I’ll start out with the big, bad SEC. As of the Nov. 9 BCS standings, Florida and Alabama are ranked No. 1 and 2, but the real question is, does either team deserve it.
Now I know it’s almost blasphemous to say that Florida, the defending national champs and ESPN darlings, do not deserve to be No. 1, but why don’t we look a little closer at their season before everyone jumps down my throat. First of all, the SEC as a whole is not nearly as strong as it was even two or three years ago. Just take a look at the SEC East standings and it speaks volumes.
Only one team besides Florida is even .500 in the league, and that is an extremely mediocre Georgia team at 3-3 (5-4 overall). There is no way that Georgia, South Carolina, Tennessee, Kentucky, and Vanderbilt scare anyone in the country. The combined overall record of these 5 teams is a whopping 23-24, and none of them are ranked. The SEC is hands down the best conference in the nation?
Since Florida’s conference schedule has been easy, you figure their out of conference must be really good since they are such a clear No. 1 and defending champ, right? Well think again because the Gators have a joke of an out of conference schedule with Charleston Southern, Troy, Florida International, and Florida St. on the slate. These 4 teams have a combined 17-19 record, and that includes Troy’s 7-2 mark.
Oh yeah, did I mention that all of these games were also at home? Man those Gators have really been challenged huh? The Gators are 9-0 and only one win was against a ranked team, a 13-3 win at LSU (I’ll get into LSU later). They must be blowing everyone out by 40 points then? With close wins against Tennessee, Mississippi St., and Arkansas, three losing teams, that is also not the case. Please someone tell me why Florida’s season has been so wonderful. Hey voters, get that big name bias out of your heads when you vote. If you can’t, get people that will.
Does anyone notice that the Mountain West has the same amount of ranked teams in the BCS as the SEC (three)? Anyone? In fact, of the BCS conferences, the SEC is tied with the ACC in fourth place of ranked teams.. Since the SEC East is so bad, the West Division must be better right? Well it is, but not worthy of worshiping. Alabama has clinched the division with a perfect record so far and LSU is 4-2 in SEC play, but once again that’s it. The only other team with a .500 record is Auburn at 3-3 and everyone else is just mediocre at best. Ole Miss, Mississippi St., and Arkansas have done nothing in 2009 to deserve to be in a bowl game except that they are a member of the SEC.
So only three teams have winning conference records, only three teams are ranked, and there are a lot questions around each team. Does anyone think Alabama can score enough to win a championship? Does anyone really think that the Tide could even put up 20 on TCU?
Alabama has one decent out of conference win against Virginia Tech. However, with the Hokies not playing so well as of late, and just hanging on to a national ranking, that win isn’t all that great anymore. The only other win against a ranked team for the Tide was this past Saturday against LSU. So that means that the top two ranked teams in the BCS from the great SEC have beaten a combined two ranked teams, both of them beat LSU and and Alabama also beat Virginia Tech. Are you serious? I mean really, are we supposed to believe that Florida and Alabama are the best teams in the country when they haven’t beaten anybody?
Then we get to LSU. It’s bad enough that Florida and Alabama are ranked one and two, but how in the wide world of sports is LSU ranked eighth. The Tigers haven’t beaten anyone since Ohio St. in the 2008 BCS Championship game. Who is LSU’s best win this year? That’s a great question. You could go with a win at 5-4 Georgia, or a home win against 7-3 Auburn, or a road win at 3-6 Washington. I’ll let you pick one of those amazing victories.
LSU is another SEC team that can’t score and that has a ridiculous out of conference slate. Home games against UL-Lafayette, Tulane, and Louisiana Tech, and a road tilt at Washington is completely ludicrous for a big time program. Those teams have a combined 14-22 record. Again, why is LSU eighth?
I’ll go one step further with my dissecting of the SEC. Let’s check out how many ranked teams all of the teams in the SEC have beaten so far in 2009. I hope you are sitting down because as a conference the SEC has beaten four ranked teams. That’s right four. Alabama has beaten LSU and Virginia Tech, Florida beat LSU, and Auburn beat West Virginia at home. There is no question that the SEC is a middle of the road conference this season, and with all of the teams having weak non conference slates, why is it such a no-brainer that the winner of the SEC makes the BCS Championship game. It is another example of the same tired pundits preaching the same teams year after year when clearly they deserve no more support for their efforts than a TCU, Boise, or even Houston.
Not only does college football need a playoff system, but we also have to get rid of the Chris Fowlers, Craig James, Kirk Herbstreits, and Lou Holtz of the world that do not pay enough attention to the complete bodies of work of all teams and just relies on the usual and closed minded mentality that teams like Florida deserve more just because they are in the SEC.
It also shows how much we need to get rid of any preseason polls. A team can get ranked third in the preseason, and lose a couple games but continue to be ranked higher than an undefeated team because these voters can’t admit it when they are wrong. It’s amazing that these “experts” think that non-BCS teams can’t compete with the tradition rich schools when Utah has more BCS wins than Notre Dame and any ACC team. Four times a non-BCS team has crashed the BCS and three times those teams have won, with Utah manhandling both Pitt in the 2005 Fiesta Bowl and Alabama in the ’09 Sugar, and Boise St.’s incredible victory over the Sooners in the Fiesta Bowl. Enough with the SEC, time to move on. There’s a lot more about the little guys later.
Kevin Hornung is the College Football Editor for Taking It to the House and a chief scout for Great Blue North Draft Report . To talk college football with Kevin drop him an email at firstname.lastname@example.org