Sunday, October 10, 2010

SEC's Stranglehold on BCS Is Over

Alabama's loss to South Carolina officially ended the SEC's four-year reign of the BCS.

That's it. It's over. Take it to the bank.

Don't be deceived that there are still three SEC teams in the top 10 of the coaches poll and Harris poll, as well as the latest Simulated BCS Standings. None of them is in the top six. And even if one of them gets to the end of the season without another loss, that team won't finish in the top 2 of the final BCS standings.

The circumstances are conspiring against the SEC, consider:

1) Ohio State does not play Michigan State, possibly the second-best Big Ten team this season. The Buckeyes' only difficult remaining game appears to be a trip to Iowa in their penultimate game.

2) Oklahoma and Nebraska do not face each other in the regular season. It's possible that both team could be unbeaten heading into the Big 12 title game.

3) Oregon has already played, and mauled, the second-best team in the Pac-10.

4) Both Boise State and TCU are on course for an unbeaten regular season. Boise State has a testy road game at Nevada, TCU one at Utah. Both Nevada and Utah are also unbeaten, and are potential darkhorses for BCS bowl bids.

But the bigger issue is that the SEC is not as good as its hype, which played a significant role in getting an SEC team to the BCS title game in 2006-08. Alabama is still by far the best team in the conference, but there's a chance that the Tide now won't even reach the SEC title game.

Auburn and LSU, both in the SEC West, may be in the top 10 now, but both are fatally flawed teams that won't get through the season unscathed. The War Eagles barely scraped by Mississippi State, Clemson and just this week, Kentucky. LSU has survived two consecutive weekends while Les Miles played with the clock as if it were a live hand grenade.

But both of those teams may be able to upset Alabama, which is fortunate to stay in the top 10 after losing by double digits in a game that it was thoroughly outplayed. Even if Alabama manages to get through the rest of its schedule without a loss, including a road trip to Death Valley, it won't be enough to catapult it into the top 2 in the BCS standings. It's entirely possible that there might be only one SEC team in the top 10 at the end of the regular season.

The demise of SEC is not going to elicit much sympathy from the rest of the BCS conferences, which has been seething with SEC's perceived reputation as "the toughest conference," something that's at best equal parts marketing and performance (nothing new, as we've covered this extensively last year).

Really, don't feel bad for the SEC. It's been by far the top beneficiary of the BCS system. It's transformed from a regional conference to a national powerhouse with massive revenues from its television deals. Its national profile is only rivaled by the Big Ten, with many broadcasters and commentators as allies to influence the all-important votes.

To be fair, the SEC has performed when given the chance. It has six crystal balls from the 12-year BCS era. It just won't be getting a seventh this year.

23 comments:

Donald said...

Not so fast, my friend (as Lee Corso says). Bama is sitting at #8. They only have to get to #2, not #1. There is a for sure loss between OU and Nebraska because if they don't lose before, then one will beat the other. That moves them up a spot. If they run the table the rest of the way, they beat Auburn. That moves them up another spot. It's highly possible that Utah beats TCU. That would move them up a spot. Ohio State or Oregon (perhaps both) will lose a game. And the perception is that a 1 loss Alabama/SEC team is better than a 1 loss Ohio State or Oregon. So if either of them lose, Bama will move up a spot (two if they both lose). You see Alabama can take care of business and end up around #3. Because Florida lost yesterday, their likely opponent in the SEC title game would be South Carolina. If they lay the wood to South Carolina in a revenge match (similar to the way they took revenge on Florida last year in the SEC title game) while Boise is off for the week, then Bama will jump Boise even with a loss. That's because with the SEC title game, they'll have as many wins, a much tougher schedule, and there is a big enough contingency that does not want to see Boise in it. Bama is not done...providing they don't suffer an extended let down because of this.

MIke said...

Keep dreaming.

Anonymous said...

Man you need to share some of those drugs... That must be some good s#*t.

Anonymous said...

Donald is correct, if Bama runs the table they have a shot. If Auburn or LSU win out they will be there in Glendale. Oregon can lose @ USC very easily. Iowa and/or Wisconsin can knock off Ohio State and OU or Nebraska has to lose. If Bama wins out, they take care of LSU & AU in front of them. I don't worry about Michigan State b/c they started too far down in the polls.

Now we have TCU, Boisie, Nebraska or OU in the top 3. As you said, the Big 10 & SEC has the media bias. Do you believe TCU or Boisie could play an SEC west schedule & go undefeated? All the national media/talking heads on ESPN are saying a 1 loss BAMA jumps Boisie &TCU.

Again all BAMA has to do is get to # 2. All that takes is losses by Ohio St & Oregon. (or Neb, OU & either Oh St or Oregon). We could easily see Oh St lose @ Wisconsin in 6 days.

In the end i'd say chance of Bama winning out is 50/50, assuming they do chance of playing in Glendale is 70/30.

Anonymous said...

Good stuff as always, but I'm wondering if #3 is actually correct.

Has Oregon actually played the second-best team in the Pac-10? Stanford needed a last-second field goal to beat USC at home.

I think the second-best team in the conference is Oregon State. A road victory over previously hailed Arizona and their only two losses have come at the hands of TCU and Boise State.

Watch out. That Civil War might be all important once again.

Jonathan said...

"To be fair, the SEC has performed when given the chance."

Thank you for acknowledging this piece that the haters seem to forget so easily. It would at least be nice to see another conference's champ beat the SEC winner in a title game before we resign to the idea that "the SEC is not as good as its hype."

Anonymous said...

While it's true that because of the present rankings its unlikely that an SEC team will make it into the National Championship game, this anti-SEC fest is absurd. SEC folks would dearly love to have Boise State or TCU come in and play an SEC schedule - every week in front of 90,000 screaming fans, at least every other week against a ranked opponent. Boise State would be 8-4 and TCU would be 7-5. The second tier BCS bowl results have little meaning in this argument - Do you think that after making it through the SEC West and barely losing in the SEC championship game in 2008 Alabama really gave a crap about playing Utah? Or that after surviving the SEC East schedule with enough wins to make it to a bowl that South Carolina cared much at all about playing Connecticut in the PapaJohns.com bowl.
Have you looked at the reason that SEC teams end up being lowered in the rankings - its because they beat each other up every week. Even Vanderbilt whacks a couple of teams in its own conference every year. How many games do you think Northwestern would win with an SEC East scheudle? A 2 loss SEC team would handle virtually every team in the Big 10 in an in-season conference game, except Ohio State and maybe this season Michigan State, the two-loss SEC Team would beat every team in the PAC10 except Oregon and Stanford; and it's really not even worth discussing the "Big" East or the ACC.
For SEC haters South Carolina beating Alabama will admittedly have the desired effect. But all you Bronco fans out there - ask youself honestly how you would do if your schedule included games with LSU, Georgia, Florida, South Carolina, Auburn and Tennessee, at least 3 of which you played at their home fields (this is Vanderbilt's schedule every season)?

LAprGuy said...

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Yawn ...... we've all read the talking points over and over, thank you.

LAprGuy said...

Have you looked at the reason that SEC teams end up being lowered in the rankings

Yawn ...... we've all read the talking points over and over, thank you.

Coldstream said...

@Anonymous

Heck, I'd love to see the SEC actually leave the Southeast and play a game vs anybody. Ask Georgia how that works out.

Plus, I love how SEC losses in bowls are always just matters of the teams "not caring" or "the weather" (see last year's Capital One Bowl complaints)and not simply a matter of getting dominated by a Utah team for example.

Sigh...Why do I bother to feed the SEC trolls?

Anonymous said...

How can we ever really know if the SEC teams are actually as good as people say they are? Since they always just play each other, couldn't it be possible that they are all ranked too high? Alabama crushes Florida and it's a huge win for them because Florida is ranked #7, but Florida is probably ranked way to high. It becomes a never ending cycle, if a high ranked team beats another high ranked team, nobody falls very far and everybody stays highly ranked. And since they all play D-2 schools in their out of conference games, we never really know how good they are.

Anonymous said...

The same thing would have been posted in 2008 when Florida lost to Ole Miss, they proceeded to run roughshod over their remaining opponents.

IF Bama throttles the rest of the schedule, they might get a rematch with South Carolina in the SEC CG. THAT team would clearly be better than Boise and TCU on the field. It would be interesting to see what the comparisons would be since the chances of Boise or TCU surviving Penn St, Arkansas, Florida, S. Carolina, Ole Miss, LSU, Miss St Auburn and S.Car or UF a second time are below zero.

Whether Bama is good enough to do that is another matter, but Oregon still has to play Cal, USC and Oregon St. Neb and OU both have Mizzou and Ok St plus each other plus Neb has Texas.

Anonymous said...

I love you, BCS GURU!!

Anonymous said...

Hmmmm, lets see. Ohio State just lost to Wisconsin by a couple of touchdowns. Nebraska just got throttled by Texas. Neither will be in the National Championship. How could Alabama be the best team and not even make the SEC Championship? Well now that its only week 7 and half of your predictions are bull s*#t. All we need now is a loss from Boise, Oregon, and TCU and you'll be the biggest idiot in college football. You're biased toward some other region than the south and you have no business posting articles on the internet.

Anonymous said...

dear bcs guru,

I take it you're a big ten or some other SEC hating guru as well... SEC jealousy oozes from your words. So what happens now that Ohio State and Nebraska got super gay together last night? Considering that civil war would break out before we let Boise or TCU go to the ship, I'd say a 5th consecutive title for the SEC is looming...

Anonymous said...

I love the fact that SEC fans feel "hated on." Alabama goes down and now some of you are crying for another civil war. The SEC is built on names which is why a team like Auburn (SOS:31) is ranked 9-10 spots higher than Missouri (SOS:20) when both are undefeated and both started outside the preseason top 25. The SEC PR campaign has led us to believe that a few years ago Ole Miss was a national championship contender, that Florida wouldn't miss a beat this year, and that marginal teams like Tennessee and South Carolina are only one big win away from joining the elite. The top SEC teams are good, but you guys are crazy to think that NO ONE outside the SEC could handle those schedules. The teams in the East get Vandy, Kentucky and Tennessee every year. If they're lucky they get Mississippi State and Ole Miss as well. Those are all teams that most top 10 teams would beat without blinking. And for the Boise and TCU haters. Mike MacIntyre of San Jose State (who played and coached in the SEC so forget using the bias argument) said Boise was as good as any team they played all year ie: Alabama and Wisconsin. Boise played their second string the entire second half and held SJSU to less points and yards than Bama did. Tell Nick Saban to schedule Boise in Dallas or some neutral site, I bet he declines.

Barney said...

It would be nice if it were settled on the field and not by "experts" that assume the SEC is down. It isn't. Here are #s

http://www.secpigskinpodcast.com/2010/10/is-sec-really-down.html

Mary Lee said...

In "SEC's stranglehold on BCS", you unwittingly make the case for the supremacy of the SEC conference! You did this by pointing out how weak are the schedules of the other conferences (Okla doesn't have to play Nebraska in regular season, yada, yada, yada) Imagine if Boise State had to play a Ole Miss every week. Ole Miss who beat Kentucky, who beat South Carolina, who beat Alabama. Every Sat SEC teams play good football teams: there are no (or rare) gimmes.

Maestroh said...

OK. I used to like the BCS guru, but he's clearly letting his bias get the best of him. First to deal with the "anti-SEC" riff-raff.

(Note: Any of you are welcome to debate this anywhere, any time. I'm beholden to FACTS, not emotions).

Let's demolish the nonsense.

1)Coldstream said:

Heck, I'd love to see the SEC actually leave the Southeast and play a game vs anybody. Ask Georgia how that works out.


REPLY:

It's obvious to me that you just don't pay attention. LSU went to Washington last year. Georgia went to Oklahoma State and to AZ State the year before. Tennessee went to UCLA. Oh - and let's not forget that Florida mauled Ohio State in Arizona and Alabama thumped Texas in Pasadena, CA.

So much for this lie.

2) Also from Coldstream:

Plus, I love how SEC losses in bowls are always just matters of the teams "not caring" or "the weather" (see last year's Capital One Bowl complaints)and not simply a matter of getting dominated by a Utah team for example

REPLY:
What's funny about the weather argument is it is the standard Big Ten argument. I've heard it a 100 times: "The SEC won't play the Northern teams in November." Aside from the fact most don't have open dates except at the end of the month, I don't ever hear the Big Ten folks complaining about the weather in Pasadena in January. But set that aside. What's the SEC record in bowls during this period of dominance? 25-12 and they've beaten folks from all over. Every SEC team INCLUDING Vandy has won a bowl game during this time frame. Georgia, in fact, is 4-0.

3)Anonymous said:

Since they always just play each other, couldn't it be possible that they are all ranked too high?

REPLY:

Again, you really need to drop your bias and open your mind. In the last four years Alabama has played Va Tech and Clemson in openers, Florida has played FSU every year and Miami twice, LSU has played Washington, Arizona, and Notre Dame as well as Ohio State.

So much for this lie, too.

4) And since they all play D-2 schools in their out of conference games, we never really know how good they are

I just debunked this but let me add that none of those are D-2, they're FBS (or I-AA). Besides - you can't argue with 25-12 in bowl games over which they have no control of who they play.

Anonymous said...

Auburn's official mascot is NOT THE "WAR EAGLES"!
We are the officialy the "AUBURN"TIGERS".

and yes we can say "We" since we have 9 Auburn Gradutes in the family.

We know true Auburn Alumni and fans by this one simple fact, what is our official mascot.


John Heisman, Auburn Coach from 1895 to 1899, Named Auburn the Tigers, he also named Clemson the Tigers.

Auburn is the only school Heisman coached at that has a Heisman Tropy Winner. We have 2. It should be obvouis who they are. If you don't know look it up.
We might have 3 at the end of the 2010 season.

For those of you who think you know so much about College Football, you would think you could get the mascot of the teams right.

Get the facts before you start making faux pas, and discrediting yourself for everthing you said before calling aburn "THE WAR EAGLES". We have never been or never be "THE WAR EAGLE". If you want to know where the Battle Cry "Waaaar Eagle" came from go to
http://collegefootball.about.com/od/traditions/a/trad-wareagle.htm.

With as much research that takes place in the world of College Sports you would think, the commentators or sprots writer would get it the official mascots right. Althouth Albama is our biggest rival, The Iron Bowl (Auburn vs Alabama)is the Biggiest Rivalry game in the country and we cheer for who ever is playing Alabana, we at least know they are NOT the "Alabama Elephants", they are the "Crimson Tide".

At least Lee, Herb, Lou and Mark get our mascot right.

GO TIGERS, War Eagle.

Bill Brown said...

Wow. Does the guru look like an idiot or what? Auburn will lose (no defense) but having a number one SEC team just 3 weeks after this rant makes you certifiable. One more thing - the Auburn fan is right. And I'm a Bama fan.

Anonymous said...

dear bcs guru and other misguided SEC haters,

round 2.

I went to Auburn. I wasn't giving you crap because of your lack of respect for our program. I was giving you crap because any human being with a pulse should be able to recognize that any team in the SEC this year with the exception of Tennessee and Vandy would whoop the sh_t out of Boise. I will admit, Oregon is legit, but they are the only program in college football that could go .500 in the SEC. Auburn is solid without Cam Newton, Bama appears to be unstoppable, LSU has insane talent, so does Ark, Ky, SC, Fla, UGA, Ole Miss, Miss State. So, no, the SEC is not having a "down year." We have not lost our stranglehold on college football. We may have in the eyes of halucinating sports writers from ohio but not in reality, sir. You see, power in college football does not shift between conferences from year to year, it just shifts from team to team, within the SEC. Georgia, Tennessee, Florida - yeah they seem to blow this year, but put them up against the ACC Champs, the Big Ten Champs, heck put Miss. State who clearly has something to prove up against those foes. Just wait till bowl season - you'll see what I mean. Haters like yourselves will intentionally overmatch (in their opinions) SEC teams with top finishers in other conferences, and we will wreck them. Please sweet baby jesus let Ohio state get paired up with a lowly sec team so that we can put these comatose midwestern sports writers in their places - agaaaaaaaaaaiiiiiiiinnnnnnnn

Ab Workouts said...

How'd this work out for ya? At the time Auburn appeared flawed, and I guess no one saw the monster coming that they transformed into.

SEC #7.

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