When this blog was set up, we didn’t set it up because we didn’t love the SEC and wanted to talk down to our 14 groups of fans.

We do. We love the culture, we love that it’s football 24-7, and we love that more often than not, we win. We love our stadia, our co-eds, and the Saturday Night Lights. We had one of the greatest weekends to be a SEC fan with the madness that stretched from Mississippi to Alabama to Georgia. And like the late great Lou Reed says, I’m glad I spent it with you.

Anyways, when Auburn beat Alabama it caused a lot more harm than good, if you’re Mike Slive, the SEC Commissioner.

For the last few years, it’s been easy to put a SEC team in the Top 2 teams in the country. That’s because in the War of Survival that is college football, our schools have always been able to get themselves into the National Championship Game. And there’s been no argument.

This year, Chris Davis took a ball over 100 yards on a botched field goal with no time left in Jordan-Hare Stadium on Saturday night, and….God….

You see, the loss dropped Alabama out of the top two National Championship spot, and promoted Ohio State, who survived ‘The Game’ in The Big House 42-41 thanks to a 2-point conversion failure with 30 seconds to go – to second. Florida State did what we expected them to – beat the living chomps out of Florida at The Swamp 34-7. If you’re a gambling man and you had the ‘over’ on 27-1/2 points, you probably weren’t too happy.

At the end of it all Florida State is unbeaten, and Ohio State is unbeaten. And the brutal fact of it is this: Auburn is NOT. Nor is Missouri.

Auburn is not because they went to Tiger Stadium, LA, and didn’t show up. I saw the game. Sure, it was a nice comeback by Auburn in the second half, but there was no way during that game you thought: “LSU is going to lose this game”. Which is weird, because when I then went to Sanford Stadium and saw Georgia play the Tigers, LSU’s defense could not have been any worse. And after watching the Tigers – like most SEC games – all this season – LSU’s win over Auburn may have been a bit of a fluke. They peaked against Auburn, and stumbled like a Mardi Gras all the way through the rest of the season, culminating in a shock loss at a very-injured Ole Miss and a last-gasp victory over mighty Arkansas, when it took some of the worst coverage you’ll ever see on the Razorbacks side to win the game for Tiger Nation. In short, LSU were great to watch offensively (Zach Mettenberger (sometimes), Odell Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry and Jeremy Hill were studs)), but defensively, they were a struggle.

For Auburn, Gus Malzahn is a damned good person, a damned fine family man, and a damned, damned fine coach. There’s no denying it. We’d also like to know what he had to give up with Lucifer to ensure those wins against Georgia and against Auburn! Joking apart, his quarterback Nick Marshall lit it up, and the defense remained sturdy – particularly against the run.

And Missouri? Sorry, we almost forgot them. Like Auburn, they beat Johnny Football and Aaron Murray. Like Auburn, they’ve got talent on the field, except with them it’s a smothering defense (ask Johnny Manziel), terrific wide receivers (I see you L’Damian Washington!) an enigma quarterback (James Franklin) and an experience offensive line. But they lost to South Carolina brutally in the final quarter of a game. At home. And then rebounded to beat Ole Miss and Texas A&M – something that a lot of people had them perhaps going 0-2. And South Carolina? While everyone will talk about South Carolina’s great win over Clemson, is there any way to describe how badly they’ve played on the road – and especially when they got what they deserved against only-going-to-the-toilet-bowl Tennessee (Steve Spurrier’s words, not mine)?

At the end of it all Florida State is unbeaten, and Ohio State is unbeaten. And the brutal fact of it is is that Auburn is NOT.

Look, we could all look at the horrific nature of the ACC (DUKE COULD ONLY WIN A DIVISION CHAMPIONSHIP WITH A SEC COACH, RIGHT?) and the B1G (TOO SLOW/ NEEDS A SEC COACH TO WIN TITLES OVER THERE/ IT’S TOO COLD) and ignore the fact that although the SEC has been the most athletic this year (as it is EVERY YEAR), it certainly hasn’t been the most disciplined, especially on the defensive side.

The reasons why are simple: In 2012 there was a cull of SEC players by the NFL that ensured that most of the SEC defensive players you saw before you this year were really, really young. And if they weren’t young and played at the University of Florida, they were very injured. That didn’t mean that we didn’t see some great defense from Alabama and Missouri – but defensively, it was a bit of a joke. If there was a missed tackles table, I would hazard a guess that Georgia, Texas A&M, South Carolina, LSU, and yes, Auburn, would be pretty high on the list, as well as the usual suspects.

As I wrote before, we just weren’t that good this year, and the SEC wasn’t that deep. Sorry.

Also, the SEC against other conferences – and we’re not just talking the tin-pot neutral site games ¬†which I absolutely HATE (this also helps us forget about Mississippi State’s suddenly-not-looking-too-bad-loss to Oklahoma State) wasn’t exactly a banner year. In fact, in was mixed. For every Ole Miss monster upset on the road against Texas (Hotty Toddy!), there was Tennessee getting eviscerated at Oregon (jeez, what happened to them?). For every Georgia comeback on the road to Georgia Tech, there was Arkansas losing to Rutgers. Sorry guys, we have to claim them all in the SEC….the good ones and the bad ones.

And tied into this, I’m sorry to say that we weren’t the deepest conference in the country, either. That would be the hippies out West in the Pac-12. Like the SEC, they only have three teams that aren’t eligible for a bowl game (Cal, Utah, and Colorado). Utah pulled off one of the upsets of the season when they beat Stanford, and Arizona did the same when they beat Oregon. Arizona State surprised everybody by going to the Pac-12 Championship (they’ll play Stanford, who knocked off Oregon). But most of the match-ups – like the SEC – were really tough. I would love to see the SEC and Pac-12 do some bowl deals so the schools could play each other. Why? Because they’d be a lot of fun.

But look, I know past history should go before us. History tells us that for the last seven years, the SEC has won SEVEN National Titles. There has been no run like this in the modern era for a conference in college football. But you know what? It’s not our right.

My argument is this: Ohio State is unbeaten. You should be rewarded for going unbeaten in a BCS conference. You really should. No disrespect to Northern Illinois, but it’s hard to go unbeaten in a BCS conference. Especially two years in a row.

But you know what? It won’t matter if Michigan State beats Ohio State in the Big Ten Championship Game.

Be Sociable, Share!

Tagged with:

Filed under: AlabamaArkansasArticleAuburnFloridaGeorgiaKentuckyLSUMississippi StatemissouriOle MissSouth CarolinaTennesseeTexas A&MUncategorizedVanderbilt

Like this post? Subscribe to my RSS feed and get loads more!