THE JOY OF BEING WRONG AND THE SHAMEFUL TRUTH ABOUT ALABAMA
Yeah, I hate the SEC. I’m sick of the incessant spin they get from ESPN and the most of the rest of the sports media. They have some good teams, and most years they have at least one great team. But so do all the other major conferences most years. They also, like all conferences, have some awful teams. This season, in fact, there are three SEC teams who have yet to win a conference game and three more who won just two. It’s the exact same mediocrity you’ll find in every single conference.
Alabama just lost their first game of the year, to SEC newcomer Texas A&M, suggesting that perhaps the conference isn’t so impenetrable after all. And while no one was really predicting it (and I mocked the mere thought of it last week), in retrospect this shouldn’t surprise us all that much.
Bama has beaten no one of consequence in the SEC outside of LSU, who had them against the ropes until a miracle game-winning drive. The best SEC team they’ve beaten impressively is Mississippi State, who is currently fourth in the SEC West at 3-3. They have not faced any of the top four teams from the East. Their next two opponents are Western Carolina and Auburn and then (barring upset by one of those miserable teams) Georgia in the SEC championship game. The Bulldogs don’t have a much better resume than the Tide, by the way, so any discussion of the SEC winner still making the BCS title game is simply absurd, unless you’re willing to admit that the entire system is complete sham (which it is, of course).
But if Bama can lose, then anyone can, right? Well, yes, of course anyone can lose, but my point is Bama should not be your guidepost. Oregon has already beaten numbers 2, 3 & 4 in the Pac-12 South by a combined 82 points. They still have to take on numbers 2 and 3 in their own division, but how worried are you, really? The Big 12 does not have divisions any more, but Kansas State has just the #3 and #9 teams in the conference left, with the toughest of those at home. They did struggle with #2 Oklahoma, but there’s a big dropoff from the Sooners to the Longhorns (63-21, anyone?). Notre Dame, of course, does not play in a conference at all, but they have already beaten four teams who are currently in first or second place in their own divisions/conferences. The truth is, based on what the teams had already accomplished, Alabama shouldn’t have been the #1 team even before their loss and they absolutely don’t deserve first consideration if the season ends with fewer than two unbeatens.
So that’s it, Alabama, you had your benefit of the doubt and you blew it.
WELCOME BACK, FOOTBALL
It’s MACtion time, and although I’m not as enamored with the conference as others, the Little Brother League is offering up a few good games this week, beginning with Ohio/Ball State at 7:00 on ESPNU and then the West division title match between Toledo and Northern Illinois at 8:00 on ESPN2.
The MAC East division title match between Kent State and Bowling Green kicks off at noon on that small standard definition TV next to the rum on the shelf behind the bar at your nearest BW-3. Don’t put your good games on Saturday, MAC, it frightens and confuses us.
Rutgers @ Cincinnati is to a good college football game what the Big East is to college football in general.
Western Carolina @ Alabama. I mean, that would just be SOOO awesome, right?
USC @ UCLA will determine the Pac-12 South and therefore which team Oregon will score 60 points on in a couple of weeks. Tune in to see if the Trojans try to toss airless footballs around like frisbees without getting caught.
Duke @ Georgia Tech could actually have an impact on a conference championship race and therefore a BCS game. It could? What is happening in the ACC?
Stanford @ Oregon. I really don’t feel like the outcome is in doubt, but it’s the best game featuring a National Title contender this week, so we might as well watch it, at least until the Ducks are up by four scores.