Pac-10 Football Is Better Than SEC Football: Part One
There are so many reasons the Pac-10 is a much better conference than the SEC any day of the week—and I'm here to tell you why.
I don't want to overburden you with a thousand-page essay on why the Pac-10 eats the SEC for lunch, so I'll take it part by part. In Part One of "Pac-10 Football Is Better Than SEC Football," we'll take a look at out-of-conference scheduling.
The Southeastern Conference might as well change its name to the Schedules Easy Cupcakes League, because that's exactly what it is.
"We Have So Many Teams Over .500"
I love how SEC fans brag about how their conference is so great because all of their teams post such great records, and that all their teams are above .500.
An SEC fan might brag to me: "Only two of our teams finished below .500 last year, Vanderbilt and Ole Miss. Vandy was barely below too at 5-7. So basically, only one of our twelve teams finished below .500."
It is true that only two of the SEC's twelve teams finished below .500 last year. Vanderbilt finished 5-7 and Ole Miss 3-9.
Let me tell you something: The reason why all your teams finished above .500 is because you scheduled a bunch of cupcakes in your non-conference schedule.
Vanderbilt only got to their 5-7 record by going 3-1 in non-conference, playing Richmond, Eastern Michigan, Kent State, and Wake Forest (who they lost to). None of those teams are impressive.
Ole Miss only got to their 3-9 record by going 3-1 out of conference as well. The Rebels played Memphis, Missouri (loss), Louisiana Tech, and Northwestern State. Again, three wins against three cupcakes.
Pac-10: "We Schedule Decent Non-Conference Opponents"
If we look at the final Pac-10 standings from 2007, we see that there are three teams that finished below .500: Washington State (5-7), Stanford (4-8), and Washington (4-9). Combined, these three teams were 5-5 out of conference, compared to the two SEC bottom-feeders' 6-2 record.
Washington State squared off against Wisconsin, San Diego State, and Idaho. Stanford faced San Jose State, TCU, and Notre Dame. Washington played Syracuse, Boise State, Ohio State, and Hawaii.
How do those teams compare to the ones I just mentioned that Vanderbilt and Ole Miss played? They don't.
The Pac-10 goes out of their way to schedule marquee games, or at least face a decent opponent week in and week out. They never take games off playing the likes of Northwestern State.
The Trend Continues This Year
I don't mean to only look at the SEC's horrendous non-conference scheduling from the 2007 season. It carries over into the 2008 season.
Just take a look below as I list every DI-AA (or FCS, whatever you kids call it these days) opponent that the SEC and Pac-10 face in the 2008 season.
Western Illinois @ Arkansas
Georgia Southern @ Georgia
Appalachian State @ LSU
Norfolk State @ Kentucky
Southeastern Louisiana @ Mississippi State
Samford @ Ole Miss
Wofford @ South Carolina
Tennessee-Martin @ Auburn
The Citadel @ Florida
Northern Arizona @ Arizona State
Portland State @ Washington State
The Pac-10 takes pride in their non-conference scheduling. They don't mar their schedule with the Samfords and the Woffords of the world. The SEC plays NINE games this year that make no difference to anybody in the world except for the FCS team they're playing.
This is not even to mention all the lower-tier FBS schools the SEC schedules that the Pac-10 doesn't. I won't go into that because it is more subjective.
The SEC Doesn't Play Big Games
All I'm saying is that we would never see an SEC team playing an early-season thriller. The SEC will never play a big non-conference game during the season.
The biggest SEC non-conference matchup we'll ever see is Arizona State-Georgia—and even that is not that exciting, considering Georgia is coming in as the top-ranked team in the country.
We'll never see No. 2 Ohio State versus No. 4 Texas. We'll never see Notre Dame versus USC. We'll never see this year's Ohio State-USC matchup.
That will never happen in the SEC because they're too worried about protecting themselves early in the season so they can have their shot at winning the national championship.
Unfortunately, under the current system, playing a weak non-conference schedule and winning all your games will usually get you to the national championship game.
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