Okay, I was playing along nicely with everyone and everything was going swimmingly, until a few SEC fans started shooting their mouths off and started some serious smack with me. What happened to the charm of my Southern friends? What happened to that Southern hospitality? I like the Gators, remember?
I shall return the darts being thrown at me with some firepower of my own.
First, to the fan who started mouthing off about how from 2002-2007, the SEC has dominated the Pac-10, hear me out.
Just what possessed you to use those particular years to cite your claim? Do you have any idea how completely questionable you sound when you cite a specific five-year stretch in one decade?
While don't we make it simple for the SEC fans who think the Pac-10 conference is weak and look at the entire decade?
Alabama 24, UCLA 35 Pac-10 winner
UCLA 20, Alabama 17 Pac-10 winner
Auburn 17, USC 24 Pac-10 winner
Mississippi State 13, Oregon 36 Pac-10 winner
USC 23, Auburn 0 Pac-10 winner
LSU 59, Arizona 13 SEC winner
Oregon 42, Mississippi State 34 Pac-10 winner
Oregon State 21, LSU 22 SEC winner
Arkansas 17, USC 70 Pac-10 winner
LSU 35, Arizona State 31 SEC winner
USC 50, Arkansas 14 Pac-10 winner
Washington State 14, Auburn 40 SEC winner
Arizona 3, LSU 45 SEC winner
California 18, Tennessee 35 SEC winner
2007 Tennessee 31, California 45 Pac-10 winner
Since the 2000 season, the Pac-10 has a 9-6 advantage over the SEC. Now I know some fine folks in the South will argue that the reason why the Pac-10 has an advantage is because USC is the only team worth anything in the conference. Sound familiar, SEC fans?
Let's take USC out of the equation, but to be fair, let's take out LSU as well. USC had four of their conference's wins, while LSU had four of the SEC's. The new tally is now 5-2, Pac-10 smoking the SEC.
In other words, USC was responsible for less than 50 percent of its conference's wins, but LSU was responsible for 66 percent of their conference's wins. Just who is the "top heavy" conference here?
Want more darts thrown?
Two of the SEC's wins, in 2004 and 2005, were by a combined five points. That's it!
In 2004, LSU beat Oregon State, at Baton Rouge, by one point in OT. The same Oregon State team that went 6-5 that season. Barely a .500 team. A team that lost to Boise State and barely beat New Mexico, took the Bayou Bengals to OT.
The SEC has played 15 games against the Pac-10, and of the six wins they had, only two were on the road. The Pac-10, on the other hand, won four of their nine road games and sent one into OT.
Now, on to those educated fans who keep talking about how the Pac-10 has to play tougher non-conference games because of their weak schedule.
FACT: a .500 (regular season) Pac-10 team beat the SEC East champion last year.
You can spin that all you want, but the fact of the matter is that when you tout your divisional champs as the two best teams in the SEC, than what does that say about your strength when a mediocre Cal team beats your divisional champ?
FACT: in 2006, a 10-3 Arkansas team lost to USC 50-14 early on in the season, then lost its final two games to No. 9 LSU by five points, and to No. 4 Florida by 10. This was an Arkansas team that represented the SEC West in a conference championship game, who got manhandled by USC at Fayetteville by 36 points.
Are you seeing a trend here? Again, a divisional champ in the SEC who got beat by a Pac-10 team....on the road!
You see, when you play teams like SE Missouri State, Utah State and Louisiana-Monroe because you claim you don't need to prove how good you are due to tough conference strength, that argument goes down the wayside.
By playing some BCS teams, you have shown just how much your conference appears to be overrated against the Pac-10. You do look good when you play the cupcakes, but when you play the Pac-10, you get exposed.
Sure you had a lot of teams bowling last year, but when you play four cupcakes for easy wins, you only have to beat two conference foes to become bowl eligible with six wins.
One last point. There are two Pac-10 vs. SEC games this year. Tennessee at UCLA, and Georgia at Arizona State.
I fully expect the Vols to beat the Bruins. UCLA has a new coaching staff, and lost 25 lettermen, 17 of whom were starters, and they have two hurt quarterbacks, So I'll give you that game.
But what's with all the smack about Arizona State laying down to the Bulldogs?
Let's take a look at the Dawgs' last year's schedule, shall we?
You lost to South Carolina by four points, beat Alabama by three in OT. So far, not impressed by ya'll playing teams with a collective record of 13-12 and going 1-1.
You beat Ole Miss handily, lost to Tennessee by three touchdowns, barely beat Vandy (by three points!), beat Florida soundly and let Troy score 34 points on you (44-34 win). I'm not seeing signs of that vaunted D yet, are you?????
You beat Auburn 45-20. That's an impressive win. You beat Kentucky 24-13 and Georgia Tech 31-17. Meh.
Just where in there do you think you will beat ASU by 40? If you can barely beat Vandy and Troy, I want to know what rationale you have to defend that argument. It boggles the mind.
Do you SEC fans not get it? You shoot your mouths off about how the Sun Devils lost to USC last year 44-24, but forget the fact that your divisional champ, and the team you lost to by THREE TDs, was beaten by a mediocre Pac-10 team. CAL.
Look, I have no problem with the love affair with your conference. But when you make stupid statements like the "Pac-10 is weak and the SEC is the best" when the Pac-10 has owned your behinds this decade, it makes you look like you have been drinking too much of that Kool-Aid.
Be respectful of other teams and conferences. I have tried to remain respectful, but this latest round of smack is so ridiculous and absurd, it warrants a response.
Remember, you are on the road (for a non-conference game) for the first time since 1965, and looking at the SEC's track record against the Pac-10 this past decade, that might be a decided disadvantage for the 'Dawgs.
Try to leave some bread crumbs on the way to Tempe, so you can find your way back to Athens.
If you win, crow all you want. And if you lose, no worries. You still have the Sugar Bowl to look forward to. Either way, it should be a great game, and may the best team win.
Overall, the SEC is 59-37-5 (.609) against the Pac-10. But in the last 10 years, the Pac-10 has a 9-6 advantage (.600), lending credence to the argument that the SEC used to beat up on the Pac-10 (thanks to Alabama), but in the last 10 years, the Pac-10 has taken control. The Pac-10 is clearly heads above the SEC this decade.
Now sit down and stifle it. You are owned.