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Tuesday, October 23, 2007

SEC #1? How do we know?

Even as a Michigan fan and blogger, I have to agree with the consensus among college football pundits that this is a down year for the Big 10. With Michigan's opening losses to Appalachian State and Oregon, Iowa's defeat at the hands of putrid Iowa State, Wisconsin's close victories against lowly UNLV and The Citadel, and Minnesota dropping a game to 1-AA North Dakota State just last Saturday, the conference's struggles are well known and have been much discussed.

From the blogosphere to the sports pages to the ESPN studios, based on those out of conference match-ups, the college football world has judged (correctly) that the Big 10 is weak this year.

So who's the best? Why the SEC, of course. Just ask any of those same college football pundits (including the moron writing this post, who said as much in his Weekend Recap piece yesterday).

But upon further review, how do we - and I - know?

Why is everybody so positive the SEC is so good? Because if you base the SEC's greatness on the same critia as the Big 10's suckiness, it doesn't stack up.

Fact is, the SEC has a whopping one out-of-conference victory over a team currently ranked in the top 25: LSU's defeat of Virginia Tech. That's it. One.

As for the rest of the SEC? Here's a quick overview of the games that made them "the best"...

* South Carolina's "big" non-con win was 6 point victory against 2-5 North Carolina
* Florida didn't sniff a tough non-con game
* UGA beat 5-3 Oklahoma State...a team which lost to Troy
* Kentucky burst on the scene this fall with a close victory over then-#9 Louisville (which looks about as impressive as beating Nebraska now)
* Tennessee got smoked by Cal
* 'Bama, slayer of Tennessee, lost to a very average Florida State team
* Auburn lost at home to South Florida and beat K-State
* Ole Miss lost to Mizzou
* MSU lost to WVU

SEC coaches tell everybody who'll listen that they play in the toughest conference in America. And everybody who does listen apparently believes it.

Everybody also knows that Florida from the big bad SEC beat OSU from the lowly Big 10 to claim the National Title last year. But they also seem to forget that the Big 10 went 2-0 in the other two games in which the conferences squared off.

Maybe we all shouldn't be so quick to drink the SEC Kool-Aid.

62 comments:

srudoff said...

can i get some props for inspiring this story with my comments in the weekend recap thread????

:)

Yost said...

Props indeed, sru.

I was thinking about posts for Monday and I was looking online at cfb records and started thinking about that more.

Thanks.

Katie said...

Very interesting way to look at this. When I read Sru's post yesterday I thought he had a great point and now you have really laid it out in a very concrete way. I wonder if ESPN reads the MZone? :o)

beast in 'bama said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
beast in 'bama said...

And by the way, I'm still hearing that Holly Mangold is a strong Florida commit.

WingRG said...

Beast,
if they're recruiting her for any position other than quarterback, she'll make their team a lot stronger. I hear Tebow is tired of playing all 11 positions on the field.

TitleIX said...

I think the Holly look-alike ATE all 'dem gaters.....

Steve Spurrier is God said...

Which conference is better than the SEC this year? Every conference is riddled with crazy looses this year. It's a strange year. My only hope is that Boston College is not in the National Championship

Hemlock Philosopher said...

This is true of the SEC almost every year. They play a very soft pre-season schedule -- sans some daring games that usually end up poorly versus the likes of USC and Cal.

Clearly the SEC is stronger than the Big 10 this season, but its on par with the Pac 10 and only slightly better than the Big East and ACC.

Its been a crazy season indeed!

WingRG said...

Philosopher,
while you might be right to put SEC and Pac-10 in the pecking order above the B10, i'm not so convinced about ACC and the Big East. In fact, even in this "down" year, i'll say that B10 is comparable to the Pac-10, and is above ACC and Big East. Just my opinion, though.

Hemlock Philosopher said...

The SEC is 1-2 versus the Big East (WVa and USF won, Louisville lost), 2-0 versus ACC (blowout by LSU over VT and close game SC versus UNC), 2-1 versus the Big 12 (loss to Mizzou, wins over K.St. and Ok.St) and 0-1 versus the Pac 10 (blowout by Cal). This puts the SEC at 5-4 versus the other major conferences on their schedule. I believe that Pac10 and the SEC are equivalent and are better than the ACC and Big East.

The Big 10 is weak this year, unfortunately. Iowa, Minnesota and Northwestern have embarrassing losses to ISU, FAU and Duke. And the rest of us haven't beaten anyone worth mentioning. OSU's no conference signature win was against a 2-5 Washington team. PSU plays nobody and the same for Purdue, MSU, Wisconsin, and Indiana. We all know what happened to us, so no need to mention that.

We'll see how the bowl season pans out, but I doubt we'll see the same success as last year versus the SEC.

surrounded in columbus said...

arrrgh. giving props to sru? yost- why don't you just go find a stray dog you don't want and start feeding him off your back porch? you'll never get rid of either of them.


as for conference "ranking", no one plays much of a pre conference schedule anymore. there's really not much of an objective measure.

subjectively, i try to imagine if you took the top 5 teams from each conference and matched them up (like the big ten-acc challenge in b-ball) 1-5, how do you think we'd do?

think about lining up tosu, michigan, illinois, psu, and purdue or wisconsin against:

sec- bama/lsu/fla/uga & auburn or sc;

pac-asu/ucla/usc/oregon/cal;

big east-uconn/rutgers/usf/wvu & pitt or UC;

acc-bc/uva/wake/va tech & miami or clempson; and

big 12-KU/OU/mizzu/A&M & OSU or KSU.

just guessing, but i'm not sure the big ten would win more than 2 games in any of these match ups. i'd think we'd have a chance against the acc & big east, but none against the sec or the pac. given that illinois already lost to mizzou, i don't think we'd win more than two there, either.

not a good year for the conference, but that's just my opinion.

surrounded in columbus said...

and EDSBS has nailed the les miles thing:

http://www.everydayshouldbesaturday.com/?p=4039

beast in 'bama said...

Hemlock: Actually, the SEC is 2-1 vs. ACC (Bama's loss to Florida St.), making the overall record 5-5.

SiC: don't forget Kentucky in the list of SEC bowl-eligibles. They might not be top-10 material, but that's a good football team. Bless their hearts, we need to give them all the credit we can whenever they succeed in football.

All of this conference ranking talk is a bunch of chest thumpin' and gum bumpin' - like power forwards grappling for the best rebounding position while the shot is in the air. The only way to sort it out is in the bowls, and don't they always seem to end up with each conference at or near .500 over a sample period of years?

Personally, I agree with Hemlock that the Pac 10 is slightly better than the SEC this season, and I'm glad that the Big 12 doesn't suck as much overall as it did last year.

Yost said...

Bib,

Nice catch. My bad. Had all the facts right in front of me when I was writing the post and simply screwed up. Thanks.

RT2020 said...

Since I project the Big 10, ACC, Big East, and Big 12 leaders to fall this weekend, I think we can look forward to a lot more chatter about the SEC: specifically, whether the possible LSU-FLA rematch will send the winner to what Brian would term the "Not Sugar." Yes, you read that right. FLA could show up as high as #7 in the next BCS Standings.

As an SEC alum, I suppose I'm prejudiced, but I think the strength comes from the degree of seriousness--conference-wide--football is taken down there, that and trying to win the countless number of SEC road night games that dominate the conference.

I have LSU at #1, but their credibility is on the line this Thursday night. A bad performance by VT, a school known to flop in crucial home games in recent years, would render the second otherwise undefeated LSU foe off the list. SoCaro's loss was awful, period. LSU can't afford to lose VT too.

I have ORE at #2, which I suppose says something about how I view the Pac-10, but they still face the stigma of being a one-trick pony. Someone else has to step up and seize a BCS bid--huge game for the Ducks this week.

The SEC is #1 because of the speed factor--ORE's offense wouldn't crack thirty against perhaps the top five top SEC defenses. As for the bowl comparison, outside of games against OSU, I'm not sure the SEC takes the lower-tier bowl season as seriously as some think. On the other hand, they take BCS games VERY seriously...

2006: 2-0 (champ)
2005: 0-1
2004: 1-0 (undefeated team)
2003: 1-0 (co-champ)
2002: 1-0
2001: 2-0
2000: 0-1
1999: 0-2 (a true rarity)
1998: 2-0 (champ)

Off the top of my head, their loss to West Virginia two years ago was the only recent major defeat in almost a decade, which might explain the mileage the Mountaineers got out of it.

And as any SEC fan would tell you...

2006: title game, won
2004: 0-loss, non-title, won
2003: title game, won
1998: title game, won
1996: title game, won
1995: title game, destroyed
1992: title game, won (watershed)

Hemlock Philosopher said...

Oh, yeah, I did forget the Bama-FSU debacle for which I lost some money. my bad!

The problem with looking at the bowl games is that they are all roadies for the Big 10 -- unless, of course, we ever qualify a team for the Motor City Bowl (then again, its always against a crappy Mac team like Arkon).

Out of Conference said...

I think I agree with everyone.
I second the notion that SEC teams usually don't give it their all in non-BCS bowls. I hate that for us, but we don't.. even the mid-tier SEC teams that have only recently found more consistent success, like USCe and Arky.

DaBraylon17 said...

sorry Yost. that guy whetstonebuck just says ignorant comments and he makes me believe that he is 12 years old or something. i think he needs a spanking from his mommy.

srudoff said...

ymsomeone on bucknuts said it best - the SEC is a self fulfilling prophecy - each team is rated highly and as they keep beating one another, they don't fall in the standings much because each loss is perceived as a good loss.

Here are all of the SEC's OOC games...

LSU - Va Tech, Mid Tenn St, @ Tulane (in the south), LA Tech

Alabama - W. Carolina, @ FSU (south), Houston, UL Monroe

Auburn - Kansas St, S Florida, New Mexico St, Tenn Tech

Arkansas - Troy, N. Texas, UT Chatt, Fla Int

South Carolina - La Lafayette, South Carolina St, @ UNC (south), Clemson

Florida - W. Kentucky, Troy, FAU, FSU

Georgia - OK St, W. Carolina, Troy, @ Ga Tech (south)

Kentucky - E. Kentucky, Kent St, Louisville, FAU

Tennessee - @ Cal, Southern Miss, Ark St, La Lafayette

There you have it - ONE win against a ranked opponent, ONE game out of conference that's not played in the south (which they lost), and 5 total road games out of 36 total OOC games.

Again I'm not comparing this to any other conference - I'm just saying how in the hell would you know if the SEC is any good if they refuse to play good schools OOC and refuse to play OOC road games????

Yost said...

Good stuff, sru.

RT2020 said...

The SEC mystique emanates from their BCS performance, if they ever start to lose national title games or a string of BCS games, it will end, the game where Alabama embarrassed Miami in the Sugar Bowl did A LOT for the league after a bit of a dip in the mid-to-late 1980s--adding Florida and the SEC title game helped too.

Hobnail_Boot said...

Here's the key thing you are all missing: when we SEC fans argue that our conference is the best, it's not based on OOC play. Sure, UF stomping tOSU further strengthened the national perception of the SEC, but bowl records have never been central to our claims of superiority.

National titles are nice, but they require such a combination of talent, skill, schedule, and luck that it's not a realistic annual goal even for elite programs. Most SEC fans will admit that the main goal is to win the SEC, and that if a shot at a MNC comes along with it, then it's just gravy.

It's all about depth. There are very good teams at the top of all the major conferences. The thing that sets the SEC apart is the middle-to-bottom of the conference.

No other conference can claim a group of 10 teams as good as LSU, UF, Auburn, SCU, UK, UT, UGA, Bama, Arkansas, and Vandy. It's not really that close except maybe in the Pac-10.

While Big Ten teams need to go OOC in order to beef up their schedule, SEC teams don't need to. Why go out and schedule a brutal OOC slate when you get Bama, UT, UF, SCU, UK, and Auburn already?

Yost said...

Hob,

First off, appreciate the comments. Always do.

My thing is, which was the point of the post: How do you know the SEC is tough from top to bottom? Isn't the only way to judge that by playing outside the conference?

For example, FSU is clearly not good this year. But they beat Bama. And Cal is getting exposed now and they beat UT.

Look, I know this is coming from a "Michigan blog" but I myself said how tough the SEC was in the link in this post. And I may even agree with you at the end of the day.

However, another look does raise legitimate questions about where that perception comes from.

WingRG said...

Hobnail,
"Why go out and schedule a brutal OOC slate when you get Bama, UT, UF, SCU, UK, and Auburn already?"

Because beating:
Bama (2 losses to UGA and FSU)
UT (lost to a 2 loss Cal team)
SCU (lost to Vandy)
UK (lost to SCU)
Auburn (lost to Mississippi St)
doesn't count as a tough in conference schedule (at least it's certainly not anything to brag about). Florida and LSU are tough, other than that i'll take a middle of the road B10 team (Wisconsin, Penn St, Illinois) against any of the teams i mentioned above (Bama, UT, SCU, UK, Auburn).

beast in 'bama said...

This is just crazy - here are the current standings in the SEC East:

South Carolina 6-2 (3-2)
Florida 5-2 (3-2)
Kentucky 6-2 (2-2)
Georgia 5-2 (2-2)
Tennessee 4-2 (2-2)
Vanderbilt 4-3 (2-3)(!!)

They're all made out of ticky tacky and they all look just the same...

whetstonebuck said...

DuhBraylon17,

“sorry Yost. that guy whetstonebuck just says ignorant comments and he makes me believe that he is 12 years old or something. i think he needs a spanking from his mommy.”


Congratulations, DB. After some effort, you got your opinion in print--albeit in a passive manner.

Do you feel better about yourself now?

Judging from your scurrilous attack it is quite clear that you are the unqualified judge of all things ignorant.

Just a suggestion, Rex, but you might want to secure some professional help regarding the transparency of your mother fetish.

Hobnail_Boot said...

yost - You ask a valid question by asking 'how do you know'. While none of the following criteria are leak-proof, I believe that taken together they make a pretty convincing case for SEC superiority.

1. Recruiting rankings. Going back to 2003 (current redshirt seniors, all via Rivals.com):

2003 - SEC had 6 of the top 11 classes
2004 - 7 of the top 22
2005 - 8 of the top 24
2006 - 8 of the top 24
2007 - 7 of the top 10

2. Coaching. There are 4 current coaches in the SEC with national titles (Spurrier, Meyer, Fulmer, Saban), and another with a perfect season to his credit (Tubberville). No other conference can currently claim that.

3. The eyeball test. This may be my flimsiest point, but it's not just my point. Several national columnists have taken note of the physicality and speed in the SEC, including Pat Forde who just did an article on it called 'Bloody SEC'. I admit my bias but guys who are paid to be as unbiased as possible share my opinion.

4. UF over tOSU - By far my least favorite argument for reasons noted above. I only list it because it was a game that really shaped national perception. I personally think its importance has been overblown but I list it because it influences my 3rd point.

By the way, love the blog and in the interest of discretion, UM is my 2nd favorite program.

wingrg - That's what's great about opinions. Neither one of us is technically wrong and there's nothing wrong with that.

WingRG said...

Hobnail,

while i agree with some of your points, recruiting has very little to do with what really goes on on the field. Let me give you an example from my schools recent past: AJ Hawk and Troy Smith were the last people in their respective recruiting classes at OSU to be offered scholarships. Sometimes 2 star recruits turn out to be better players (if developed correctly) than 5 star recruits (if they start believing their own hype). Just thought i'd point that out.

Hobnail_Boot said...

wingrg,

You're absolutely right. Sometimes the 5* guys bust out and the lesser-known guys turn out to be stars. A popular UGA example of this is David Pollack -- he was a 3* DT/FB recruit and he ended up being one of the best DE's to ever play the game. Sometimes you never know.

Having said that, over time if you accumulate more upper-level talent it will show on the field. It doesn't guarantee you wins but it certainly gives your coaching staff more resources.

Would you agree that NFL scouts generally do a good job of finding talent no matter where it comes from? As of the most current data I can find, here are the top ten schools that have produced current NFL players:

Miami, Ohio State, FSU, UGA, Michigan, Tennessee, LSU, Texas, Florida, Auburn.

I think this further strengthens my argument that all conferences have strong teams at the top, but it's the depth of the SEC that sets it apart. That's 2 ACC schools, 2 Big Ten schoools, 1 Big Twelve school, and 5 from the SEC.

sonny said...

To corroborate the inflated SEC recruiting rankings, this from fanhouse in August-

Rivals has helpfully compiled a list of the various nonqualifiers who signed with schools in February but will not be on campus this fall. A count by conference:

SEC: 45
Big 12: 23
Pac 10: 21
ACC: 18
Big East: 14
Big Ten: 4


Again, an average of nearly 4 signees per school failed to qualify this August in the SEC.

DaBraylon17 said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
WingRG said...

Wow, Sonny,

Jim Delaney doesn't look all that crazy now, if those numbers are actually true.
(i'm talking about the theme of his B10 vs SEC letter last year, only)

Runngunn29 said...

Thank you for this thread. My day has been filled with fighting with SEC (LSU specifically) fans trying to rip OSU's victory because they only won by one TD.

Nevermind that the game was completely dominated by OSU except for the two turnovers, LSU fans are talking smack about other teams close victories? You're last three games include a blown game to UK, and BARELY beating both Florida and Auburn at home. But thats ok of course, because "dey play SEC!!!"

WingRG said...

Whetstone,

don't even dignify him with a response. This degenerate (DB17) isn't even intelligent enough to come up with an original handle (stole that from DB), but now he's playing Dr.Melfi and diagnosing your OCD and your sexual orientation over the web. Maybe you should ask him where to send in your payment for his fine "medical services"

WingRG said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
srudoff said...

random points...

1. who said anything about scheduling a 'brutal' ooc schedule? how about a few ranked ooc games and more than one road game against ranked ooc teams? hell how about just traveling out of the south every now and then? i think it's been pointed out that it's been 20 years since florida played a non-bowl road game out of the south.

2. as pointed out, recruiting rankings mean nothing. LSU was ranked #1 - their only 5 star player was Justin Vincent - bust. Florida #2 - they had Joe Cohen, Andre Caldwell, and Dee Webb as three of their five 5 star players. Georgia #6 - Kregg Lumpkin and Paul Oliver only 5 stars. South carolina #8 - Demetrius Summers. Miss St #9 - Quinton Culberson & Deljuan Robinson

I could go on but hopefully you get my point by the players listed above.

3. The eyeball test - beauty is in the eye of the beholder - and anyone that's listened to Gary Danielson, Bob Griese, Lou Holtz, etc can tell you that while people may be PAID to be unbiased, that doesn't make them unbiased. Danielson's unabashed rooting for the SEC to make it to the championship last year was pathetic. My eyeballs told me that Kentucky barely beat a horrible Louisville team and lost to the South Carolina team that was just embarassed by Vandy. That LSU lost to that same Kentucky team. That Florida almost lost to Ole Miss and did lose, at home, to an Auburn team that lost back to back home games to South Florida and Mississippi State. then again, as i said, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.

4. As for the coaches, you have a point, but then again, a few years ago Spurrier and Saban were failing in the NFL, Urban Meyer was coaching Bowling Green, and Fulmer, well I think we all know that he's run his course at UT.

5. Here's the 2008 SEC schedule

http://www.secfootball.itgo.com/2008schedule.html

Props to UT for going to UCLA , to Arkansas for going to Texas, and to Georgia for going to Arizona State.

srudoff said...

my recruiting figures were based on 2003 btw

whetstonebuck said...

wingrg,

You're right. I should have just let it ride.

surrounded in columbus said...

aha! it's another ploy by the stealthy tosu fans. DB17 is really a tosu plant posing as a michigan fan to give these subversives an opportunity to appear "wounded" by nasty michigan fans.

just another trick to lull people into a false sense of security. don't fall for it Yost!!

Yost said...

SiC,

I'm deleting posts by Michigan fans for comments made about Buckeye readers here on the site, I'm giving props to Sru...Hey, is that a swarm of locusts outside my window?

surrounded in columbus said...

between that & some of this crowd shouting down other tosu posters for being rude, i'm thinking about asking my doctor to switch my meds.

but not to worry. by 11/16, they'll all be back to their usual "f-michigan/we own you/switzer is gawd/you bunch of maize & blue homos" selves and all will be right w/ the world...

srudoff said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
whetstonebuck said...

SiC,

If I were you, I'd really explore the "meds" option.

TitleIX said...

Yost--
is THAT why the water in my toilet is swirling the other way???

criminy...a well constructed and supported discussion about SEC football that both Michigan "Men" and tOSU faithful can agree upon???

what in g-d's name is happening!!!?????
we're alllllll gonna die!!

sarcasm aside:
EXCELLENT posts today gentlemen. I have learned much!

MGoBlue93 said...

I'd like to offer the last ten years of SEC v B10 bowl matchups -- the national pundits use them as a bellwether and ironically, other than tSOU twice versus SC and Michigan against Fat Fucking Fulmer, the B10 has done very well against the SEC. Hell, even Sparty beat the Gators.

oldwestside said...

Someone said the SEC has 4 coaches who have won MNC's, well, the Big Televen has 3.

And we are what, 14-12 in bowl games against the SEC since the BCS inception?

I do believe the SEC is "on average" a better conference, with maybe 1 more quality team per year, than the Big 10. But to through out Vandy as tough, and to say Northwestern as a joke, ignores the last 12 years of Northwestern football, for example.

The argument that the SEC teams don't get up for the second tier bowl games because they are disappointed they didn't win the SEC championship is a load of crap. If football is so passionate in the south (and it is), those teams will get up for a lesser bowl game. That argument also blows a hole in the "we have better coaches" reasoning, as good coaches will prepare their teams for any game.

The SEC plays great football. It does not make them hands down better than other conferences.

Also, the nonqualifier issue is big. Don't they typically offer more scholarships than they have available because they know some people won't qualify? I thought that was made clear on this site or mgoblog last winter, when it was revealed "how can they offer so many scholarships every year?" when they didn't have 7-8 more people going into the draft every year.

The SEC IS AWESOME. I think it is king, this year, but it's ridonkulous to assert it's hands down better. I have every reason to believe the Northwestern and Indiana are as good as Vandy and Miss State. I have every reason to believe that UCONN is as good as those teams and that an SEC team would be hard pressed to go undefeated in the Big East given that leagues penchant for tough, road night games too.

MGoBlue93 said...

Yost... since you're "keeping it real", can we have a similar thread exploring the douchebaggery of Drew Sharp? The latest column, Michigan got a gift wrapped win from the Illini... arrrrghhhh!

RTBDTHRTR said...

This is all so very funny. How short your memories are!

My guess is last year's media darlings (tOSU) might have something to say about this.

Tell me - truthfully - do any of you Big 10/11-ers (the last bastion of the "slow white guy") want any part of the SEC champion in a BCS Championship Game? Think about it. You show up... all boisterous and cocky. And then the SEC team shows up. And it's time for the kickoff. Tell me you don't have that sick feeling, like you swallowed a dead snake... OMG those guys are SO F-ING FAST... All that cash, to go to New Orleans for an asskicking on national television... the spread was 5 points you say? And at the end of the first half, you're down 27, and you're headed back to the hotel, debating with yourself whether you're going to tell your friends back home that you stayed for the whole disgusting beatdown or not.

Yeah, I didn't think so.

But hey - don't be mad at me. I'm just reminding you of WHAT IS.

whetstonebuck said...

RTBDTHRTR,

Slow white guy?

I know you're not talking about Ted Ginn, Jr. He gave the whole Florida team his autograph while on his way to the end zone. That was a pleasant kick-off. No aftertaste of snake. Too bad he got hurt. It was all downhill from there. Zee pain, zee pain, Boss. A painful loss.

If it doesn't kill you, it will make you stronger. Isn't that how it goes? Maybe we'll be strong enough this year.

Bubba, you sound like the Miami fans just before tOSU sent them home in tears in 2002. You win some and you lose some. So it goes.

srudoff said...

where was all that sec speed against usc (arkansas), west virginia (georgia), michigan (florida), iowa (lsu and florida), oklahoma state (alabama), wisconsin (auburn AND arkansas), missouri (south carolina), indiana (kentucky), cal (tenn), penn state (tenn), and notre dame (tenn)??

that's an awful lot of white boys from the west and midwest kicking ass

Out of Conference said...

(sorry long)
I think something lots of us forget is that most SEC teams OOC rivalvs are IN THE SOUTH.

Florida's big OOC is FSU (and some years Miami- but things changed once they joined the ACC). USCe's big rival game is Clemson - in-state. UK's is Lousiville - in state. UT doesn't have a big OOC rival, so they hunt for a big game and that means travel out of their region half the time. Same with Michigan. Same with Auburn. Same with tOSU (except this year).

Since I know USCe situation, here it is: their OOC games are UL-Laf, SC State, UNC, Clemson. UL-Laf - just a starter game- sure it would have been better had it been a bigger team, but EVRYONE has a cupcake. SC State - a state legislator demanded that the Cocks schedule SC State and USCe consented to appease him. USCe didn't want that game. Last year it was Wofford - another in-state cupcake that was asked of the USC AD staff by state officials- although that used to be a better matchup when USCe routinely sucked ass and Wofford was better. UNC used to be a fierce conference foe to USCe when USCe was in the ACC. The neighboring state rivalry used to be big even OOC. It ended when (among other things) USC joined the SEC. Clemson - that's our biggest foe (SEC teams included). Clemson is usually a better team than recently, so USCe usually gets the benefit of a tougher OOC opponent in this game than Clemson does. Do the Bucks even play a team as tough as Clemson this year? Ok - I kid.

The point - SEC teams play lots of OOC games in the south because that is where our OOC rivals are.

Where do the Bucks travel OOC this year? You can tell it's crap when your biggest game at home all year is crappy ass Michigan State.

You can tell when the Big10 is having a horrible year when they unite against the SEC. I'm not saying the SEC is stronger. I'm just pointing out a big reason why you don't see every SEC team travel out of the south for OOC games. I'm not in the know - you guys probably are, but when's the last time Michigan or tOSU reached an agreement for a home and home series with an SEC team?

srudoff said...

OSU's reached home and away agreements with Texas, Washington, Va Tech, Miami, Oklahoma, and USC over the past and next few years - I think it's safe to assume that it's the SEC that doesn't want to schedule the home and away's with us. Obviously Coach T is not afraid to play the big boys (this year's game with Washington was scheduled a looong time ago when Washington was good) so you gotta think it's them avoiding us.

WingRG said...

OOC,
i usually love your posts, but i have to disagree with some of your points:

1)Where do the Bucks travel OOC this year?
--We travelled across the country to play Washington. Not the top program they used to be when this game was scheduled, but a trip across the country (and out of our back yard) none the less. The first part of this home-and-home was 2003, and Washington was in the top 15 when we played them in the 'Shoe (i was there)

2)You can tell it's crap when your biggest game at home all year is crappy ass Michigan State.
--Actually, we still have both Wisconsin and Illinois at home this year. Not that those are great, but Tressel has a losing record against Wisconsin, so i expect that game to be tough. Also, based on how our game against Illinois went last year, i won't count them as a pushover -- they're a team on the rise (if their quarterback plays well).

3)When was the last time OSU played OOC vs. the SEC?
Actually, this is a peace of trivia, the ONLY time OSU beat an SEC team (i know that doesn't look good on our part) was a win against LSU in the 'Shoe (88). Don't know if this was a home-and-home, someone a little older than me can jump in and let you know. And i have to agree with Sru, we have scheduled home-and-homes with teams from lots of great conferences, so we're not ducking anyone, MIGHTY SEC included.

sorry, a little long winded.

surrounded in columbus said...

tosu played a home & home w/ lsu in '87-'88. the '87 @ LSU game ended in a 13-13 tie. bruce lights up everytime the subject comes up as tosu had the ball in the waning moments, was moving into FG position, and then after a completion in bounds, the sec refs stood over the ball for a good 5-15 seconds as the clock ran before winding the play clock. another play or two & tosu would have had a shot at winning.

lots of schools play regional rivals- we play ND primarily because it's convenient and a good rivalry.

tosu has played schools like wvu, marshall, and nd for the same reasons. no fault to FLA for playing fsu or miami, or sc for playing clempson.

same for playing in state smaller schools. tosu plays akron & kent because, frankly, those schools need the money and why fly rice or tcu in when they can take a bus? same reason we play central and eastern, et al.

however, it's a double edged sword. i remember the howls that went out when tosu lost to usc two years in a row (whatever happened to todd marinovich, anyway?), and lost a shot @ the mnc in '05 by playing UT. those games are great when you win, but really let the air out when you lose.

as long as we have the bcs, all teams will play increasingly less challenging pre conference schedules.

Out of Conference said...

You guys make great countering points-

Wingrg - I stand corrected on the Huskies game. I completely forgot about that game for the Bucks.

And Srudoff - perhaps you're right about the SEC not wanting to deal with tOSU. I think it such a key point in the conference chest thumping, that whoever declined it would be the laughing stock of the other conference. I never hear that we've been made offers or that we've made them though. Probably kept pretty secret unless agreements are made.

Still, the fact that many SEC teams have their biggest OOC rivals in the south, doesn't imply that SEC teams don't like to travel out of the south. There's just not a reason to for many of those teams given the way a team's success is measured by today's standards. Would it be better for college football? Damn Right. Do I want my Cocks to travel to face a tough OOC team new to their schedule? Not as long as they get credit for a tough in-confefence schedule. If the SEC started sucking ass and SEC wins are no longer considered quality wins... then yes, I'd want the Cocks to schedule whoever they can to raise the SOS.

san francisco values said...

re NFL talent:

SEC 23.6 players in the NFL per team

Big 10 22.8
ACC 21.3
Pac-10 20.7
Big 12 15.9

Going by this, the SEC is SLIGHTLY better, but the top four conferences, even the Big 10, are pretty much the same. I think the Big 10 is slumping right now because Tressel is just about the only coach worth his salt. The SEC is obviously doing well with coaching, and the Pac-10 has Carroll, Tedford, Erickson and Bellotti.

surrounded in columbus said...

sfv,
the sec has 12 schools, the big ten 11. the big ten actually has a slightly higher share of nfl players (for the number of schools in the conference) than the sec.

on the other hand, the actual diferences are statistically insignificant as one or two nfl players retiring/making the roster would change the shares.

WingRG said...

An interesting stat regarding NFL (which i don't follow, so i don't find these too helpfull, but just the same).
OSU is right now first in the number of first round picks, followed closely by U$C (trails by 1, i think). If their (SEC) athletes are so superior to ours, they should should be blowing OSU and U$C our of the water in this category. But they're not!

RTBDTHRTR said...

Uh oh... sounds like whetstonebuck's already put a serious non-refundable deposit down on a trip to New Orleans for early next year. Oh well...

Remember - I told you what was going to happen. Have a great time!

Mikoyan said...

RE: The comment about OOC schedules. I would tend to agree that the OOC schedules will get easier and easier for the top shelf programs. Why risk a loss to a USC or some other potentially good team when EMU is willing to take your money? Plus with a team like EMU, you can paste them 70-whatever and boost your margin of victory (although supposedly the computer polls don't take that into account but I suspect the people polls do).

This is the main reason why I think the BCS needs to die a flaming death. There is way too much subjectivity in the polls that count for half of the score. Since Sagarin and the crew don't want to release their formulas, you have no idea what goes into their formulae.

san francisco values said...

Sorry, I wasn't crystal clear. The NFL numbers posted above are the average number of players per COLLEGE TEAM in each of those conferences. My point was that overall talent in each conference, at least over the long haul is the same, and that weakness and strength has more to do with coaching than talent. Here's the top 20 individual schools:

Miami 47
tOSU 46
FSU 43
UGA 41
MICHIGAN 39
LSU 37
Tenn 36
Florida 35
Texas 34
Notre Dame 33
Auburn 30
USC 29
Nebraska 28
CAL 27
UCLA 25
Penn State 25
Maryland 25
Wisky 25
Purdue 24
Oklahoma 24

I know you can point to individual schools and try and claim that obviously this stat blows (I mean, look who's at #1 and #3). But when you add them all together for a conference I think it becomes rather meaningful. And the conferences are even, so it comes down to coaching.