SEC Football: Getting Away with Not Playing out of Conference Road Games?

HD Handshoe - BlockONation.com@BlockONationAnalyst IJanuary 15, 2010

FSU is occasionally an OOC road game, but let's see the Gators play an OOC road game outside of Florida!
FSU is occasionally an OOC road game, but let's see the Gators play an OOC road game outside of Florida!Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Seriously, can anyone answer this question, with at the very least, a semi-cognizant thought?

Since 1991, I think most people would agree the best team from the SEC has been the Florida Gators, and Alabama has arguably been a close second, just edging out LSU and Georgia in my opinion.

Over that span, Florida has won three national championships (1996, 2006, 2008) and Alabama has won two (1992, 2009).

Now, I know that basically every Florida, Alabama, and SEC fan in general will try to defend their pathetic out-of-conference road schedules until the death, but facts are facts, and they cannot be ignored any longer.

If UF, Bama, and the rest of the teams from the SEC do not start playing at least one true OOC road game per year during the regular season versus a decent team from a BCS conference, instead of some hopeless and weak FCS cupcake (examples: Charleston Southern, Memphis, Hawaii), then I say the entire conference should be banned from playing in the BCS title game indefinitely.

(I fully expect to, and cannot wait to hear from the likes of Le Roi, Larry, Carson, Sean, etc. after that last paragraph! )

I'm not just shooting my mouth off without the facts to back up my statements here. To further strengthen my stance, let's compare the OOC road games played by Florida, Alabama, and,—oh I don't know,—how about Ohio State—say from 1991, through 2009.

Florida Gators (1991-2009) OOC Road Games (0-1)

1991 @ Syracuse, a 38-21 loss

Sadly, that's it—that's the entire list of OOC road games for UF.

Alabama Crimson Tide (1991-2009) OOC Road Games (4-3)

1991 @ Memphis, a 10-7 win

1992 @ Tulane, a 37-0 win

1996 @ NC State, a 24-19 win

2000 @ UCLA, a 35-24 loss

2002 @ Hawaii, a 21-16 win

2002 @ Oklahoma, a 37-27 loss

2003 @ Hawaii, a 39-27 loss

2004-present, no OOC road games for the Tide (and no, "neutral site" games do NOT count as true road games).

Ohio State Buckeyes (1991-2009) OOC Road Games (10-3)

1992 @ Syracuse, a 35-12 win

1993 @ Pitt, a 63-28 win

1994 @ Washington, a 25-16 loss

1995 @ Pitt, a 54-14 win

1996 @ Notre Dame, a 29-16 win

1997 @ Missouri, a 31-10 win

1998 @ West Virginia, a 34-17 win

2000 @ Arizona, a 27-17 win

2001 @ UCLA, a 13-6 loss

2004 @ NC State, a 22-14 win (NFL star Phillip Rivers was the NC State QB)

2006 @ Texas, a 24-7 win (Colt McCoy was the UT QB)

2007 @ Washington, a 33-14 win (a healthy Jake Locker was the UW QB)

2008 @ USC, a 35-3 loss

Over the past two decades, you can plainly see, UF has played one OOC road game outside of the state of Florida, Alabama has played seven true road games away from the state of Alabama (excluding neutral site games), and Ohio State has played 13 OOC road games outside of Ohio—and not against the likes of Memphis, Tulane, and Hawaii either.

I know a lot of the responses will include references to UF and LSU beating the Buckeyes in 2006 and 2007, and that's fine. I won't dispute that, but I will say this.

If the teams of the SEC are so great, why not step up and play at least one real OOC game per year lke the Buckeyes do, instead of relying on the totally false "our conference schedule is too tough, so we need a break in our OOC games" excuse/ crutch?

Florida beat Ohio State after they had nearly 60 days off, and LSU beat OSU essentially at home in 2007 in New Orleans.

Forgive me if I want to see just how well UF, LSU, or Alabama would fare against the Buckeyes in Columbus—and no, not just because of the weather.

That could be a factor depending on when played, but I'm more interested in seeing how those teams would deal with playing on the road, after living out of a hotel for three days, and then playing in front of 105,000+ Buckeye fans in a hostile environment behind enemy lines instead of always in the SEC backyard...


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