC I won't argue with you. We could stretch things a bit further and have Mich closing out the season with only the two early losses, and establishing itself as one of the best teams in the country in the process. (BTW this was what many expected of Mich this year anyway.) Under this scenario it would not be hard to conclude that Mich could easily defeat either BC or Hawaii. So OSU loses by one point to a team thought to be better than any undefeated team and that one point loss drops OSU out. OSU fans would not be the only ones thinking the system was crazy. Other systems would be subjective (and vulnerable to bias) but you can help control the bias by increasing the number of voters. I also think you can help eliminate the bias by penalizing voters who stray too far from the guidelines. Right now I hear a lot of whining about how schedules were made up 20 years ago. Recently Miami, Va Tech & BC joined the ACC. It did not take 20 years for them to arrange an ACC schedule. Several teams joined the Big East and almost immediately modified their schedules to fit the Big East. I think instead of OSU playing Kent St, Youngstown & Akron, and Fla playing Troy, West Car and Fla Atl OSU and Fla should have both dropped their weak non-conf opponents the second week of the season and played each other. That would have been a tad more exciting. Akron and Fla Atl could then have scheduled each other. Similarly Tex could have dropped Rice and arranged to play Alabama or Rutgers or even Hawaii. It doesn't take a genius to overview the schedules and find two quality teams playing powderpuffs on the same day. If the Big Ten adopts a 12th school I assure you it won't take 20 years for that school to have a Big Ten schedule. So what do you think?
Charles- Unfortunately, my work is forcing me to put the kibosh on my more in depth analysis. However, I will leave you with one thing to ponder: Kentucky, South Carolina, Auburn, Tennessee, Arkansas, and Alabama are currently mediocre squads, as are all the teams that the SEC has scored allegedly "quality" non-conference victories over. All these teams lack depth in star power and should be no challenge for any serious national title contender. If you can prove otherwise, please do, but until you do, this means that the difference between the SEC and Big Ten is negligible. The fact that the media inflates the worth of victories over these teams is true evidence of a lowering of standards in college football. This exaggeration of the SEC's middle ranks is also evidence of a true bias that does in fact exist. Call me paranoid, but there's no doubt that because of Ohio State's horrendous loss in last year's NC game, the Big Ten has become the pro-playoff lobby's patsy throughout the media. I have seen nothing in the realm of facts to warrant the blatant exultation of the SEC and the degradation of the Big Ten. Early season non-conf. results don't mean much to me, especially when BCS teams, across the board, are playing similar schedules with similar results. Who cares if LSU destroyed Va Tech? Va Tech has no quarterback and no passing game. They are a one dimensional puzzle that is not even a puzzle. BC will beat them this Thursday and take one more bite out of the SEC's non-confernece rep. Guaranteed.
Thanks to the person who pointed out the Big Ten's record (8-6) vs. the SEC over the past 5 years. If it's accurate, not much to argue with there.
To the poster who pointed out Chris Long's stellar play, you are absolutely correct. That same afternoon I watched James Laurinaitis singlehandedly wreck Michigan State and wondered if he isn't the best defensive college football player I've ever seen. That evening I watched Long control a game from his defensive end position and thought the same thing about him. Unbelievable.
To those of you who are in love with Tim Tebow, the guy is indeed a great player. In the same vein as Long and Laurinaitis, I've often thought that Tebow has the potential to be the best college football player I've ever seen. He has a way to go, but the tools are definitely there.
Anyways, much respect to SEC football, something I truly love. I have fond memories of being a kid and watching Bo Jackson carry the rock out of Auburn's wishbone. I even remember a great Alabama squad beating Penn State in a great game for the national championship. College football would be virtually nothing without the SEC.
Posted: 4:27 PM by Joe ... Larry: you're entirely right. We are grown men...
Not ALL of us are men... ;)
On a different note: I honestly don't see how a playoff system is going to fix this problem. There will still be upsets and "unworthy" or "less worthy" teams who get to THE game while other "worthy" teams will be snubbed due to a freak loss. There will still be questions about strength of schedule. There will still be arrogance, idiocy, and conference bias. It's hopeless. So let's just shut up, watch the games, and enjoy them while they last... soon it will be January and I'll be relegated to watching something ridiculous like figure skating until tennis really starts up...
Im sure Ohio State is a really good football team. But you cannot talk about how weak the SEC's non-conference schedule is, without talking about "The #1 team in the nation's" non-conference schedule. Youngstoen State (D-1AA), Akron (is Akron), Washington (2-5), and Kent State (Exactly). There isnt a wekaer non-conference schedule in the nation! But I will give the Buckeyes props if they finish unbeaten in their final 4 games, against Penn State in Happy Valley, Wisconsin, Illinois, and Michigan in the "Big House" (which means nothing) but I seriously doubt they will make it through all of them. After all, they play in the Big 10, how good can they be?
I (and this is just me, I'm a freak for thinking this way...) would rather know that there is a chance that a BC or a Hawaii could go unbeaten and get the props they deserve and have no bias. Again, the way things look now, a team can feasibly say "well... if we lose, we won't go down far. It was a 'quality' game." Boils down to rewarding loss. I don't agree with it. If OSU were to lose to Michigan and there were two teams still unbeated, then there were two teams that got the job done this season like they were supposed to and OSU did not. Again I am a freak that way and we shall agree to disagree on that point. I appreciate you taking the time to respond to my posts... it has been interesting.
For Eric Y-town You state that Tenn, Aub, Alab, Ark, SC & Kentucky are all mediocre teams, as are teams beaten by the SEC this season such as OK St, K-St and Va Tech. (Uh you specifically stated this season so I assume you are not including the OSU/Fla NC game.)(BTW LSU & Fla have been beaten by SEC teams this season, but that must have been an omission on your part.) You invite me to prove otherwise. To make that claim you must have dismissed the Top 25 AP rankings, or perhaps you just dismissed SEC & Va Tech results. I must confess that I am totally unable to offer anything to weaken your irrefutable facts. I assume that you will not be stooping to respond to any of my future posts. I assure you that I tremble now at even the thought of challenging to your gospel.
It's amazing how one could validate playing in cold weather, or some other place where the weather can be a factor, as a measuring stick to how good a team is (maybe it's a measuring stick on how well they prepare). If you need the weather to give you an advantage, then that is a sign of weakness. Play in nice weather where there are no outside factors, but only your talents to decide the outcome-- that's what determines who is for real or not. So stop whining about LSU or any other SEC team not playing away from home. Face it, the conference is located in the Southeastern part of the United States, so once the OOC games are out of the way, where do you really expect the SEC teams to play? They have no choice but to play below the (now popular) Mason-Dixon line. Even then, there's nasty weather here as well from time to time.
On the flip side... as an avid SEC fan, I am tired of the talk about last year's championship also. That win will not bring the championship back this year. But on the same token, if you nonSEC bloggers keep referencing years past, then it's not that unreasonable for SEC-bloggers to talk about last year's NC game.
Finally, just look at the coaches' poll. You guys can cry bias all you want, but there are more than the SEC coaches voting in the coaches' poll. Either the SEC coaches bullied the other coaches to vote for 6 or 7 SEC teams or those other coaches just couldn't find any more deserving teams. It's okay to say that the AP poll may be biased (just a matter of opinion), but you gotta believe that the coaches know what they are talking about and are up against week in, week out.
im just wandering why Earl Bennet of vanderbilt hasnt had any recognition at all this year even though he is 2 catches away from breaking the SEC receiving record ? ...... yes the SEC is overrated but they are still the best conference with 6 of the 6 teams in the SEC east possibly going to a bowl and then on the other side in the SEC west LSU Auburn and Alabama are all gonna go to bowls and that would be nine teams from one conference and arkansas might pull it off and maybe be bowl eligible making it 10 teams from one conference going to bowls which has never happened
Eric-Y-Town, I'm glad that there are others who realize how stellar Long's defense is. Most of the nation unfortunately will not get to see him play, unless UVA goes on a roll and makes an ACC championship. He is on pace to break UVA's single season sack record. All of the balls he bats down aren't recorded in statistics, but if UVA is televised in your area people take a look at him.. he'll be a good one for years to come. (I don't know what the ACC overall record is)
Charles- I don't feel that assuming a place in the top 25 absolves one of mediocrity. Anything outside of the top 5-10 is typically a direct statement of mediocrity. Does it really matter if 5-2 Georgia is ranked #20 in the AP while 6-2 Wisconsin is not ranked in the top 25? I don't believe it does other than it being another statement of the SEC being the current media darling. When we look at both teams records, they're actually pretty similar, so why the higher ranking for Georgia? Both teams have been pummeled by mediocre teams in their own conference (Penn State and Tennessee), lost close games to mediocre teams in their own conference (Illinois and S. Carolina) and struggled against weak links (Nevada and Vanderbilt). And please. Don't traipse out Georgia's victory against Oklahoma St. as anything special. The 5-3 Cowboys (logically projected to finish 6-6) were annihilated by Troy 41-23. The only thing I'll give Georgia in this debate is that Wisconsin struggled a little bit with the Citadel before finally putting them away by a comfortable margin. On the other hand, Wisconsin has more legit stars in PJ Hill and Travis Beckum. Making a true distinction between these two teams, something I'm expected to do in order to buy into the rankings as a whole and therefore the superiority of the SEC, is ridiculous.
B_dubya- One thing I've wondered about the coach's poll is how accurate it is. Of the 119 teams in D1 football, isn't it safe to assume that the coaches only really have knowledge of the ones that they play? After preparing for their games, do they have time to study the ins and outs of teams that they'll never meet on the field? I just assume that they go along with the media because in so many cases they really don't know that much about those they don't play.
I would have to side with Rodney. I'd rather have the Tigers win the BCS than the AP Poll. I also think an 8 team playoff with conference champions and two at large would work. Might even end OOC play (or minimize it) to make time to play brackets for the conference champs. Upsets may happen but that is the point . . they are on the field and not in the minds of someone ranking teams or conferences using some "impartial" algorithm. If I want "algorithms" I will read the BCS computer polls (especially Sagarin).
Have to go with Larry on "1, 2, and 5" reasons why we are witnessing all this conference strength debate. Inevitable under the BCS System though.
I like the discussion for a defensive player for the Heisman, regardless of favorites. I have not seen Long play. Will take a look . . sounds like a great player. Laurenitis, too . . . and I appreciated his assessment of Locker vs Tebow after the Husky game this year. Good discussion.
As for LSU's nonconference schedule, particularly next year . . some are by law (in state school must be played) some by convenience, some suprises (Colorado, APP State who . . oh nevermind) and a couple of "TBDs" which confirms the idea that higher ranked teams could be added.
Uh, Charles, you are accusing me of saying things I did not say or imply. Specifically:
* "You claim they win because their coaches outsmart the BCS coaches in recruiting talent that others think are not so good."
I did not say a single word about recruiting.
* "You claim they win because their coaches are better at outsmarting BCS coaches in the few games they play."
I was making a reference to a single game. I was not making a generalization about all wins by mid-majors over BCS teams.
* "Unlike you I will not pretend that Hawaii played Michigan and won. I will not pretend that the rest of the Hawaii schedule in any way qualifies them to play in a BCS bowl."
I did not say or imply that Hawaii's schedule qualifies them for a BCS bid; in fact, I said just the opposite. If you will go back and read my post, you will see that I specifically said that Hawaii's schedule "wasn't the strongest". Maybe I should have phrased it more clearly, but I was basically agreeing with what many have pointed out is the key weakness in Hawaii's bid for a BCS berth, which is their relatively weak schedule. I don’t know which schools Hawaii contacted to try to schedule for this season; all I know is that one of the national sports magazines (I don’t recall which one) stated in their college football preview edition that Hawaii wanted to add one more game to their schedule but couldn’t find anyone willing to play them. If you look at Hawaii’s BCS score and the scores of the current top 12 in the BCS rankings, Hawaii is going to be hard pressed to improve their score enough to crack the top 12 and secure a BCS bowl bid.
In an average year, the top mid-major teams are pretty much on par with the middle teams in the BCS conferences: flirting with the Top 25, maybe even cracking the Top 25, but certainly not high enough in the polls to rank among the elite. Like the middle schools in the BCS conferences, they – if I may borrow your words – “take their lumps in some cases, but win often enough to establish credibility” as a result of playing top BCS teams. Every few years, one of the top mid-majors (Utah three years ago, Boise St. last year) has a phenomenal season that propels them into the ranks of the elite – and their BCS bowl wins prove that they were good enough to be competitive at that level. But the top mid-majors don’t have the resources to field a team at that level every single year – that’s why they’re still in the mid-major conferences and not getting invited to join a BCS conference.
Yes, there are some mid-major schools who succeed in beefing up their schedule with quality BCS opponents, because there are some BCS coaches who are not risk-averse in their scheduling practices. But the opposite is also true -- and you're the one who first brought up the subject of BCS schools playing it safe by padding their schedules with relatively weak competition.
If Missouri or Rutgers were admitted to the Big Ten it would not take 20, 10 or even 5 years for Missouri or Rutgers to arrange to play 8 Big Ten teams. Apologies would be made across the board and Missouri would have a Big Ten schedule. So let's stop talking about how schools are stuck. The Big 12 or Big East would immediately replace Missouri or Rutgers and the new member would immediately arrange for an appropriate conf schedule just as occurred a few years back when three schools left the Big East to join the ACC. Read most any post about the greatness of OSU and you will see reference to the Texas game last year. You will not see reference to the Akron game this year. Can we stop talking about a win is a win and a loss is a loss and it matters not who you win or lose to? If OSU ends up with one loss and that one loss is from Penn St Big Ten people will fill the skies with comments that Penn St was a better loss than Stanford if USC has just one loss. Does anyone doubt the Kentucky/Stanford comparisons if USC and LSU end up with one loss? Why are so many SEC people down on Mich if the loss to Ap St was just a loss? If Mich had beaten Ap St on the last play does anyone doubt that Mich would still be hearing criticism about the near loss to a Div II school? Does anyone doubt that Mich & Big Ten people would be claiming that great teams find a way to win. Some consistency would be refreshing.
Chris, admire your loyaly to the Big Ten but, the reality is the Big Ten is a diluted conference (OSU & Michigan)and is not very good. Here are the Conference Rankings, as provided by Sagarin an un-biased BCS componentbased purely on who you have played, beaten, etc. and subsequently who they have played, beaten, etc:
The Sagarin ratings are a joke with about as much cultural relevance as Pop Rocks, Rubic's Cube, and ABBA. That's why they appear in the USA Today and are used in the BCS rating system. They're a joke. Sagarin doesn't even reveal his exact methodology.
For Mickey - You should quit trying to confuse the issues with facts and unbiased analyses. Expert opinion is that Sagarin ratings are no good because they are no good. You won't find a more convincing argument than that.
With regards to a playoff, I agree we'll still likely have some people griping about getting the shaft because their team didn't get in, etc...there's no way to really avoid that. BUT it pretty much dispels any talk about whether or not a team deserves to be in the NC game, because if they survive to that point, they belong there at least AT THAT TIME. Hey, if we have a tournament and two teams from the same conference ended up in the NC (and of course I'm thinking the Big 10 this year here :) ) then I'd say they proved themselves and I'd enjoy the game, and if my team wasn't there, well...we got beat fair and square and we'll look forward to next year while still supporting the team with a "well done!".
As an aside, is it just me or does it seem like this blog has been active for a longer than normal time? Maybe because we're being somewhat funny, well-behaved, and respectful to each other??? Hmmmm...I kind of like it!
Mickey According to Sagarin Ohio State should have beaten Florida by 14 points last year. What does that tell you about Sagarin and his ratings? Do you really believe the Atlantic Cupcake Conference is better than the Big 10? If so then I commend you to look at the Boston College Notre Dame game. After four Big Ten teams had destroyed any semblance of manhood in the fighting Iris BC (the pride of the ACC this year) was taken to the extreme by this lightweight. ND had their best offensive game and had Matt Ryan was on his heels. The ACC has the worst OOC record by far of any of the BCS conferences. Leave Mr Sagarin (an Ohio St grad btw) to his mother's basement. If you want to know who's gonna win on Saturday use your eyes and your judgment.
The Sagarin Ratings are no good because they punish teams who, by no design of their own, play a weak schedule. Even though Ohio State wins and wins with countless NFL prospects on their 2 and 3 deep roster, they're punished because Akron and Kent are not slugging it out for MAC supremacy this year(are they? who knows?), yet another TY Willingham team is a loser, talented Michigan starts off another season as a sluggish failure, Minnesota is a joke, etc. etc. Besides the obvious, no one but Sagarin even knows exactly how the Sagarin ratings work. I will always have disdain for these ratings, no matter where my teams stand in them.
Just the facts please: Without regard to who has played who or how many D1-aa opponents there are in the OOC records, here are the BCS conferences' records in out of conference games. (note there still are a few more OOC games to be played).
ACC 32-12 .727 Big East 27-11 .711 Big 10 32-8 .800 Big 12 36-10 .783 PAC 10 21-8 .724 SEC 31-5 .861
The leaders are the SEC and the Big Ten. Over the last five years the Big Ten and the SEC have played each other 14 times in bowl games, including an annual match up between Big Ten #2 against SEC 32 and #3 against #3. The Big Ten leads 8-6, including 2-1 last year.
In the last five years the SEC and the Big Ten lead all conferences in 1st round draft picks with 30 each.
We can all play "my daddy can beat up your daddy" to the cows come home, but I thought I would avoid that and just prevent the facts.
Now with all of this out there why is the Big Ten getting bashed? Please note that the B10 record is dragged down by a woeful Minnesota (3 losses) and Michigan's well documented 2 losses. Shouldn't the question be not what is wrong with the B10, but what is wrong with Michigan?
For Mickey - There you go. While the rest of the world was predicting OSU would struggle and likely get stomped on by Florida Sagarin was the only idiot saying OSU should win by a couple of TDs. P.S. I remember the OSU posts after Selection Sunday. Come to think of it Sagarin may not have been the only ... I am glad we finally got all of this settled.
It tells me that Sagarin is an unbiased computer ranking system used by the BCS. It cannot accurately predict the OSU-Fl score nor can any other system...too many variables, no common opponents, etc. But with the additional data available for entire conferences, I think it is fairly accurate.
If you want to look at OOC schedules, you may want to start with the Big Ten, before you start criticizing other's. Every team schedules a couple of easy games and 1 BCS opponent. The Big Ten (against BCS teams) had wins against Wash (2-5), Wash. St (2-5), and four wins against Notre Dame (1-7). Couple this with losses to Iowa St (1-7), Missouri (6-1), Oregon (6-1), & Duke (1-6), (Indiana & NW did not schedule a top BCS conference opponent).
The Div I teams you played had a combined record (thru 5 games) of 37 - 71! The Big Ten played 8, 1-AA teams; and you are only 5 - 3 against them!
Add to that the fact that your league SOS is one of the weakest in College Football. Ex: OSU 73rd, PS 76th, Mich 40th, Pur 79th, MSt. 86th & I won't include the also-rans most of which are in the triple digits.
Besides OSU you have only Mich @ 20 & Penn St. @ 25 in the BCS. Where does that rank you?
Criticize the BCS all you want, but it's the system in which you compete.
Now you can be critical of a mathmatical formula, you can deny schedule strength & team records, turn a deaf ear to what everyone is trying to tell you, but it still does not change the fact that the Big Ten is still a WEAK Conference over-all!!
Step outside the vaccum and stop the DENIAL, it is what it is!
For Mickey - I appreciate your use of factual data summaries rather than pointing to a simple outcome for your conclusions. But I seem to be in a minority here. If you stated that the SEC non-conf games were a tremendous step forward I would differ with that. But wins over OK - St, K-St, Va Tech & Louisville carry a great deal more weight with me than wins over Syracuse, Wash and Notre Dame. I don't deny that OSU is a very good team. It's just that by this point in the season they should have a couple of wins against other very good teams. I think Purdue and Mich St are good teams that may produce some very good results before the season is over, but to date they have done nothing to earn their way into the Top 25. Ditto Mich and ditto Pn St.