I have always stated that the University of Michigan has been yearly overrated by the pre-season polls. Well, most Buckeye fans have stated as much on a yearly basis. There is also a small contingent of Buckeye fans that probably think the same thing this year, as well. I am not among them. I am not seeing many other teams outside of USC that really look to have everything it needs to be a true MNC contender this upcoming season. Every one of these teams in the Top 5 this year has a major flaw that it will need to develop or mask effectively to make it through it's schedule this year.
A quick glance...the order doesnt matter to me..USC will be a head-and-shoulders above everyone this year...IMO
2 Michigan - A lot of holes on that defense that need to be filled with departures of Woodley and Branch. Dont get me started on that secondary. The Yost crowds have a word that caters well to the UM secondary...sieve.
3. LSU - QB. It doesnt matter if they are bringing back someone that has experience as a starter within the LSU system. LSU will not be able to have the same luxuries it had last year with Uncle JaMarcus under center. Also, LSU's biggest shortcoming...Les Miles...does less with more consistently every year.
4. West Virginia - Give me a team with an average secondary and is willing to stack nine in the box. Crap...that's right the Big East doesnt have one of those.
5. Texas - Young offensive line. Hopefully, Colt spent some time in the weight room this summer.
6. Florida - See West Virginia. However, the SEC probably has a few teams that can expose Tim "Dont call me a mobile Tim Couch" Tebow's throwing ability. Championship hangovers are a bitch...ask the 2003 OSU team.
All in all...everyone is playing for #2 this year. There are a lot of teams that could end up undefeated this year, so we are already starting to hear about supposed SEC superiority and why they should be given a free pass if a team wins the SEC champoionship.
Lesley Miles dogging the Big12 and the PAC-10, which is curious to SEC and non-SEC fans alike.
Kyle over at Dawg Sports
Corporate Bloggers over at EDSBS
Fanhouse Crazy Talk
Nick Saban taking a shot on the Big 10.
Hey Nick, what was your record in the Big10? Dont worry Nick, I got your back...34-24-1. Nick was pretty much the picture of mediocrity in the Big 10 with the exception of one year (1999) and still managed to choke his team out of a BCS bid with two late season trunk-f*ckings at the hands of Purdue and Wisconsin. Nick tosses out this gem...
"No disrespect to the Big Ten, but most of the time there were three or four good teams in the Big Ten each year," he said. "Ohio State, Michigan and Penn State were pretty good and then there might be another team or two that was better that year. But here (in the SEC) there were eight or nine teams that were all pretty good. That was a challenge to play with the kind of consistency you needed to be able to sustain that kind of performance.
Yeah OSU, UM and PSU (Saban 6-7 versus the Big Three) were pretty good, but they never laid losses on Saban and MSU like Wisconsin and Purdue did in 99.
Needless to say, SEC-homerism is a great drug.
Looking further at Saban's Big10 Record...combined record against Wisconsin and Purdue ...wait for it...wait for it....2-5-1. I guess there are more than 3 good teams in the conference. I know...it's crazy. That puts the Big 10 at 5 good teams, but the SEC has like a hundred good teams. I mean even Ole Miss could give USC a run for it's money.
See, the coaches are good at slightly dogging other conferences, but the real heavy-hitters for the SEC are the footbaw bloggers. In particular, Gatorpilot from Orange and Blue Hue tends to rival the zealotry of a typical Monticello, Utah-based polygamist.
I very seldom stick up for Michigan in anything (bastards), but comments like these are stale and over-played from below the Mason-Dixon line, my friends. In reference to UM's schedule and potential to get better from 2006-2007..
No, Michigan didn’t get better since then. But their schedule didn’t get any worse, either. In fact it got a lot easier, if such a thing is possible, and that lines them up for a BCS appearance if they can beat a couple of decent teams before January. Remember, this is the entire schedule. The Big 10 doesn’t play a conference championship game.
I just want to pull out a snippet of the schedule bashing and ask a simple question afterwards....
October 20th - @ Illinois (Gatorpilot references as "Push Over")
October 27th - Minnesota (Gatorpilot references as "Cupcake")
November 3rd - @ Michigan State (Gatorpilot references as "Tediously Average")
November 10th - @ Wisconsin (Gatorpilot references as "Legitimate Top 25")
November 17th - Ohio State (Gatorpilot references as "Blood Rival")
Allow me to re-tort in a different manner...
How would UF and Timmy Tebow fare in these four games?
October 20th - @ Illinois - I think that the pushover tag would be removed either in pre-game or after UF's first offensive series. See, this is around the time of year that Memorial Stadium starts to turn into a freakin' wind tunnel. I see nine in the box and Tim Couch..err..Tebow limp-wristing throws into the wind (Come on non-Florida fans...we've seen him throw...the "noodle-arm" era is beginning in Gainesville). UF will probably win, but it will be a struggle and UF will be awfully sore after that game. Illinois' defense was extremely tough last year by the end of the year and should be pretty good this season as well. (Likelihood of win = 60%)
October 27th - Minnesota - Win...probably a blowout. Minnehaha is in a serious re-building mode right now. (Likelihood of win = 95%)
November 3rd - @ Michigan State - Win...MSU has some athletes and probably wont make the same John L Smith mistakes in the past with Dantonio at the helm. UF will actually have to beat MSU...MSU will not implode. An interesting wrinkle would be the gameplanning between Dantonio and Meyer. Dantonio is Meyer's equal in defensive versus offensive gameplanning, but he doesnt have the horses that Meyer does at his disposal. (Likelihood of win = 70%)
November 10th - @ Wisconcsin - Loss. UF may have the speed advantage...just like Auburn did in 2005 and just like Arkansas did in 2006. However, Wisconsin would be the toughest team that UF would face all year. Toughest is the key word. I am not saying that they are the better team, but you dont go into Madison in November and expect to win. It will probably be snowing or in the upper 30's for gametime. Elements and the fact that they are playing a good team with talented players would be a likely loss. Remeber...Wisconsin doesnt run around you...they run through you...and your 240lb Defensive ends. (Likelihood of win = 10%)
November 17th - OSU - UF will have the advantage on the offensive side of the ball, but you can ask any UM fan, as this will not be an OSU team that you would want to play at the end of this upcoming season. It will be a straight forward running attack and the defense will be worlds better than it was last year. Tebow will get his yards and UF will definitely have a homefield advantage. (Likelihood of win = 65%)
Any team that will make it through those 5 games undefeated probably deserves some recognition...well...at least some educated recognition.
About that whole Conference Championship thingy, it is a money train for the conference....not a rite of passage to a National Title appearance. If Florida would have played aginst Michigan they way that it played against Arkansas in it's last game of the season, Florida would have lost by 20 to UM. They fumbled and bumbled their way into a win in that game and were fortunate enough to find a fat and happy OSU team waiting in Glendale. Florida won that BCS Championship game very impressively, but Florida walked into a nice situation similar to OSU in 2002 with Miami.
If I were a UF fan, I would be more worried about the bullseye on the back of the Gators and the subsequent "best shot" from each team on its schedule. Then again who could argue with a group of fans supporting a team that is finishing it's season with this minefield of games....Georgia, Vandy, @ South Carolina, Florida Atlantic, and Florida State (Herringbone references these teams as "Terrible"...yes, even Georgia and Florida State...and dont get me started on Western Kentucky)
See it's all about perspective, SEC fan looks at Big Ten schedule and thinks there are only 2-3 tough games on there a year. I look at UF's schedule this year and I see 3 teams this year that are even in the arena of being worthy to describe as formidable (Tenn, Auburn, and LSU). Outside of those teams, Georgia and South Carolina are the only teams that might give UF a Northwestern-style scare in-conference. However, Georgia = No Offense, Florida State = NC State w/Chuck Amato..all athletes...no football knowledge. The rest of that schedule is garbage.
The only thing that is going knock the SEC zealots off of their high horse is a sound arse whipping in the bowl season. I dont see the Big10 having two representatives in the BCS this year, so this should be an interetesting year for Big 10-SEC matchups in the bowl season. Then again, outside of Florida's game against OSU, the SEC has been teh suxor against the Big Ten in bowl games the last few years. Dont let that fact cloud your judgement SEC fans, because CBS will be ready to tell the world during an in-game soliloquy of the SEC's dominance...in earnest. Unfortunately, the rest of the college football world will have CBS on mute, so they wont have to hear about for the 400th time.
Labels: The SECond Fastest Conference