Anti-SEC rhetoric is irrelevant as long as the run continues
The Bob Stoops and Nick Saban verbal shots over the last couple weeks have been fun for us who can’t get enough college football – and let’s not forget, May is awful for college football fans – but, the comments are irrelevant.
The most ridiculous part of Stoops’ comments was that he compared the bottom half of the SEC to the bottom half of the Big 12.
“So they’ve had the best team in college football,” Stoops said. “They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ‘em haven’t done much at all. I’m just asking you. You tell me.
“It depends on who you want to listen to,” Stoops said. “Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always the best.
“So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you,” he said. “You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you can look at the top two, three, four, five, six teams, and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?”
When is the last time you heard a college football fan arguing whether or not Kansas was better than Kentucky in football? Not only is it ridiculous, but it’s wrong. The bottom 5 teams of the SEC had more players drafted in this year’s NFL Draft than the bottom 5 teams in the Big 12.
Charlie Weis also recently weighed in and doubled-down on the idea that “our crappy teams are better than your crappy teams.” There are fewer signs that your conference is in shambles than arguing such a concept. Weis seemed to think that because the top teams in the SEC beat the bottom teams more frequently than the top teams in the Big 12 beat the bottom teams in the Big 12 is a sign that the Big 12 is better. No, the Big 12 bottom feeders are bad and the top teams aren’t very good at beating these bottom feeders.
The other talking point in college football which needs to be done away with is talking about how many teams in your conference made a bowl game. It’s time to acknowledge that fans of any decent football program do not care about bowl eligibility. Auburn fans aren’t hoping Gus Malzahn brings them back to bowl eligibility.
Members of the media also turn to the scheduling discussion to take shots at the SEC. You will frequently hear football analysts try to talk about how the SEC doesn’t play enough non-conference matchups. Once again, critics selectively pick and choose to support their anti-SEC rhetoric.
Both LSU and Alabama, two of the most dominant SEC programs in recent years, have lined up marquee non-conference matchups every during each recent season (Alabama: Penn State (2010), Penn State (2011), Michigan (2012), Va Tech (2013); LSU: UNC & WVU (2010), Oregon & WVU (2011), Washington (2012), TCU (2013)). As such, critics will turn to a team like Florida and say they never play any non-conference games out of the state of Florida. Except that critics conveniently ignore that Florida has one of the most difficult annual non-conference games in the country in its annual battle with the Noles.
When the SEC started filling the majority of the top ten in the BCS rankings toward the end of the season last year, the anti-SEC folks started to blame the media for voting SEC teams high simply because they were playing other SEC teams that were ranked high. It was a “bubble” they argued. The SEC rankings were supposedly inflated and were inflating other SEC rankings. Then, the SEC went 4-0 against the ACC on a day in late November. Of course, the Alabama dismantling of Notre Dame was the biggest statement of all.
The Anti-SEC fever climaxed as a result of the Alabama-LSU BCS Championship Game at the end of the 2011 season. The anti-SEC masses turned to the trashing of the BCS and future playoff as the “fix” for the SEC’s dominance. They will be disappointed, however, because the post-season structure isn’t the reason why the SEC has dominated. The SEC has dominated because SEC teams have better players and coaches than the rest of the country. This will continue into the playoff era. As will the complaining from lesser conferences.