CBS Sports columnist calls the SEC ‘a Ponzi scheme’ and ‘a fraud’


Let me be the first to tell you that I like columnist Gregg Doyel, and SDS even did an interview with Doyel a couple years ago in a fantastic piece by Tyler Montell.

Yesterday, he made the rest of country giddy about his negative connotations regarding the SEC bias in the BCS for 2012. He calls the league a ‘Ponzi scheme’ and a ‘fraud’ because so many teams are ranked near the top. Harsh words coming from CBS, considering the SEC dominates CBS coverage.

It’s a Ponzi scheme, this 2012 SEC fraud, built upon layers of air. Georgia is great because it has beaten Florida. Florida is great because it has beaten Texas A&M. Texas A&M is great because it has beaten Alabama. And Alabama is great because it has beaten … um, who has Alabama beaten, anyway?

But we’re about to see another SEC team get into the national title game, and we could see another all-SEC showdown if Southern California beats Notre Dame on Saturday. No, Notre Dame fans, I’m not predicting a USC win. But that would open the door to a national championship game featuring two teams from the SEC, a league that has scheduled gutlessly and seen itself rewarded by voters who don’t know better and computers that need to be rebooted.

If talking heads want to blame an SEC bias on something, blame preseason polls, something Doyel failed to mention. Let’s get rid of the preseason polls, because genuinely, it’s the root of all the problems people have with the SEC. I personally love preseason polls. I wish they would add more of them.

The SEC bias has been debated before in endless arguments about preseason rankings and BCS rankings week-in and week-out. Weak non-conference schedules don’t help the argument, either. The SEC as a whole doesn’t play strong out-of-conference opponents because it doesn’t have to. That’s the reality of the SEC brand as a whole. Why risk the chance of playing a worthy out-of-conference opponent when it can only hurt you? However, LSU hammered Oregon last season, Alabama did thump a top team in the Big Ten in Michigan earlier this season and LSU also pounded Washington, who just happened to beat Stanford who beat Oregon. But that doesn’t help their argument. You can’t have it both ways.

Currently, there are five SEC teams in the top 10 and six teams ranked in the top 12. Naysayers are coming out in full force at the nearly impossible thought of two SEC teams playing for it all, again, which certainly is shaping up more possible with every passing week.

Obviously, the argument hinges on ‘other’ conferences not receiving their fair respect when compared to the SEC. So, naturally, the Big 12 and the Pac 12 must not be getting their due respect, because the Big Ten is horrible, the ACC is worse and the Big East is becoming irrelevant with each passing day. No one from the Big Ten is worthy, and FSU would be the only team from the ACC worth mentioning.

For the last six years, the SEC has dominated the national championship picture. People get sick of talking about the SEC, but when you see the ‘best offense in the history of college football’ in 2008 Oklahoma get held to 14 points and 363 total yards against Florida after averaging 51.1 points and 547 yards per game, there’s a legitimacy to the argument. That’s just one example.

Furthermore, look at the SEC players selected in the NFL Draft every spring. No one wants to talk about the fact the SEC dominates the draft, too. One reason the league is so strong is because of the talent level of the players. The argument is, of course, that ESPN and other media outlets pump up the SEC, furthermore pushing these top recruits into the conference. It’s a beautiful Ponzi scheme that works out perfectly every single season? Please.

National championships are won with defense. And right now, Alabama, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Georgia all have top 20 defenses and are ranked high in the BCS. That’s the reality of the SEC against other conferences. Everyone is voting based on recent history of outcomes between the SEC and other opponents. They’re merely not pissing in the wind hoping it doesn’t drip on their boot tops.

If you want to harp on the rankings tipping towards the SEC, tell a worthy opponent to knock them off in the championship and rid college football of preseason rankings. That will help your argument.

Oh, and about the BCS – name a year outside of 2004 the BCS didn’t get it right? What a season it is delivering so far in 2012!

Doyel’s motive of the article is based entirely on the fright of two SEC teams playing each other once again for all the marbles.  If Notre Dame takes care of business, we’re not having this conversation Saturday night and into next week. We’ll chalk it up to ‘another year the BCS barely got it right’ again.

Photo Credit: Brett Davis-US PRESSWIRE



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  • Everyone focuses on the BCSCG. Can you write an article or post the SEC bowl record v other AQ teams the last 6 years? If they dominate in total wins there it shows they are winning on every level. Also identify the record in BCS games outside of the CG too. I’d love to see that and any rebuttal anti-SEC fans have.

    • Bowl comparisons are skewed. If SEC #1 plays any conference #1 it’s a win. If SEC #4 plays any conference #2 (or vice versa), it’s a bit different. So it’s not an even comparison, unless you only compare where SEC #2 played B1G #2/PAC 10 #2/etc.

      • 1) it’s not the #2 team in conf, it’s the 2nd choose by the bowl. The don’t usually line up. 2) it’s a perfect example to see 6-8 SEC teams v non-SEC team each year. Enough variety to get a pretty accurate picture over last 6 seasons 3) if SEC #4 is winning v non-SEC #2 it further shows SEC strength.

  • who has alabama beat umm lsu

    • Exactly. Not to mention an opening game against #8 Michigan. They have not lived up to their top 10 ranking, but that’s not Bama’s fault! People can say what they want, but under Saban, Bama has opened up against top teams almost every season or scheduled a tough game early. Plus Ark was a top 10 team, but Bama can’t help Petrino screwed them over! Oh and let’s not forget an undefeated Miss St team at the time.

  • “National championships are won with defense. And right now, Alabama, Florida, LSU, South Carolina and Georgia all have top 20 defenses and are ranked high in the BCS. That’s the reality of the SEC against other conferences. Everyone is voting based on recent history of outcomes between the SEC and other opponents. They’re merely not pissing in the wind hoping it doesn’t drip on their boot tops.”

    Geez, John: tells us how you really feel. Couldn’t agree with you more. Doyel and the rest of the country can’t stand the thought that it could be Florida vs. Bama or Georgia for the BCSCG. Aaronfloyd is right — these folks who get all up in arms over SEC dominance need to check the SEC bowl records from the past decade, specifically against PAC-12 and Big-12 schools. I’m sure it’ll tell the story a little more clearly than Mr. Doyel would portray it.

  • Now just to prove a point, let someone schedule bama against USC, and Florida against Notre Dame, and LSU against Ohio State. Just to show how the SEC is so dominate against all the other teams. Let the country see how football teams stack up against the SEC. LET THE TITLE STAY IN THE SEC!!!!!!

  • Those are pretty lofty and serious accusations launched by Doyel. If you are any bit of a serious college football journalist then you already know the answers to such accusations. Statements like this one ruin people’s credibility. The irony of the situation is that this guy is a University of Florida graduate!!!

  • His argument is moot. Teams like USC, Oregon, Ohio State all pad their schedules with cupcake games. The reason the BSC loves the SEC is because our conference schedule is so grueling.

    • Southern Cal plays 0 teams for the FCS. They are one of three schools (UCLA and Notre Dame being the others) that does such. Oregon wasn’t going to play an FCS but had to due to Kansas State pulling out of its game. Either way, I agree with the Ohio State part of the comment.

      • Southern Cal doesn’t need teams from the FCS. Did they not start their schedule against Hawaii, that perennial football powerhouse? Wait… that doesn’t sound right. How about Syracuse, Cal, and Colorado?
        Hell, between Cal, Colorado, and Hawaii alone you have a combined you have a 6-29 record. I personally would pick some FCS teams, especially ones with triple options like Georgia Southern, over Colorado or Hawaii any day.

  • I think Doyel just wants attention. It’s funny how Notre Dame gets credit for playing and beating Michigan but when it comes to Alabama, they say that Michigan was overrated. No better football is played than what is played in the SEC. Teams like USC,Mich,OU,OSU,Oregon,Texas, and FSU all benefit from preseason polls as much as any SEC teams if not more. When ND gets embarrassed by Georgia in the NCG let’s see whose to blame for that. Yeah I think Georgia will beat Alabama.

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