Thursday, January 3, 2013
The SEC is Suddenly Not Looking So High and Mighty
One of the reasons that many college football fans and experts are not giving Notre Dame a chance in the BCS Title game is the myth that the SEC is on a level that is above the rest of college football. In some respects, they have earned that reputation with six straight national championships. I am one that won't deny what they have done but also don't like the soft non-conference scheduling featuring many FCS and mid-major teams.
This year it appeared that the conference was dominant as ever with Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas A &M, and South Carolina all in the Ten. Many predicted that the conference would dominate in the
bowl season, but following Florida's humiliating loss to Louisville in the Sugar Bowl the conference is just 3-3 so far.
It all started with Vanderbilt getting a 38-24 victory over NC State in the Music City Bowl on New Year's Eve. That gave the SEC a win. Later that night Clemson pulled off a major upset in a great Chik Fil A Bowl against LSU. That heartbreaking 25-24 loss put the conference at 1-1.
Then came the annual three Florida bowl games that feature the SEC against Big Ten. It started with the Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl where Northwestern ended a 9 game losing streak in bowl games by dominating Mississippi State 34-20. That put the SEC at 1-2.
Georgia took care of business against Nebraska in the Capital One Bowl by beating the Corn Huskers 45-31. That put the conference even at 2-2.
The Outback Bowl featured South Carolina and Michigan. It appeared early with a long pass and huge punt return that the Gamecocks would give the SEC another dominating win over the Big Ten. They got out to a 14-3 first quarter lead. That was only to see the Wolverines come roaring back to actually take the lead. South Carolina pulled off a miracle by scoring with only 11 seconds left. Although it wasn't pretty, put the SEC at 3-2 and set them up to take control the rest of the way.
That was until Louisville shocked Florida and dropped the supposedly dominant SEC to 3-3. Being that Florida was not impressive against Bowling Green, Louisiana Lafayette, and Jacksonville State, the loss shouldn't be all that surprising.
The next bowl up for the SEC is the at&t Cotton Bowl Classic. That game features former Big 12 rivals Oklahoma and Texas A&M. I find it a bit ironic that the Aggies were a mediocre team in the Big 12 for years but they come to the SEC which is supposedly so dominant and have a breakout year.
The other part of this match up that is intriguing is that it features Notre Dame's signature win against Alabama's only loss. From that standpoint, if Oklahoma wins it is a good sign for Notre Dame. But if Texas A & M dominates, they could mean trouble.
The last SEC bowl game before the big one features Ole Miss to take on Pittsburgh from the Big East in the BBVA Compass Bowl. Being that both teams are 6-6, it is hard to pick a winner on this one.
That of course all leads up to the big one in Miami in which we all believe Notre Dame will pull it out.The argument that the SEC is better than the rest of college football can really be thrown to the curb if they lose their remaining three games. All three games appear losable for the SEC. That can put them at 3-6 and be anything but dominant. Then again, they could finish 6-3 in bowl games and continue the dominance. However, I have a feeling that they lose all three. That is based mainly on the arrogance I have seen from the conference and it's fans.
It is time for the rest of college football to shut them up. The rest of the country is off to a good start so far. The Sooners and Panthers can now set the table for the Irish to end it all.