Why SEC Schools Have to Improve Their Non-Conference Schedule
"SEC! SEC! SEC!" It's a war chant coming from the South striking the fear in college football fans across the nation.
The Southerners are coming up across the Mason-Dixon Line, ready to take your recruits, your cheerleaders (those that don't manage to escape to Oregon and LA) and more importantly, your national championships.
In the last few years, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Texas and Oregon have come to play the giants of the SEC in the Game Of The Glass Football, and they have all come short—Oregon astonishingly so (the rest were stomped). The Southerners have roared, and the rest of the country and grown.
Hell, the national championships in 2011 and 2012 have both gone either side of the same state, and since then, we've seen a statue erected, a tree poisoned and a headcase arrested.
Anyways, we applaud the SEC. When you actually attend a game, you can but applaud the speed, the power and gorgeous sunshine.
But after all is quiet, all we can think of is is: "Why doesn't the SEC get a better non-conference schedule?"
Let's just look at 2011:
SEC fans will point to the Tigers of Louisiana State, who played Oregon and West Virginia. "Oregon played in the 2011 title game, and LSU had to go on the road to play 'em," they'll say.
Actually, that's not technically true.
LSU played Oregon in JerryWorld (sorry, the big Texas Stadium in Arlington), which meant that they did not lose a home game but more importantly didn't go on the road to Autzen Stadium. That game wasn't a true road game—despite what Tigers might tell you (the LSU fans outnumbered the Oregon fans about 2:1). But we'll give Les Miles West Virginia, though—the place is a tough trip for anybody.
Do you think the SEC's Non-Conference schedule is weak?
Next, they'll point you to the national champions Alabama, who played Penn State on the road—one of the toughest road games any team has to play. We'll give you that. But Alabama didn't exactly make us cry with joy with games against Kent State, North Texas and No.3 (In the FCS!) Georgia Southern.
So what about 2012?
And not to be outdone, Georgia fans should not exactly be cock-a-hoop about games against Buffalo, Florida Atlantic, Georgia Southern and Georgia Tech—even though the latter game is called "Good Ole Fashioned Hate" for a reason.
Alabama gets its biggest test of the season in the sure-to-be-packed-with-Crimson-Tide-fans JerryWorld when it faces Michigan, but fans should not exactly be camping outside bars to watch games against Florida Atlantic and Western Kentucky.
In fact, here's a link to the top 2012 SEC Non-Conference games, and excuse me if we're not jumping out of our skin about any of them unless South Carolina is unbeaten going into its game against equally unbeaten Clemson.
Now that would be fun.
So what should be done? It's easy: Make college football schedule a harsher component of the rankings, therefore forcing schools to play each other. And in this component should be WHERE they play each other, too, so an Alabama game IN the Big House would mean more than an Alabama game in Jerry's Big House, if you know what I mean.
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