Monday, August 16, 2010

New Year, Same Old Story: The SEC is Overrated

The USA Today (Coaches) Top 25 is out. I am not going to discuss the poll in depth. When the College Football Haven Top 25 comes out August 30, you will be able to see where I agree and disagree with the coaches. However, there is one thing from the coaches poll that does stick out. The SEC is still overrated. In the poll, the SEC is represented as follows:

1. Alabama
3. Florida
16. LSU
19. Arkansas
21. Georgia
23. Auburn

Six teams is one half of the SEC. Do you really expect anyone to believe that six of the top 25 teams in the country are from one conference? This poll is saying that the top half of the SEC is better than 81% of the teams in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

Auburn might have surprised many people with 8 wins last year after the fallout over the Gene Chizik hiring, but I think Auburn still needs to show it is ready to take the next step before being ranked.

Georgia had a down year (8-5) in 2009. However, with a redshirt freshman starting at quarterback, I am skeptical that this year will be better than the last. Guys like Sam Bradford don't grow on trees.

Arkansas is one I agree with. In fact, I think the Hogs will be a surprise team in 2010, and should be ranked higher. Ryan Mallett and Bobby Petrino will have the team racing up and down the field. If they catch a few breaks, they may find themselves in the SEC Championship game.

LSU has been disappointing, to say the least, the last two years (8-5 and 9-4). Les Miles has already lost my faith, and if he doesn’t put up 10 wins or more this year he might lose his job. Sixteen is a little bit of a stretch, I would have them closer to 20.

Florida lost Tim Tebow, the three time Heisman Trophy finalist, Aaron Hernandez, the 2009 Mackey Award winner, at tight end, and Brandon Spikes, a two-time All-American, at linebacker. Yet, Florida is starting 2010 at number 3. Talk about deja-vu. After the 2006 National Championship year, Florida had to replace the starting quarterback and some key personnel on defense. In 2007, the team finished 9-4. Why should we expect much different this year? There was a noticeable drop off from 2008 to 2009 just by Percy Harvin leaving for the NFL. Throw in Urban Meyer’s health, and the number 3 ranking for Florida is the most egregious ranking of all the SEC teams.

Last is Alabama. The 2009 National Champions are starting right where they left off. Except they will have to do so without Rolando McClain, Terrance Cody, and five other NFL draft picks. Throw in the controversial schedule that has six conference opponents given two weeks to prepare for the Crimson Tide, and I don’t think this team even makes the national championship game. Don’t get me wrong. I am starting to become a believer in Nick Saban the coach, and I think ‘Bama will be a top 10 team this year. I just don’t think this number one ranking is merited.

Well, maybe overrating the SEC will stop next year. Until then, there's a lot of great football to play! (Come back Thursday, August 19, 2010, as I make an overview of the 2010 season before getting into previewing each conference.)


  1. Sorry, there's no way around this:

    BCS all-time records by school
    Record Percentage
    LSU 4-0 1.000
    Boise State 2-0 1.000
    Utah 2-0 1.000
    West Virginia 2-0 1.000
    Wisconsin 2-0 1.000
    Auburn 1-0 1.000
    Kansas 1-0 1.000
    Louisville 1-0 1.000
    Oregon St. 1-0 1.000
    Washington 1-0 1.000
    Florida 5-1 .833
    USC 5-1 .833
    Miami (Fla.) 3-1 .750
    Texas 3-1 .750
    Georgia 2-1 .667
    Ohio State 5-3 .625
    Iowa 1-1 .500
    Nebraska 1-1 .500
    Oregon 1-1 .500
    Penn State 1-1 .500
    Tennessee 1-1 .500
    Alabama 1-2 .333
    Oklahoma 2-5 .286
    Michigan 1-3 .250
    Virginia Tech 1-3 .250
    Florida State 1-5 .167
    Colorado 0-1 .000
    Georgia Tech 0-1 .000
    Hawaii 0-1 .000
    Kansas St. 0-1 .000
    Maryland 0-1 .000
    Pittsburgh 0-1 .000
    Purdue 0-1 .000
    Stanford 0-1 .000
    Syracuse 0-1 .000
    TCU 0-1 .000
    Texas A&M 0-1 .000
    UCLA 0-1 .000
    Wake Forest 0-1 .000
    Washington St. 0-1 .000
    Cincinnati 0-2 .000
    Illinois 0-2 .000
    Notre Dame 0-3 .000

    All-Time Winning Percentage, Championship Game
    Record Percentage
    Florida 2-0 1.000
    LSU 2-0 1.000
    Alabama 1-0 1.000
    Tennessee 1-0 1.000
    Miami (Fla.) 1-1 .500
    Texas 1-1 .500
    Florida St. 1-2 .333
    Ohio St. 1-2 .333
    Oklahoma 1-3 .250
    Nebraska 0-1 .000
    USC 0-1 .000
    Virginia Tech 0-1 .000

    Most BCS Games
    Ohio State 8
    Oklahoma 7
    USC 7
    Florida 6
    Florida State 6
    LSU 4
    Miami (FL) 4
    Michigan 4
    Texas 4
    Virginia Tech 4

    Most BCS Championship Games
    Oklahoma 4
    Florida State 3
    Ohio State 3
    Florida 2
    LSU 2
    Miami (FL) 2
    USC 2
    Texas 2
    Alabama 1
    Nebraska 1
    Tennessee 1
    Virginia Tech 1

    Highest Winning Percentages By Conference

    Conference Percentage (Record): This is the single most accurate determining factor of conference strength, as all games are 1 conference against another. And, when one considers that lower nationally ranked SEC teams are routinely pitted against higher nationally ranked teams from other conferences, the results are even more telling.

    Southeastern .737 (14-5)
    Mountain West .667 (2-1)
    WAC .667 (2-1)
    Pacific-10 .615 (8-5)
    Big East .500 (6-6)
    Big Ten .476 (10-11)
    Big 12 .412 (7-10)
    Atlantic Coast .167 (2-10)
    Independents .000 (0-3)

  2. Those are some nice lists. The SEC has done a lot in BCS, and I am not trying to take anything away from that. This is about having 1/2 of the conference ranked in the top 25.

    I fail to see the logic of how the top 2 SEC teams outplaying the top 2 teams in other conferences translates into 6 SEC teams being in the top 25. I could accept 4, but 6 is over doing it.

  3. There are four SEC teams listed repeatedly on those list, not two.

    I think most fair minded people would agree that 1/2 of the SEC teams would finish 3rd or better in any conference and that opinion is not going to change until the other conferences prove otherwise vrs the SEC. That has not been done as to date.

  4. Now you sound like a Pac-10 fan. While four SEC teams might play in BCS bowls regularly, only two go each year, so any given year there are only two teams that are the top 2 of the conference.

    As for the assertion that 1/2 of the SEC would finish 3rd or better in any conference, that doesn't sound fair minded.

    BIG XII--Texas, Oklahoma, and Nebraska are all highly ranked as well.

    I don't think too many people would agree with you here.

    Let's look at the FINAL Top 25
    2009-4 SEC teams
    2008-4 SEC teams
    2007-5 SEC teams
    It hasn't happened the last 3 years, so why should we expect it to happen this year?

  5. Here is the point I was going after. Since the beginning of the BCS (12 years) the SEC has won it 1/2 of the time (6 times). Only two of those teams repeated. That means four SEC teams that are normally (but not always) are solid. That is not counting Georgia who have also put up solid records in there BCS bowls vrs other conferences as well. Without looking it up and I could be wrong, but I don't think the SEC champion has ever lost there BCS bowl vrs the best from any other conference. No other conference goes that deep. So yes I think it's fair to say at the very least 5 -6 teams in the SEC would finish third or better in any conference normally.

    That is the point I was trying to make. I understand what you are saying about the final polls. IMO I think the SEC has been down a bit as of late. But the SEC has to play each other all year and until any other conference can prove that there best can hang with the SEC's best, public opinion is going to rate the SEC teams higher then that of the other conferences. Like I said above, no conference goes as deep as the SEC.