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    Thursday, November 1, 2007

    Opinions vary!!!

    I read an article today from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.com, by sports columnist, Michael Cunningham. He indicated on more than one occasion that he didn't believe that the SEC was deserving of its unblemished reputation among college football's elite conferences. He was not saying that it was a bad conference he wasn't even claiming that it wasn't the "best" conference. He was simply illustrating the college football establishments absolute refusal to admit that there are other players in the country.

    "Oh, SEC supporters sniff and point to big non-conference victories while dismissing the bad losses as flukes. They talk about tough road games, physical play and season-killing injuries like no other major conference in America deals with the same stuff.No doubt the SEC has earned the right to be a bit cocky. SEC fans rightly boast of their tradition (though there's plenty in other leagues). Anyone who has ever been to a big SEC road game knows how intense and emotional those events can be.But take emotion out of it and look at some results.Let's limit it to the SEC's six most successful programs: Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, LSU and Tennessee. That keeps the likes of Mississippi State and Vanderbilt from dragging down the SEC's good name.And let's not just look at this season but the past six, from 2002 to now. The sample is robust enough to account for down years, probation and Mike Shula.Would you be surprised to learn those six SEC schools are just 6-9 in regular season non-conference games against ranked opponents during that time? Of those six victories, only one came on the road ? in fact, the SEC elite has played just five road games against ranked opponents since 2002.Can't blame them, really. No need to seek real tests outside the SEC when everyone assumes the SEC is such a test ? even if its teams rarely are forced to show it against the best from other leagues."-Well Mr. Cunningham be careful them are fighting words in the South. I know he is writing this with a particular axe to grind but I think that he makes a great point.

    I noticed prior to beginning this post that a voter came onto this site and voted in two of my polls. He/She decided to vote for 3 non-BCS schools as the "best" and also voted for WVU to wind up in a Minor BCS Bowl Tie in game. That is either a comedian or a completely evolved perspective. I bring this up to demonstrate that opinions vary. I knew when I posted this poll that that could happen. I wanted to give folks a chance to give their opinions. I just think that short of "deciding it on the field" those opinions can cost a school millions.

    Being a fan of a school who isn't one with a "storied tradition for excellence" makes me a bit irritated at those who are. Jealousy??? Sure. But I think that I am also justified in my disdain, for the Florida's of the world who can lose 3 games and still not slide precipitously in the polls or a Georgia who can win one game and climb to the top 10 in the BCS. Both programs have had both recent success and are "storied programs" as well. This means that they have a natural advantage to acquire that coveted invitation to the "big" game. Notre Dame is also a school that benefits from its past in ways that to date defy imagination. The fact that they have struggled this year is a blessing to all of us who are just plain sick of it. This weekend we have some great games to watch. Oregon vs. Arizona State and Oklahoma State vs Texas should prove quite entertaining. But unless you have your head completely in a hole the game that is "the game" is between Alabama and LSU. The problem I have with that is the Rutgers UConn game has similar ramifications in terms of its conference supremacy. It is not a game on the TV's major radar. Perception is reality in this world. Tis a shame that other games just don't get the pub. UConn not a media darling in the football ranks is saddled with the challenge of perfection to attain respect but UGA can lose bad twice and still end up in the top 10 of the BCS.

    Opinions vary and the results can be scary!!!


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