ExpoSECd!!! Wicked witch of the south declared officially dead

I received a text from a friend the other night right after the Ohio State win.  She notified me that this would be the first time in nearly a decade that an SEC team would not play for a national championship.

SECEveryone take a deep breath.

The world has not stopped spinning on its axis, gasoline prices are as low as they’ve been in ages, the sun will still rise in the east and yes, an SEC team will not be playing for a national championship.

Follow me closely and realize this is coming from a person who graduated from an SEC school… deservedly so.

This year, the SEC just didn’t cut the mustard.

It might not have seemed like that two months ago when we were force fed the alleged superiority of the conference.  There was a point in mid-October where four SEC WEST teams were ranked in the top five.  Now it is perfectly conceivable, realistic even, that no SEC school or southern school altogether plays for a national championship.  And like I said, that’s okay.

How could such a thing come to pass?

Once again, fasten your seatbelts.  This isn’t as difficult as it might appear.

bama secSoutheastern Conference homers, ESPN included, talk until they’re blue in the face about how their teams beat up on each other during the regular season, as if other major conferences don’t do the exact same thing.  Even the most impartial college football fan acknowledges that the talent in the SEC is a wee bit above the rest of the nation, hence the run of seven straight national championships that finally ended last year at the hands of Florida State.

But that wasn’t the case this year.  Oregon is playing Ohio State for a national championship.  Deal with it.

We can debate the merits and demerits of college football’s new playoff system but the bottom line is an SEC team didn’t make the final cut.  And their teams fared poorly in their final games of the season.

Notre Dame beat LSU.  TCU absolutely manhandled Ole Miss.  Georgia Tech not only beat Mississippi State, who was once ranked first in the nation, but also beat Georgia a few weeks ago.  Wisconsin beat Auburn.  And yes, of course, Ohio State beat the unbeatable, untamable and almighty Alabama.

TCU Ole MissDon’t get me wrong.  The SEC had its fair share of bowl victories with South Carolina, Missouri, Arkansas, Georgia, Tennessee, Florida and Texas A&M all getting wins but this year, these were considered marginal conference teams, not the higher profile conference teams of 2014.

A closer look at the conference shows these bowl results are not that surprising.  The SEC East was putrid all year.  Florida could barely win a game, ultimately leading to the dismissal of their head coach.  As I mentioned earlier, Georgia lost to Georgia Tech and couldn’t even beat Florida.  Tennessee hasn’t been relevant in years.  South Carolina had a down year and Vandy’s Vandy.  Missouri essentially won that division by default.

In the Western division, things get a little more complicated.  Alabama was your odds on favorite to win a national title.  They got beaten outright by the Big Ten champion.  Mississippi State had a Heisman-caliber quarterback.  They were ranked number one in the nation for the first time in the school’s history.  They lost three of their last four games.  Ole Miss was supposed to have the best defense in the history of the program.  They lost four of their last six including a 39-point drubbing to a Big 12 school.   LSU beat Wisconsin the first week of the season.  They ended up with five losses.  Auburn lost four of their last five.  Look again and it’s perfectly conceivable that these teams just weren’t that good or at least as good as we were led to believe.

So the streak ends.  And that’s perfectly okay.  Good football is being played everywhere, not just in the south.  Maybe next year and every year from here on out, skeptics will look at the conferences a little more impartially and realize exactly that.

The SEC had a nice run.  And don’t worry.  The traditional powerhouses of the South will return.  Just not by January 12.

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21 Replies to “ExpoSECd!!! Wicked witch of the south declared officially dead”

  1. Chris

    It was down year for the SEC ? . Oh my bad , I thought we were discussing the NYSE , LOL,LOL,LOL !!! Teams in the SEC simply didn’t perform up to scratch , that’s all . all .

  2. The South will rise again, son!

    The thing about the SEC’s run, was that it was more than just one dominating team…. it was truly a super conference, as FOUR different
    SEC teams won national titles in that 9 year stretch. No other conference will come close to duplicating that dominance.

  3. Han…

    You know where my allegiances lie.

    I was merely acknowledging that an SEC bias exists.

    That much was evident this year.

    Now fans across the nation are reveling in our misery.

    Let’s see how long it takes to get back on top of the mountain and punish them for doing do.

  4. I’m not sold on an SEC ‘bias’.

    Not when, every year, the pre-season top-10 includes teams from the Pac12, Big12, (Wisc, AZ,etc) that wilt as soon as they play anyone with a winning record. That is bias.

  5. Chris

    Complacency set in with so many of the SEC programs throughout much of the season , with their attitude being all we have to do , is simply turn up .

    Sad news about the death of ESPN’s Stuart Scott at the age of forty-nine, as he was unable to overcome his latest bout with cancer . Truly a sad loss , he was the gold standard for the aspirations of so many African-American journalists who would go on to join the sports’ broadcast outlet .

    Who the hell believed Ryan Lindley , a third-string backup on the Cardinals’ depth chart would have been good enough to beat the Panthers ? Lindley just wasn’t good enough and it was simple bravado on the part of Bruce Arians being a pragmatist and optimist .

    Tophatal ……….

  6. Chris

    Is the world (NBA) a better place without ‘melo and LBJ , as they’re both sidelined with injuries ? Kobe Bryant on the other hand must be rubbing his hands with glee , but then again , in Kobe’s world nowadays , every day is a day, when he believes he’s still the best player in the game even when the Lakers suck ………….. as they will for the remainder of the season . Bryant and Robert Horry were recently discussing the franchise’s issues. Interesting conversation wouldn’t you think ? LOL,LOL,LOL !!!

    Tophatal ….

  7. Who were the Colts’ playing today and I use the term play … loosely ? Where were the Bengals , back in Cincinnati ? What an absolute embarrassment of a game . Not even remotely close through any of the four quarters .

    Tophatal ….

  8. Listen, Al, the SEC just can’t assume they’re not going to get the best of every team they play in the bowl season.

    That is sad news about Stu Scott. We knew he had been struggling with cancer for a while. Guess it finally got the best of him. 49 years old, Al. Kinda teaches us to enjoy every last second of what we have, huh?

    The NBA a better place without LeBron and Carmelo, Al? You can’t be serious. Would anyone watch if that were the case? Is anyone watching now?

    Bungles didn’t look good today, Al. Granted, the Colts are a solid team but the Bengals just couldn’t get anything going in a game they could have won. That makes ten straight years, I believe, since their last playoff win.

  9. Chris

    Now it looks as if the NBA will be without LBJ , ‘melo and Kobe for the next two or three games .

    Likelihood of a blockbuster trade in the NBA taking place at the trade deadline ?

    What does it suggest when a GM categorically states, their head coach will not be fired, even when the season has failed to live up to expectation ? Cavaliers’ GM David Griffin has placed David Blatt in an impossible situation, with his remarks . Griffin said the same thing when Mike Brown returned to Cleveland for his second go-around with the team and look at how short-lived that tenure turned out to be.

    Beyond the alleged bad call, the Lions missed several opportunities to seal the deal against the Cowboys .

    As long as Luck is on the field for the Colts, they always stand a chance to win , even with a suspect defense.

    The Steelers needs to start rebuilding fast, as the Ravens showed they’re wearing nothing but their draws.

    I can’t see the Panthers beating the Seahawks next weekend ! The game between the Ravens and Patriots will be physical and competitive . Pats by three points, I believe !

    Same time next year for the SEC and they’d better bring their A-game. No one is really interested in the lesser Bowl Games in College Football , especially after what appears to be the excitement created in this new format . Yet I can’t help but think they are likely to tinker with the system once or twice in the upcoming years. If that happens , then I guess they must be getting their ideas from the idiots within NASCAR . If they feel there is need to reformat then simply expand to an eight team format and leave it at that.

    Scott’s death was a tragic loss, but unfortunately , cancer doesn’t discern, when it comes to a victim. Check out his ESPY Award speech , really somber and emotional . Tugs at the heart on so many levels .

    Tiger Woods , is he still looking for a new swing instructor ? Because Lindsey Vonn is far from qualified in that endeavor unless Woods has role-playing in a swing ?

    Check out the new ode and let me know what you think.

    Tophatal …………..

  10. Your thoughts on the candidates for the 2015 Baseball Hall of Fame ? Which nominee best fits the bill and appears to be a shoo-in for induction ? All of the more prominent names have some baggage , one way or another .

    Tophatal …….

  11. Al…

    I think the NBA could use a blockbuster trade right about now. Kobe and Melo are both playing on irrelevant teams and the Cavs with LeBron haven’t quite made the splash people were expecting. A nice healthy trade might shake things up a bit and certainly bring some well-needed attention to the sport.

    Lions could have won that game, Al. That non-pass interference flag that was thrown then picked up really screwed Detroit’s chances. Let the fix theories begin.

    As far as the Hall of Fame goes, I’d say Johnson and Pedro are first ballot Hall of Famers, probably Smoltzy too. Is this the year Biggio gets in? He was pretty close last year. I’m not too sure any of the sports writers are ready to give Bonds, Clemens and the like a pass just yet.

  12. Nothing thrilled me more than watching the big 5 from the SEC west go down, especially Alabama! The talk all year about the West and no respect for the east was too much. At least the east proved themselves against worthy out of conference opponents. Alabama’s best OOC was 6-7 West Virginia. Auburn played 4 loss K-State and LSU had a close victory against Wisconsin in the first game. Glad to see the east showed their worth!

  13. Danny M…

    Let me know if you need my address to send the winnings, he he.

    I’d like to think I kept it in the poker family

    ‘Bout damn time I won one of your pools.

    Let’s hear it for trash-talking rights for a year!

  14. Let me start by thanking you for being big enough to acknowledge that ESPN and every other media outlet fawns over the SEC. Perhaps that will stop with this years playoff but I doubt it. We’ll see next year.
    There was no way that Mississippi St or Ole Miss deserved to be in the Top 10 for as long as they were.. and finally they played to their natural levels… and got beat. Handily.
    The SEC might still be the toughest overall conference but that too is a topic for bar room wagers as much as anything. I explained to my son when he was growing that the country really only have 15-20 top programs which year in and year out ALWAYS are tough to beat. And they come from places other than the SEC despite the adoring praise from ESPN jocks.
    Typically one cannot even broach this topic without some SEC fanatic claiming every word is true because they heard it on ESPN. Hogwash. So Thanks again for your column.
    All that said… Oregon and Ohio State have terrific offenses but I’d personally wager that the game tonight will be won on defense. I’m not sure which defensive secondary will show up ready to play. Urban said over the weekend that he’s not interested in Oregon’s hurry up offense sooo… that means we should expect some amount of it tonight.
    And while I love me some hometown Buckeyes there is no single team in America which better defines “Choke” under pressure. Shaking my head in advance here.
    Either way it should be a good game… Go Buckeyes !!!

  15. Good call on the defense, Tree.

    Ohio State shut down that vaulted Oregon Ducks defense.

    Exclude that first early touchdown and Mariota and the boys could barely get anything going. Meanwhile, they couldn’t stop Ohio State.

    I’m with you on the four teams but it wouldn’t surprise me if they ended up expanding this thing soon to six or eight.

    Remember, money talks.

    And as Ohio State just proved, you gotta be in it to win it.

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