For the past four years or so of college football, the media has fallen in love with the SEC, anointing it the "best and toughest conference, top to bottom" in the nation.
I will just say that yes, they have had some great teams during that span like Auburn in 2004, LSU in 2005 and 2007 and Florida in 2006 and 2008.
What I can't help but wonder though is how does having three or four solid teams, maybe another two or three average teams, and five or six below average teams qualify the SEC as the best?
Every year, I think all of the BCS conferences have a few good teams at the top, followed by a handful of not-so-good teams bringing up the rear.
Just as the media has hyped the SEC as the greatest thing since bottled water, they have piled on the Big Ten as outdated, slow and weak.
Call me crazy, but to me, a conference that is "good top to bottom" is one where it's competitive and wide open.
Look at the SEC heading into 2009, especially the East. The Gators can put it on cruise control all year.
Honestly, I can't find one team that will challenge Florida until the SEC Championship game and even then, while the SEC West will be slightly more competitive within, I'm not convinced Alabama, Ole Miss or LSU combined can measure up to UF.
The UF OOC schedule is downright pathetic too, so a 12-0 regular season is practically a lock for the Gators.
To those who will be quick to lash out at me and/or more likely my Buckeyes after that statement, I'm not saying OSU's overall OOC schedule is the toughest in the nation, but the Bucks are playing Southern Cal for the second straight season.
Whose UF got again? If you decide to attack me for that one (Carson, etc), would you mind posting their OOC schedule for me in your response? Thanks!
OK, now that I got that rant out of my system (LOL) back to the topic at hand.
The Big Ten will be very competitive in 2009. That being said, I do understand why the recent perception of the Big Ten came about but, the tide is turning, starting in 2009!
Here are each teams overall and conference W/L records from 2008.
Penn State (11-2, 7-1)
Ohio State (10-3, 7-1)
Michigan State (9-4, 6-2)
Northwestern (9-4, 5-3)
Illinois (5-7, 3-5)
Michigan (3-9, 2-6)
Iowa (9-4, 5-3)
Wisconsin (7-6, 3-5)
Minnesota (7-6, 3-5)
Indiana (3-9, 1-7)
Purdue (4-8, 2-6)
The teams are not listed according to the 2008 standings, but rather I have them listed based on how I expect they will do in 2009.
In my opinion, every team above the line is capable of winning at least six or more games in conference play. Of course, all of them won't, but some of them absolutely will.
The Big Ten is back and will be a very tight and competitive race in 2009!
I know the media and fans of teams from other conferences (especially the SEC) may disagree with me right now and that's fine and to be expected.
But come November though, I'll be the one flexing my muscles while saying I told them so!
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