Thursday, January 10, 2008

SEC vs. Big Ten and States 21-30

Can people stop talking about how the SEC is a better football conference than the Big Ten? I listened to parts of a few sports shows (Colin Cowherd, Jim Rome specifically) on Tuesday morning and heard both the callers and the hosts get on their high horse about how the Big Ten is terrible and how LSU’s victory just showed how superior the SEC is at football. There was even one caller who said that Ole Miss (which he jokingly refereed to as THE University of Mississippi) would be a good team in the Big Ten. There was another caller from my hometown of Jackson, MS who was extremely irate at the Big Ten and the Ohio St University despite the fact that he probably has never even been to the beautiful state of Ohio

It seems like people in the Southeast are more concerned about any SEC team winning than their particular SEC team winning. A fan of Ole Miss has no reason to celebrate LSU’s victory over Ohio St. the other night. For the majority of the year Ole Miss hates LSU and their fans. In the same regards LSU fans are known for being none too kind to opposing team fans as they yell “Tiger Bait” to anyone walking in the opposing team’s colors. Now these enemies are cheering for each other? I don’t get it. Another example of this weird phenomenon is that at a party in Columbus, OH I had Buckeye fans talk to me about how they were rooting for Michigan . These Buckeye fans that proudly sing the song “We Don’t Give a Damn About the Whole State of Michigan” are now rooting for the Wolverines just because they are playing an SEC team?

The SEC is the better conference. Despite that SEC fans are still upset because of a few arguments/reasons. Below are the 3 main arguments and my counterargument to SEC fans:
  • Argument: Lack of Respect: Auburn went undefeated in the hardest conference in the country in 2004 and didn’t play for a national title or even get to split a national title. Also, LSU had to share a title with USC back in 2003 despite the fact that they won the BCS championship game. SEC fans are upset that their teams didn’t get the respect that they deserve. They feel like Auburn should have played for the title and that LSU shouldn’t have had to split their title.
  • Counterargument: Auburn did get a tough break in 2004, which wasn’t all too dissimilar to the tough break that Penn St. (a Big Ten team) got in 1994. If you are curious how angry some Penn St. fans feel about this check out:
  • That site has much the same anger as this site in support of the 2004 Auburn team: My advice to those Auburn, Penn St, or SEC fans who feel like they didn’t get what they deserved is to buy a punching bag, take a break, or do whatever you need to do to get over it.
  • Argument: Depth of conference leads to SEC teams “beating up” on themselves, while the Big Ten teams like Ohio St. play nobody. The national argument is that because of the quality of play in the SEC it is next to impossible to survive the schedule without any losses and injuries. On the flip side it is extremely easy for a team like Ohio St. to go through the Big Ten.
  • Counterargument: Yes, that is true that the SEC is the best conference in terms of depth. Still there have been plenty of non-conference losses at the beginning ( California over Tennessee), middle (West Virginia destroying Mississippi St.) and end (Louisiana-Lafayette beating Alabama) that show that the league isn’t unbeatable. I am not arguing that it isn’t the best conference; just that it isn’t the only conference. As for Ohio St. you can’t fault them for their schedule because of 2 reasons. 1. They have scheduled tough non-conference opponents like Texas the previous two years and USC the next two years. It isn’t there fault that Washington wasn’t as good as they should have been at the beginning of the year. It isn’t like they are Michigan who bought Hawaii out this year because they thought Appalachian St. would be an easier opponent. 2. What is Ohio St. supposed to do in terms of their Big Ten schedule? It isn’t like they can join another conference or control their in-conference schedule. Again, it isn’t Ohio St. ’s fault that the Big Ten isn’t as good as it used to be.
  • Argument: The talent level (specifically speed) is much better in the SEC. Even a player (Patrick Willis) on a bottom feeder SEC team (Ole Miss) can win the Nfl's Rookie Defensive Player of the Year award.
  • Counterargument: If you are going to use that argument, then look at the votes for the Nfl’s Rookie Offensive Player of the Year. The player who won the award (Adrian Peterson) came from a Big 12 team (Oklahoma) that is known for blowing big BCS games. The player who came in second (Joe Thomas) was a Big Ten player. The top 10 players predicted to be drafted according to consist of 1 Big East player, 2 Pac 10 players, 2 ACC players, 3 Big Ten players, and 2 SEC players. It seems like if the SEC was definitely the best place for talent that the NFL would want to draft more SEC players in the top 10 than from the talent-less Big Ten. The SEC does seem to have more talent overall than the Big Ten, but that doesn’t mean that the Big Ten doesn’t still have top notch talent.

Here are the middle rankings (21-30) for the states:

  • 30. Kansas : The “Sunflower State". What is the state known for? Agriculture?
  • 29. Kentucky : The “Bluegrass State" ” What is the state known for? Horses
  • 28. Louisiana : The “Pelican State” What is the state known for? Cajuns and Cooking
  • 27. Pennsylvania : The “Keystone State” What is the state known for? The Constitution
  • 26. Delaware : The “First State” What is the state known for? Being the first state.
  • 25. Indiana : The “Hoosier State” What is the state known for? Basketball
  • 24. South Carolina : The “ Palmetto State ” What is the state known for? Coastal towns.
  • 23. Connecticut : The “Constitution State” What is the state known for? Espn
  • 22. New York : The “Empire State ” What is the state known for? Statue of Liberty
  • 21. Arizona : The “Grand Canyon State” What is the state known for? The Grand Canyon


Mary said...

The SEC needs to shut up. Good winners don't piss and moan about their victories and the lack of breaks they got. LSU should be proud of what they did in the OSU game... And be grateful that OSU forgot to show up after halftime.

I like the abbreviated State Ranking.

BC said...

I like the abbreviated state rankings too.

And the sports talk radio is about a step above Jerry Springer. There's a reason Tony Kornheiser doesn't take calls and only talks to other journalists. They actually have something interesting to say. Most schlubs don't.

Did you notice that the entire southeastern united states has an inferiority complex that dates back to 1865? This is just the most recent and relevant manifestation of that.

hedleylamarr said...

-not that this matters, but Alabama didn't lose to U La-La.
-you are correct in saying that Slowhio St cannot help being in the Big Ten. They can help bragging about it. Perhaps SEC fans are just trying give Big Ten fans a reality check. Having lived with an OSU fan for a year, I can tell you that many of them need one. The '02 season is the only one in years that the Big Ten was better than the SEC, yet my Big Ten friends (a small group of people mind you) still think they are on the same level.
-Yes, the talent level in the SEC, specifically LSU, is much better. It isn't that much better with regards to the starters though, which is why your NFL counterargument is invalid. The SEC teams have incredible depth on their rosters. This is why they can lose an All-American safety in Craig Steltz, and the backup comes in without them losing a step. I came to realize that this is why seemingly better Southern Miss teams would consistently lose to Alabama. They could have a lead but would wear out at the end, evidenced by USM losing in '05 even after leading 21-10 before Prothro's catch, which was made even more famous this season by Pontiac's Game Changing Performance commercials.
-Whether or not OSU is really slow, you have to admit that "Slowhio State" is a great jab.

Anonymous said...

Not everyone in the SEC cheers for other teams just because they are in the SEC. Who actually likes LSU and would cheer for them? I don't even care about football, but I can tell you that LSU fans are terrible and I will cheer against them no matter who they play whether it's someone in the Big Ten, the SEC, the CBS, the FYI, the MIA, whatever.