Labor Day weekend is nice because you essentially get five (six if you include Georgia State/Abilene Christian this year) days of FBS football in some way, shape or form, which is almost overkill. Because the Tuesday and Wednesday after? TORTURE. Its not quite the 231 days that preceded last Wednesday after the Auburn/Florida State game, but its a struggle. We had a taste, now we want more. This is how heroin addictions get started.
Arizona at UT-San Antonio, 8pm, FS1. This game has intrigue to me for three reasons:
1) Arizona has a chance to be a decent football team and darkhorse in the Pac-12 South.
2) Thursday night road games are where claims such as 1 go to die.
3) Larry Coker- still a corpse that coaches football.
This game really doesn’t intrigue me at all.
Pitt at Boston College, 8pm, ESPN: Two teams who will win 5-7 games and play in pre-Christmas bowls. If you haven’t seen Pitt WR Tyler Boyd yet, then maybe it tickles your fancy.
Washington State at Nevada, 10:30, ESPN: Man, the standard is so much lower for Thu/Fri games. This one should at least feature a LOT of points (O/U is set at 65.5, I’m banging the over) and the world’s favorite coach.
Saturday: The Noon Swoon
Lord, this is a pitiful slate. There are three SEC games, with #2 Alabama hosting FAU and Tennessee hosting Arkansas State, somehow both on the SEC Network. #24 Missouri travels to Toledo (that is not a typo) and is the ESPN game for noon (also not a typo). What a world.
On ABC, you get a chance to see #4 Oklahoma, as they travel to Tulsa. And beyond that, in no particular order, #20 K-State in a conference game at Iowa State on FS1, Penn State/Akron on ESPN2, and #23 Clemson’s lack of a run defense against South Carolina State on your local ACC Network affiliate.
3:30- The Football Gods Give Us One
I’d be kinda pissed if I lived on the West Coast and this was a nooner for me, but #14 USC travels to Palo Alto to take on perpetually immovable object #13 Stanford on ABC. USC ran 102 plays in their week 1 win over Fresno State, and Stanford always ruins hurry-up extraordinaire Oregon’s season. CONSIDER ME COMPELLED.
Beyond that, its uglier than the noons. Kentucky will have a competitive game at Ohio on the Collegiate ESPN network, Florida debuts against EMU at 4 on the SEC, and #15 Ole Miss and Vandy come at you from LP Field at 4:30 on ESPN.
Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday, Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday, Saturday Saturday Saaaaaturday Night’s Alright
#7 Michigan State at #3 Oregon. 6:30pm. FOX. Be there or be square.
Reeling #21 South Carolina hosts possible-best-team-in-North-Carolina East Carolina on ESPNU at 7 in a game where ECU QB Shane Carden is out to throw the ball more than Kenny Trill’s 60 attempts.
The #5 Barners get a tune-up against San Jose State at 7 on ESPN2. We get to see round 2 of senor Trill as Lamar visits #9 Texas A&M on the SEC Network at 7. Texas gets to try to hold BYU under 500 rushing yards at the same time on FS1. What I’m saying is this: you should have your rotational trigger finger ready to go by now, its week 2.
At 7:30, our favorite game that has no bearing on any titles at all takes place, as #16 Notre Dame hosts Michigan on NBC. So, that’s 6 games to keep an eye on. For #7, how about Virginia Tech at #8 Ohio State on ESPN at 8?
Let’s rank them in order of what you should have on your ‘favorites’ list to flip through:
1) FOX. Sparty/Ducks.
2) NBC, I guess, for you purists out there.
3) ESPNU, because S.C. could seriously be 0-2 with Georgia on deck.
4) ABC. Nobody likes seeing Urban Meyer win anything, even if it means Frank Beamer wins instead.
5-7) Up to you, man. I don’t own you.
Enjoy the games, folks!
Here are some quotes from Stoops talking about the SEC’s non-dominance, or “propaganda” as he called it:
So they’ve had the best team in college football. They haven’t had the whole conference. Because, again, half of ‘em haven’t done much at all…It depends on who you want to listen to. Listen, they’ve had the best team in college football, meaning they’ve won the national championship. That doesn’t mean everything else is always best…So you’re listening to a lot of propaganda that gets fed out to you. You’re more than smart enough to figure it out. Again, you look at the top two, three, four, five six teams and you can look at the bottom six, seven, eight, whatever they are. How well are they all doing?
To summarize Stoopsy, who is just 3-4 against SEC teams in his career despite boasting an .832 winning percentage in his other 179 games as head coach at Oklahoma: The SEC isn’t that good, the conference just has six really good teams. The bottom half of the conference isn’t any good.
I think Stoopsy’s record speaks for itself (his last game against an SEC foe was a 41-13 loss in the cotton bowl to Texas A&M and he lost to Notre Dame at home last year), but if there’s anybody wanting to give him the benefit of the doubt consider the flaws in his logic.
- Stoops says the SEC has/had six good teams.
- What distinguishes good teams from bad teams? Wins.
- If a team wins a game then that team’s opponent does what? Loses the game.
- Does a loss to a good team de-value a team that is not as good? Not in and of itself.
- Good teams are supposed to beat not as good teams.
Two different SEC teams can’t win the same individual game between two SEC teams! That’s not how football works. When Alabama played Georgia in the SEC Championship, the two best teams in the conference squared off. The game was close throughout and was about as close to even (without an overtime) as it could have been. But guess what. Alabama and Georgia did not win that game. Only Alabama won. It works in all cases. If Georgia beats Tennessee in a football game, there is no possible way that Tennessee can also win that very football game. There’s no way!
Practically speaking, consider the SEC’s five worst teams in 2012 – Auburn, Arkansas, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. Those teams combined to go 19-41 last year. If we assume that the good teams in the SEC Stoops referred to were those ranked in the final Coaches’ Poll that gives us this short list: Alabama (1), Georgia (4), Texas A&M (5), South Carolina (7), Florida (10), LSU (12), Vanderbilt (20). The SEC’s bottom five teams lost 24 of their 41 games to those six teams as demonstrated below.
- Texas A&M
- Texas A&M
- South Carolina
- South Carolina
- South Carolina
- Texas A&M
- South Carolina
With those 24 games against teams that Stoops defined as “good” and therefore “teams that should win” removed, the SEC’s bottom five moves to 19-17. If we’re looking to measure the bad against non-bad opponents, though, we should remove some more games. Namely, we should remove games in which a bottom-five SEC team plays another bottom-five SEC team. So these games are out:
- Missouri’s 33-10 win over Kentucky
- Missouri’s 51-48 win over Tennessee
- Arkansas’ 24-7 win over Auburn
- Arkansas’ 49-7 win over Kentucky
- Tennessee’s 37-17 win over Kentucky
With those five games removed (again if the variable here is “Bad SEC Teams’ Performance” these games had two variables and were therefore difficult to draw conclusions from) the bottom five of the SEC now boasts a 14-12 overall record. That’s not all that bad.
Stoops has no ground to stand on. If he concedes that the top of the SEC is in fact good, he cannot condemn the bottom portion of the league for losing a lot of games. He’s just being silly.
Dude’s Note: I wrote about a very similar subject in response to a reader comment back in early December. I went back and re-read that article and I can say this confidently: If you found this current article remotely interesting (regardless of if you agreed or disagreed) then you will enjoy the old one. You can find it here.
That’s all I got/