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SI.com college football writer Stewart Mandel shares his commentary, analysis and random tidbits on the latest developments around the country.
11/24/2007 07:18:00 PM

Saturday Observations, Part II

Erik Ainge
Erik Ainge threw seven touchdown passes in leading Tennessee to an SEC title game berth.
AP

KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Arrowhead Stadium might not be either Kansas or Missouri’s regular venue, but that didn’t stop the teams' fans from making themselves at home.

The parking lots were packed as far as the eye could see when I arrived here about three hours before kickoff, with Jayhawks and Tigers fans both chowing down on tailgate delicacies while cowered under blankets and sweaters (it’s already below 40 degrees here). Alumni associations from both schools had taken over (presumably heated) tents in the parking lot for organized parties.

One sign we’re in the Midwest: On my walk to the stadium, I had to be careful to avoid disrupting more than a couple games of "cornhole."

My highly unscientific observation was that the fan split is about 60-40 Kansas, which makes sense since the Jayhawks are the home team and therefore received more tickets. My other observation: it’s going to be freaking cold here, tonight. Not that these teams aren’t used to it.

• The SEC has turned out to be vastly overrated as a whole, but the league’s been second to none this season in the department of crazy endings.

It seems only fitting that Tennessee -- 59-20 loser to Florida, 41-17 loser to Alabama -- earned its trip to the conference championship game in a frantic, four-overtime 52-50 thriller in which quarterbacks Erik Ainge and Andre Woodson combined for 13 passing touchdowns. On the heels of last week’s last-second drama to beat Vanderbilt, the Vols (9-3) not only put themselves in position for an improbable BCS berth -- they screwed up a lot of other peoples’ plans.

It’s long been believed that Tennessee AD Mike Hamilton was leaning toward ousting longtime coach Phillip Fulmer after the season -- but that may no longer be possible. Meanwhile, Georgia (10-2), which beat Georgia Tech for a seventh straight year Saturday, missed out on its anticipated SEC title date with Tennessee while possibly locking up a BCS at-large berth.

On the other hand, Tennessee’s win may have killed the Bulldogs’ slim remaining national title hopes. While it’s still entirely possible we’ll see a two-loss team in the title game, I doubt the voters would be inclined to tab a team that did not even win its division. If Oklahoma wins the Big 12 title game next week, the Sooners would be 11-2 and the most likely team to leapfrog Georgia.

• Think West Virginia might be gunning for that No. 1 ranking? Think the Mountaineers may have heard a bit too much chatter this week about their BCS unworthiness? Pat White and Co. didn’t just beat 9-2 Connecticut on Saturday -- they humiliated the Huskies 66-21. The Mountaineers racked up 517 rushing yards against the nation’s 21st-rated defense.

I know there are no guarantees about anything this season, but with only 4-7 Pittsburgh remaining (at home), West Virginia is closer than anyone right now to locking up a national-title spot.

Dennis Dixon’s value is becoming more and more appreciated in his absence. How badly does Oregon miss its do-everything quarterback? One of the nation’s most powerful offenses all season got shut out 16-0 by UCLA. Ouch.

• Congratulations to BYU on wrapping up its second straight Mountain West title with a 17-10 Holy War win over Utah. The Cougars are going to be very good for a very long time -- after losing star QB John Beck to the NFL, they got it done this year with an extremely young offense.

• Finally, who else got a kick out of watching Florida State’s Gary Cismesia nail a line-drive, 60-yard field goal before halftime against Florida? The cameras flashed to Bobby Bowden smiling as wide as if he’d just won the national championship, no doubt thinking, Where was that when we used to play Miami?
posted by Stewart Mandel | View comments |

Comments:

Posted: 7:38 PM   by Kimberly
UGA finished strong and I'm proud that they're going to get a BCS bid with such a young team. Let's keep it rolling for the bowl game. Go Dawgs!
West Virginia should be #1 in the BCS

If Kansas does not win impressively, then the Mountaineers are a clear cut BCS #1with a most impressive victory
Posted: 8:07 PM   by Helzapoppin
I have to say, although I'm a Trojan fan through and through, I feel awful for Oregon. It's really a shame that an injury would eliminate a player from Heisman contention after displaying a solid body of work. Because watching Oregon with Dixon compared to Oregon without, clearly has shown that Dixon WAS the Ducks and that their earlier success and high ranking were entirely attributable to his remarkable abilities on the field. If that doesn't prove him to have been the best player in college football this year - carrying an entire team to such heights on his back alone - I don't know what does.

It will be very interesting to see what kind of love USC gets in the rankings after this weekend. With LSU's and Oregon's losses and the shellacking USC gave ASU, the Trojans could conceivably leapfrog a team or two and make it into the top 4-5, giving them a good shot at yet another top 4 finish for the year if they beat UCLA on Dec 1 and prevail in the Rose bowl. I think at this point they have proven enough to be the top 2 loss team in the rankings.

I also would not be surprised to see WVA vault to #1) on the heels of the pummelling they just gave UCONN, regardless of who wins the Kansas/Missouri game. I see the new top 5 rankings this week ending up like this:

1) WVU
2) Kansas/Missouri winner
3) OSU
4) Georgia or USC (too tough for me to try and call)
5) Georgia or USC

The only chance I see of OSU making it to the NC game is if Kansas/Missouri is a complete slop-fest. And I think deep down, the money and ratings interests of the BCS really would rather have OSU in the title game. So you never know.
Posted: 8:12 PM   by dknice
The last two posters need to have their heads examined. A win over a team that just went to Div 1A less than a decade ago will not carry the same weight as a Kansas or Mizzou win tonight. Can we please get some perspective here?
A team who didn't win the division in the national title game? Nebraska in what, 2001? Of course, they certainly showed how silly a decision that was, so I suppose Georgia should be thankful if they don't get a shot.
Posted: 8:18 PM   by Helzapoppin
OK, I take that back. . . the Kansas/Mizzou winner could lose to Oklahoma in the Big 12 championship game, which would put OSU in the NC game with WVA. That's definitely a possibility.

But wouldn't it be hilarious if Oklahoma won the Big 12, WVA loses to Pitt, and you end up with OSU and USC in the NC game instead of the Rose Bowl? Is it a stretch? You bet your sweet bippie. But so has just about every other result this season.
Posted: 8:24 PM   by Helzapoppin
dknice,

Doesn't matter how long a team has been Div 1. UCONN was ranked. It was a solid win for WVA (and believe me, I have no inherent interest in the Big East.)

That, combined with the fact that the polls have been reluctant all season to elevate either Kansas or Missouri despite their records, and I think the odds are a little better that 50/50 that WVA will come out of the week ranked #1. That is the flavor of perspective known as the hard truth. There is no bias involved as I have no real interest in any of those teams. Just calling like I see it.
Posted: 8:44 PM   by ChrTh
As much as WVU may want it, I can't see them getting 1st unless the KU-Missou game ends up 2-0 (and to be honest, it very well may ... I'm not impressed with either team so far). The fact that the winner would have beaten a top 5 team vastly outweighs the fact that WVU smacked down UConn.

But to be honest: who cares? 1 or 2, if you take care of business next week, you're in the championship game. There's not going to be any flipflopping next week like last season; it should be pretty cut and dry:
WVU beats Pitt, they're in the NC.
KU-Missou winner beats Oklahoma, they're in the NC.
Pitt or Oklahoma wins, OSU is in the NC.
If both Pitt and Oklahoma win ... all heck breaks loose (but OSU is in the NC).

I think pretty much every non-WVU or non-KU-Missou winner fan would love for all heck to break loose, but last I checked Pitt is still coached by Dave Wannstedt.
Posted: 8:49 PM   by Matt
SEC vastly overrated??? Come on Stew! I'm usually with you about 95% of the time but why can't we say that the SEC was exactly rated as the most competitive top to bottom conference the nation, with many great teams beating each other up during the course of the season.

The SEC is basically what the ACC was in college basketball a few years ago. If there were a tournament, LSU, Tennessee, Georgia, Florida would all be ranked pretty much in the top 20 and would be seeded 5 or higher. Auburn, Kentucky, Arkansas, and maybe even South Carolina would all make the tournament and would be just as capable of upsetting any other team in the tourney. Florida and UGA would be the two hottest teams, with LSU being pretty close if they learned how to call timeouts properly at the end of games. There would be a great chance of a 3 out of 4 SEC final four.

Just because the SEC didn't turn out one dominant team doesn't mean the league wasn't as competitive as everybody thought. In fact, it's the opposite. It was so competitive one team couldn't make it out unscathed.
Posted: 8:54 PM   by Matthew
This just in: Mark May comes out of retirement to act as Player-Coach for end of season rivalry game against WVU. May has brought with him a new quarterback; a spry, slick, bespectacled kid out of West Virginia, 70 year old Lou Holtz. Look out, Mountaineers.
Posted: 9:12 PM   by Dink
Matt:

You can't say what you want to say because Stewart and the rest of the country has seen the light that subjective SEC fans will never be able to see. That is, intra conference parity doesn't necessarily equate to national dominance or superiority. It's the same broken record SEC fans were playing last year and will play again next year. Don't get me wrong, the SEC has a lot of talent and competitive teams but the SEC isn't anything close to what SEC fans like to think they are. Case in point: last year's hype was the same but the SEC went 1-2 vs. the Big 10 in bowl games. That wouldn't have happened if the SEC was indeed so heads and shoulders above everyone else.

Stewart's observation about the SEC is supported by actual events and not based upon speculation and subjectivity.

Good luck in the bowls!
Posted: 9:13 PM   by Dink
Matt:

You can't say what you want to say because Stewart and the rest of the country has seen the light that subjective SEC fans will never be able to see. That is, intra conference parity doesn't necessarily equate to national dominance or superiority. It's the same broken record SEC fans were playing last year and will play again next year. Don't get me wrong, the SEC has a lot of talent and competitive teams but the SEC isn't anything close to what SEC fans like to think they are. Case in point: last year's hype was the same but the SEC went 1-2 vs. the Big 10 in bowl games. That wouldn't have happened if the SEC was indeed so heads and shoulders above everyone else.

Stewart's observation about the SEC is supported by actual events and not based upon speculation and subjectivity.

Good luck in the bowls!
Posted: 9:25 PM   by Guilf
This post has been removed by the author.
Posted: 9:31 PM   by Guilf
I think parity has taken over every conference this year. The SEC has frequently been an "Any Given Saturday" conference. We'll see how the SEC competes in the bowl games. My prediction is they show everyone again that a loss or two in the SEC equates to undefeated in virtually any other conference. The Big 12 is being touted (today), but Mizzou and Kansas have had fantastic offensive performances against....exactly no one. Both quarterbacks are being discussed as potential Heisman candidates when they've each faced zero Top 30 defenses and zero Top 15 pass defenses. For comparison, Tebow has faced 5 Top 30 defenses and 5 Top 15 pass defenses. The Big Ten is an absolute joke. Even the Pac 10 has seen parity show everyone that even the mighty USC may not be head and shoulders above everyone. I'd take LSU, Florida and Georgia against the top 3 of any conference in the country.
Posted: 9:49 PM   by greg
How can you say the SEC is overrated?! It's the toughest conference, bar none, in college football. An average Arkansas team is still better than any team in the highly overrated Big East. Nearly everyone in the SEC is a contender. Can you honestly say to me with a straight face Ohio State this year was better than LSU, Georgia or even Florida? How about undefeated Hawaii? Boy I sure can't wait to see mighty West Virginia, or that juggernaut Kansas play for the national championship.
Posted: 9:50 PM   by osuneer
Stew,
Slow down there. I'm as skeptical of the SEC as anyone but to say that the conference has been vastly overrated is ridiculous. I am certainly no fan of the SEC but the fact is that the SEC remains easily the deepest conference in the country. What we've learned this year is that there is no dominant defense in the SEC this year. No defense was good enough to reliably shut down even the average (see: Arkansas) offenses of the SEC. Everyone East of the Mississippi knew that Arkansas had to run to win and that they couldn't reliably throw the ball but LSU still couldn't stop them. However, there are several very fine teams in that conference. I am no fan of the SEC but I'm certain that at this point Vegas would take Georgia over anyone in the country on a neutral field. The conference is not overrated - it's just that they have 4-5 top 25 teams and probably no more than 1 team in the top 5, if that.
I'm tired of all the SEC talk and this is coming from an LSU Tiger Fan who sold his soul on this board every week propping the intensity of this league.

The defenses in this conference are pitiful. I don't know if its the DC inexperience with adjust their schemes to mobile QB's who can actually throw the ball or if they simply refuse to do so.

Take for instance LSU, my hometown heroes. You put a QB back there that can move and its like they have a paralysis. The best defenses this conference has seen has come from Nick Saban and Willmuschamp defenses that apply pressure evenly and limit the mobility by closing the pocket. This zone vs. spread does not work.

LSU would get murdered by West Virginia's offense after the debacle we saw last night against Arkansas. White can run, throw better then McFadden, and has better overall compliment of receivers.

Until the SEC, and LSU for that matter, learns to defend what they have instituted on offense it will continue to be hypocritical. Living and dying by their own swords.
I will never understand the lack of respect for the SEC and especially the Vols. The sports media have become just like cnn and fox news....they're grossly biased and they spin things they way they want. I can understand it in politics, but sports? CBS was ridiculous tonight with their gushing praise for KY, FL and GA. Eat some crow tonight boys because the Vols will be in Atlanta. Not Tebow and certainly not the Dawgs. How about spinning that? I can't wait til we beat LSU. That will be fun to watch you try and explain.
Posted: 10:27 PM   by Ivan
As for the SEC being vastly overrated--I really can't tell which conferences are better than others this year, and I think most commentators and writers can't either. I think the Big XII is pretty good, if a bit top-heavy (Nebraska, Colorado, K-State, Baylor are all horrible). The PAC-10 is clearly weak. The Big-10 and ACC are weak. The Big East seems strong, and the SEC seems to be among the top 3 conferences--but none of that really matters. What matters is that people are sick of the BCS being absolutely meaningless, the AP poll being absolutely meaningless as well, which leaves us with nothing in the way of closure. Playoff!!!!!
Posted: 10:34 PM   by Dead Parrot
The BCS picture is becoming clearer (at least to me).

National championship game - WVa vs. Ohio State
Rose Bowl - Pac 10 champ (probably USC but could be ASU or god-forbid UCLA) vs. at-large (probably Illinois but maybe Missouri)
Fiesta Bowl - Oklahoma (whom I think will win the Big 12) vs. at-large (probably Georgia)
Sugar Bowl - SEC champ (Tennessee or LSU) vs. Hawaii
Orange Bowl - ACC champ (Va Tech or BC) vs. at-large (Kansas or Missouri)

LSU has no chance to be an at-large team. If they lose the SEC championship game, Tennessee and Georgia will be the SEC teams in the BCS. A 3-loss LSU will be on the outside.

A 2-loss Arizona State might be deserving on an at-large bid. But they can't play in the Rose Bowl. The Fiesta Bowl would prefer a team that will bring more fans from out of town to pump up the local economy. And neither the Sugar nor Orange Bowls wants a Pac 10 team. Except for USC and Oregon, Pac 10 teams have a reputation of not travelling well.
Posted: 10:37 PM   by Ryan B.
So, all the SEC fans have finally shut up, well, of course without making excuses. Lets see, as an Ohio State fan I have this to say. Win the games you are supposed to win, even if your conference is difficult. LSU has had the Pollsters and the media fooled all season. I respect all conferences and don't believe in the "ours is better than yours" philosophy, you still have to win your games no matter how difficult it is. Other than Illinois, which is a much better team than people realize, the Buckeyes did that.

So to all you SEC fans who have complained all season long about the Buckeyes I end with this:

Geux Buckeyes!
Posted: 10:48 PM   by Dead Parrot
By the way, SEC fans, this Pac 10 alum and fan has greatly enjoyed watching your teams this year. SEC teams have played some of the most entertaining and exciting games all season.

I will make one comparative statement - Pac 10 referees are the worst in the country. If your team is playing in a bowl and the game is called by Pac 10 officials, beware.
Posted: 10:53 PM   by Helzapoppin
Pac 10 referees are the worst in the country. If your team is playing in a bowl and the game is called by Pac 10 officials, beware.

Amen to that.
Posted: 10:56 PM   by Netizen
"The SEC has turned out to be vastly overrated as a whole, but the league’s been second to none this season in the department of crazy endings."

And so the fever is broken. :)

Calm down, footballdigester. WV beat a good 9-3 team, but Missouri is handling an 11-0 team. #2 gets you in. Don't be greedy.
Posted: 11:05 PM   by Netizen
I think exciting games are confused with quality. Just because the SEC is easily the most watchable conference doesn't mean its the best conference.
Posted: 11:20 PM   by ChrTh
I will never understand the lack of respect for the SEC and especially the Vols.

The Vols don't have respect because they got manhandled by Cal, shellacked by Florida, and smacked around by an Alabama team that lost to Louisiana-Monroe.

The SEC doesn't have respect because the aforementioned Tennessee Volunteers are playing in their conference championship game.

Now do you understand?
Posted: 11:58 PM   by G.L.
The SEC is very entertaining, but again I see SEC fans throwing around the infamous, "We beat up on each other, so that makes us the best". As I have posted before...How do we know? I look at the Big Ten this year, the Big ten "beats up on each other", as does the Pac 10, Big 12, and ACC...Looking at the Big East, be right back..Yep, as a whole, they also "beat up on each other". If every conference has teams that are "beating up on each other", how can one tell if that conference is great or just mediocre? With that said, I think the SEC COULD be the best conference, but the argument of "beating up on each other" doesn't hold water with me.
Posted: 12:19 AM   by Tom
"The SEC has turned out to be vastly overrated as a whole..."

Ya think, Mandel?

And what about your role in that overrated pandering to the exclusion of other conferences?

I guess they're all you know, huh? Even in *this* posting, look at what you write:

After acknowleging the SEC as overrated, the teams you write about are (in sequence)

1. Tennessee
2. Georgia
3. West Virginia
4. Oregon
5. BYU
6. Florida State

See a pattern here, Stewart? Think you might *still* be nothing but a hack for the SEC? And all of this is while you're supposed waiting to watch a highly anticipated game between #2 and #4 teams (who happen to be in the Big-12).

Of course, you completely missed any of the pre-game action, didn't you? (What's that crap about your dedication again?)

I guess it betrays where your heart (and limited knowledge) really is, huh, Mandel?

BTW, since you didn't seem to notice, Oklahoma wrapped up the Big-12 South this afternoon by beating Oklahoma State.

(I figured *somebody* should tell you, since you didn't appear to notice....)
Posted: 12:26 AM   by bgault
SEC superiority this year:

1. Alabama loses to LA-Monroe
2. Auburn loses to USF
3. Georgia got all they could handle from Troy
4. SEC Divisional Champion Tennesse gets mauled by Cal
5. SEC Divisional Champion Tennessee gets mauled by the same Alabama team that lost to LA-Monroe

Now, most times these games wouldn't mean boo individually; however, when coupled with most (but certainly not all) SEC fan assertions that "top to bottom the SEC is the toughest conference in football, and we would go undefeated in your lousy conference," a compelling argument can be made that the SEC is overrated.

Truth is, with parity and reduced scholarships, NO conference is the class of college football. Furthermore, add a devestating weapon like the spread offense that's en vogue today, and any team really can win on any given Saturday.

So, when your potential conference champion very well could be Tennessee, get ready to hear Big East style jokes SEC fans. (Those jokes calling Pitt a fraud and embarrasment to the BCS don't seem so funny anymore, do they?)
It won't matter whether anybody's "tracked" or "untracked" because there's an express train roaring out of Morgantown and somebody needs to get the women, children, and livestock out of the way! White, Slaton, Devine, Reynaud, et. al. -- We are now seeing a Mountaineers team that, if not of historical stature vis-a-vis the history of college football, is potentially the best in the history of the West Virginia University football program. Unfortunately for any prospective bowl opponent, WVU is playing respectable defense and their team speed on offense, so long as everyone stays healthy, will leave opposing defenses just plain dumbfounded.

I was happy to see a little more creativity out of the Pitt offense during the first half of this week's game against USF, but after a defensive breakdown on the first series of the second half -- Matt Grothe scored on an 80-yard run from his own 20, the longest South Florida run of the season, if not in the team's entire brief history-- Wannie went back to the same-o, same-o during the second half. Just who's the genius who decided that Pitt could afford to sit on a 4-point half-time lead against South Florida, anyway? No matter now, I suppose -- Even if "Shady" McCoy turns out to be the second coming of Tony Dorsett, for this year, at least, the young Panthers will be no match for the WVU juggernaut. The Mountaineers came up big in the Big East "title game" and will likely come up big again if they get a chance to play in the BCS title game. But what are the possible match-ups? Mizzou could win the Big 12 title and play the 'eers for the mythical national championship. Alternatively, Oklahoma could win the Big 12 title game and the 'eers could instead play LSU, Kansas, or Ohio State in New Orleans for the mythical national title. (Right now, I share your apprehension, Stewart, that an Ohio State-West Virginia match-up could result in a repeat of last year's OSU debacle versus Florida. And I also have to agree with Mark May -- The 'eers are peaking, are hitting on all 22 [or more] cylinders, and are looking pretty much unstoppable. Maybe, in the end, OSU wouldn't fare any worse than the rest of the teams I've mentioned -- The 'eers are just looking too, too fast and have too large an arsenal of 'weaponry' to deploy in nearly every imaginable situation and aspect of the game.)
Posted: 8:17 AM   by robert
Tennessee will face LSU not Georgia...
Posted: 9:13 AM   by Brad
SEC is complete garbage.
Posted: 11:38 AM   by PMOC
Clownshoes are hilarious with their little lists of why the SEC is bad. You could create lists 10 times as long for each of the other conferences. 11 of 12 bowl eligible teams. 11 of 12! Some of the other conferences cant even fill their tie-ins.
Posted: 11:38 AM   by PMOC
Clownshoes are hilarious with their little lists of why the SEC is bad. You could create lists 10 times as long for each of the other conferences. 11 of 12 bowl eligible teams. 11 of 12! Some of the other conferences cant even fill their tie-ins.
Posted: 1:59 PM   by Mark
I'm far from an SEC hater. I live in the south (although I'm not from the South). I think you have to respect the SEC as a tough conference. But I do notice this:
Ohio State loses at home to an unranked team in the conference and all I hear is that the Buckeyes are overrated and from a weak conference. LSU loses at home to an unranked team and all I hear is how deep the SEC is.
Just an observation.
Posted: 2:52 PM   by rclinken
You all are right, here are reasons why the SEC is overrated:

1) I mean they are only 40-8 against non-conference opponents this year, which at 83% is better than any other conference. (They must schedule easy opponents, right?)

2) PMOC wrote that "11 out of 12" sec teams were bowl eligible, but Vandy lost to Wake yesterday and Ole Miss has 3 wins so its only 10. Ah ha! So they only have ten bowl eligible teams out of 12 total. (Gah, that really sucks...)

3) Six teams in the top 30, 3 in the top 10. (Thats so bad!)

4) On NFL opening day 2007 the SEC had 263 players on active rosters, which was the most by far with the ACC holding second place with 238.
(The NFL owners and coaches are even being fooled!)

But you guys are right, they are totally overrated. (no sarcasm, I promise).
Posted: 4:03 PM   by Eugene
"Geux Buckeyes!" - Ryan B.

You mean Geaux. I point this out just in case your commissioner wants to stress Big 10 academics after their flagship football-school sinks.

Go Gators.
OMG what is the AP thinking. Do they just want to run down and kiss LSU right on the mouth. How do you rate them above Kansas when Kansas only loss was to the new #1 in the country? Argue all that you want but LSU lost to 2 teams that wee lucky to finish above .500. I know the LSU and SEC fans don't like the truth, but give me a break. LSU above Kansas. The AP has lost it or most of the voters are LSU grads.
Posted: 5:03 PM   by rhymeister
Congrats to BYU but Tulsa 35- BYU 17, someone is apparently overrated or Tulsa is underrated, which is it?
Posted: 5:21 PM   by David
Hey - Super SEC power LSU lost to TWO unranked teams this year...neato!!!

Overrated (clap, clap, clap, clap, clap)...overrated...
while all the SEC fans are claiming how many SEC teams are bowl eligible, did you happen to look at how many teams in the weak big 10 are eligible? How about 10 out of 11. SEC fans need to admit the truth and say, we aren't as good as we used to be and "just wait til next year."
Posted: 5:44 PM   by SasQuatch
David,

Yes they did, although Kentucky was ranked at the time. They shouldn't have, and it took 3 OT's in each case, but they did.

No excuses.

I do, however, think that it says more about the rankings than it does the prowess of LSU and the SEC.

If it makes you feel good to "clap" for the losses . . go for it!

I'll be rooting for the Tigers and the other SEC schools in the "rankings" come bowl season.

Best to your team (whomever that may be).

Sas
Posted: 6:14 PM   by Mike
It seemed that when the 2nd best team in the SEC last year (LSU was better) destroyed Ohio State the SEC bashers would shut their mouths for awhile. I guess it last 11 months.

Ohio State and West Virgina would have 3-4 losses if they played in the SEC. I have no doubt about it.
Posted: 7:12 PM   by rclinken
Good point David, LSU did lose two games to unranked opponents IN THE SEC. But I seem to remember that one of their non-conference foes this year was Virginia Tech. Their a pretty good non-sec team. I mean theyre #6 in the BCS and will probably win the ACC. But I seem to remember them losing by 41 to LSU. hmm
Posted: 7:23 PM   by David
Hey Wisconsin used to be ranked #5 this year...Michigan was in the top 5 too...I guess Ohio State can mark those down as quality wins if LSU can say Kentucky was ranked when they played them.

I can't say a team like Ohio State would go undefeated in the SEC this year but I don't know which team would beat them. Every team but LSU has a weak defense and LSU seems to have a tough time with VERY AVERAGE teams (Alabama, Kentucky, Arkansas). It's too bad LSU doesn't play Louis-Monroe - that would be a good matchup just like when Alabama lost to them. Maybe Ohio State would lose one but that would be it. Man it's GREAT that the SEC is out of the title picture. Mizzou v. WVA should be a great game.
Posted: 10:29 AM   by John
The SEC IS overrated. The media love afair with the SEC is sickening. Look, you guys think you're the best because you all "beat each other up", while when mediocre teams from other conferences beat the top dogs, it's proves their conference is overrated.

The SEC played less BCS opponents per team than any other BCS conference except the Big XII. But since the SEC is SOOOOO dominant, I guess they must have done great in those games, right? Try 7-7. That's right, the SEC, as a conference, played .500 ball against the other BCS conferences. The point isn't that the SEC is terrible, just that the media and SEC fans have hyped the conference to such a point that there is going to be a backlash when the conference doesn't play up to the standard that you have set.

Bear in mind, and I say this as an FSU fan, that a 4-4 SEC team (Alabama) lost to a 4-4 ACC team.

A 5-3 SEC team (Auburn) lost AT HOME to a 4-3 Big East team.

A 6-2 team (Tennessee) that will play for the SEC championship lost to a Pac 10 team that will finish either 3-6 or 4-5.

Wake Forest was up 31-3 AT Vandy, the team that you guys always hype by saying that they'd be a bowl team in every other conference.

Heck, outside of LSU's big win over VPI, can any of you SEC homers name ONE good out-of-conference win for the SEC?

Stew's right. After hyping the SEC all year, he's finally come to realize what a lot of us have been saying for a while. The SEC is a good conference, but not nearly as good as SEC fans and the media would have us believe.
Posted: 4:06 PM   by DCVol
Any one non-SEC team can defeat any one SEC team on a given day, or in a given bowl. This is not the issue. The point that SEC fans are trying to make to the other conferences is this. In the SEC for example, one week you play at home versus Tennessee, the next week on the road at LSU, the next week at Auburn, then home against Mississippi State and Vanderbilt, then on the road at Georgia and South Carolina. Finally, at home versus Kentucky.

Throw in the size of the stadiums and the passion and tradition of all the programs, then there isn't a comparison. There just isn't.

The thing that separates the SEC is the week in and week out competitive nature of the conference. There are at least 6 or 7 stadiums in the SEC that you do not want to play at. No other conference comes close to this.

I love college football and respect all of the conferences. But the SEC has, and will continue to be the toughest conference in the nation.
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