SEC’s “okay” season could end in another national title

 

Hope everybody had a Happy New Year. We’re heading towards the home stretch in the bowl season with the BCS championship game set for Thursday night. So what have we learned?

1. The SEC is what everybody thought it was. It became apparent after the first month of the season that the SEC had two great teams (Alabama, Florida), two teams that were pretty good (LSU, Ole Miss) but lacking in several areas, and a bunch of teams that were, by SEC standards, just okay. The bowl season has reflected that.

There have been some good wins (Florida over Cincinnati, Ole Miss over Oklahoma State, Georgia over Texas A&M, Auburn over Northwestern) and some really bad losses (Tennessee getting dominated by Virginia Tech, South Carolina not even showing up against Connecticut, and LSU once again having clock management issues in losing to Penn State). Arkansas, we have to say, was fortunate to beat East Carolina when the Pirates missed three field goals in the final 1:08 and overtime.

But if Alabama beats Texas on Thursday night the SEC will win its fourth straight BCS national championship. That trumps everything else.

 

2. Rich Brooks has done a great job at Kentucky: Kentucky coach Rich Brooks has called an 11 a.m. press conference today to announce his future plans.  I hope he doesn’t retire because he’s one of the truly good guys in coaching. But what he has done at Kentucky has been remarkable. Three years into his run at Kentucky there was tremendous pressure to let Brooks go. But athletics director Mitch Barnhart and President Lee Todd stuck with the former Oregon head coach and Falcons assistant. They have been rewarded with bunch of “firsts” in the school’s history (four straight bowl trips) and some of the biggest moments (UK’s home win over No. 1 LSU in 2007).

If Brooks steps down today, offensive coordinator Joker Phillips takes over as head coach.

 

3.  I’m looking forward to tonight’s the Fiesta Bowl: I lot of people have trashed the TCU-Boise State game because it didn’t create a David vs. Goliath matchup. And I’ll admit I would have rather seen TCU against Florida instead of against coach-less Cincinnati.

 But this has a chance to be a very good game. I like TCU because I think the Horned Frogs are one of the best teams I saw all year. They have the nation’s No. 1 defense (233.25 ypg) and a defensive end (Jerry Hughes) who is simply unblockable. I just don’t think that Boise’s offense, led by QB Kellen Moore, is going to have time to breathe.

Here’s a question: If Texas knocks of No. 1 Alabama on Thursday and TCU destroys Boise tonight, do you think TCU will get some No. 1 votes in the final Associated Press media poll?

 

4. I’m not going to bet against Tim Tebow. On New Year’s Day I heard the experts tell us a million different reasons why the Florida quarterback will not make it in the NFL. I understand all the throwing motion stuff. I understand that the defensive backs are so good and that the passing windows for a quarterback in that league are microscopic. I know all the technical reasons why Tebow is not going to be a professional quarterback. But after watching him play for four years, are you going to bet against this guy?

 

5. Urban Meyer needs to make his plans, at least part of them, public: The Florida coach is going meet with his staff and school officials and decide what role, if any, he should play with the program during his extended leave of absence. While he doesn’t owe the public or the media all of the details of that plan, it would spare him some aggravation to at least share the outline of what he plans to do. According the various published reports, Florida has 20 verbal commitments and the Gators hope to hold that class together until national signing day. In the absence of any specific information, speculation fills the vacuum. Speculation caused this story to get out of control in the first place.

 

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226 comments Add your comment

dawgsux

January 4th, 2010
10:20 am

Ahem, Tebow is the best college football player to EVER play the game.
All the Georgia fans were saying Florida would lose recruits when Urban had his moment….instead, Florida is racking up and reloading again.

Buzz29

January 4th, 2010
10:20 am

Tony,

Are you embarrased that CBS couldn’t get a microphone that would work when interviewing Coach Bowden after his last game as a head coach?

Me thinks CBS should stick to televising Sucks Enormous Cok games.

CatsFly

January 4th, 2010
10:23 am

Roll Tider, while I respect your opinion, you are not as qualified to speak to which ACC team is the best “by far”. I focus on ACC teams (you probably focus on SEC teams), and see many SEC games as well, but VaTech is not far and above the best team in the ACC, and the facts support it. UNC beat VaTech at their place this year, and was beating them handily last year until their QB went down and had to put in a QB who had never played a down. Anyone who saw both of those games would not reach the same conclusion that you did. In fact UNC has the best defense in the ACC and is ranked 6th nationally, with all of them coming back next year. Many of them will play on Sundays in the future. GaTech is certainly the equal of VaTech, and I have no “dog in that fight”. In short VaTech, GaTech, Clemson, and UNC are all going to be good for the foreseeable future (and you can probably add NCState, FlState and Miami to that mix, and possibly UVa with their new coach). No offense intended Roll TIder, but you are wrong in your assessment.

m

January 4th, 2010
10:26 am

Tony…don’t sugarcoat…after you sec blowhards picked the sec to go 10-0 or 9-1 in the bowls, the sec has lucked into a 5-4 record.

The sec is the most overrated conference in history. The only was alabammer is in the BSbcs game is because they were handpicked. The would not be there is they had had to earn their way there in a legitmate playoff.

Tony…your overhyped sec is mediocre as usual and does not matchup to your silly hype…as usual.

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:28 am

Jimbo, here’s a better question…

Who is BETTER than the SEC? Here’s an exercise for you. Insert any conference you want and run the results. Who would win the following:

#1- UA vs. UT (we’ll get to see!)
#2- UF vs. Neb.
#3- LSU vs. Okie st.
#4- Ole Miss vs. OU
#5- Auburn vs. TTU
#6- UT vs. Mizzou

The top three are total mismatches (as evidenced by the Ole Miss beatdown of Okie St.) and the next three pick ‘em type games. I didn’t go any further because nobody really cares if UK is better than Iowa St. Point is that the SEC has comparable depth to anyone while also boasting the two best teams in the land. Easy pick as the top conference.

Toast is in the oven and about to be done

January 4th, 2010
10:33 am

The Florida debacle reminds me of the obama regime. They are botth beseiged on all fronts due to their poor management of events and they are now faced with defections of recruits w/ U of F and voters with Barry O and his congressional henchmen/women.

Urban takes a permanent/semi permanent walk, which will totally screw up the acting coach’s message about “dedication” and the players will not maintain the right attitude and by summer, it will be a huge mess. This after 4 or 5 so called commitments walk BEFORE signing day.

The gator’s fine, long 20 years in the sun ………….are over. Back to mediocrity and being dominated by the others in the SEC. All great things end like the Reagan era or the 2 Bushs.

Roll Tide.

Unbiased Opinion

January 4th, 2010
10:35 am

I guess we can stop all the pretense about the SEC being a tough football conference!!. Most of their bowl teams have either lost or have needed overtime to win (Arkansas nearly lost to East Carolina – that’s East Carolina!!; and Auburn nearly lost in OT to NW; LSU couldn’t cut it, neither could S. Carolina; and UT got their butts kicked).
I bet if even the top two in the SEC – Alabama and Florida, played the top teams from other major conferences on a REGULAR basis, they would come out second best

Gen Neyland

January 4th, 2010
10:36 am

m : I usually pass over your posts, but dudette, we of the SEC have 5 Crystal Footballs since 1998. 5 grand prizes, 5 brass rings. 5-0 in championship games. Any other conference tops that..? Help me out. Help me help you…

m

January 4th, 2010
10:36 am

Tony… the ACC was 6-4 versus the SEC last year.

alabammer will be expose as a fraud this week.

GT will throttle Illinois in the Orange Bowl.

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:41 am

You mean conference champion ECU? Against number 9 SEC seed Arky? Seriously? Bama beat Arky 35-7. We know they suck.

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:43 am

m with his same tired crap. Please list the teams the ACC beat m. How many of them were Missy St. or Vandy?

CatsFly

January 4th, 2010
10:47 am

Fl certainly looked good against CIncy (who did not have a coach or a defense), but I’m not sure they are any better than the top teams in several other conferences. Bama handled them more so than they handled VaTech. I believe that VaTech and GaTech would match up well agains Fl. I am not putting Fl down, they did win 2 MNCs. Just my opinion based on observation of the play of these teams. No flaming intended.

brucemac

January 4th, 2010
10:48 am

Mighty, you are correct. The Mountain West should take the ACC’s spot as automatic qualifiier. The ACC never has a National Championship contender and the Mountain West will finish second in the nation two years in a row. ACC isn’t and won’t sniff NC in the future while Mountain West is knocking on the door. Oh, by the way SEC National Champions again in 2009. It is getting old. What is that, 5 of the last 7 years and 4 in a row. Yea, SEC is weak.

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:50 am

Actually, here’s your answer: Vandy twice, Missy St., Ole Miss, UGA, and S. Carolina once each. Half the wins vs. non-bowl-eligible teams. Enjoy that.

Clemson 1-1 (Alabama loss, SOUTH CAROLINA)

Duke 1-0 (VANDY)

Florida St. (0-1) (Florida)

Georgia Tech (2-0) (MISS ST., UGA)

Miami (0-1) (Florida)

NC State (0-1) (South Carolina)

Wake Forest (2-0) (OLE MISS, VANDY)

SnarkySybil

January 4th, 2010
10:50 am

I do not understand why LSU keeps having clock-management issues. It seems that managing the clock is a fundamental skill that Les Miles and his staff should have down pat. He needs to straighten that out immediately. As a UF alumna, it was fun to watch Timmy and his boys blow out the Bearcats, but as a college football fan, the game was silly to watch. Cincy was overmatched.

Bo Williams

January 4th, 2010
10:52 am

In my opinion the SEC has arguably been the best football conference much of the recent past, but not necessarily the last two years. Fl great last couple of years (but not “great” this year), Bama good last year and very good this year (they’ve yet to beat Texas, so not “great” yet). The rest of the SEC seems to enjoy parity with several other leagues.

Dweeb

January 4th, 2010
10:54 am

Sixty Fifth!

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:55 am

CatsFly, Florida’s defense practices every day against a single-winged attack with many of the same principles that CPJ uses. Being an Atlanta native who as a kid really started getting into sports about the time Price and Dalrymple were starring, I actually like GT. That said, no way they have the athletes defensively to compete. Plus, Joe Haden could lock up Bay Bay one-on-one, allowing both safeties to play run support. I just don’t see it.

Roll Tider

January 4th, 2010
10:58 am

Sybil, I would’ve loved to have ssen TCU. They are the one small school that could compete this year a la Boise or Utah.

Chris Dunkley

January 4th, 2010
11:03 am

Lindsey

January 4th, 2010
9:31 am
This Dawg fan is glad the Tim Tebow college football era is over!! GO DAWGS!!

I bet you are honey, unfortunately for you the John Brantley era is about to begin you just don’t know it yet.

GatorG

January 4th, 2010
11:03 am

Tony,

I’m sorry, but Urban Meyer doesn’t owe you (or me) any explanation at all. It’s not like he’s a politician using my tax money to live on. If he wants to keep things private, that’s his prerogative. Will it annoy the fire out of you just because you think you deserve to know what’s going on in a coach’s private life? Of course! Does that make you a better person for using your bully pulpit to hound him into releasing every detail of his life to you? Most definitely not.

Now, he does owe recruits an explanation, but all indications are that he’s talking to them and giving them the information they deserve. You are not a recruit.

As a Gator fan, does it worry me that the program could take a step back because of this? Yes. But I believe that two National Championships in five years has earned Coach Meyer the right to do whatever he feels is right for his family, even if it might keep us out of championships for a while. How many other coaches out there right now have done what Urban Meyer has done for Florida?

Let it go, Tony. Unless, of course, you feel that we deserve to know all about your personal life, too. After all, you’re in the public eye, too, right? What does your recent health exam say? What difficulties are you going through right now? Come on, Tony. Open up! Don’t we all deserve that?!

Edugator

January 4th, 2010
11:03 am

CatsFly, Cinncy did NOT have a defense ALL YEAR. They relied on out scoring the opponent and all the turmoil about their coach… Didn’t UF have that with Meyer and Charlie Strong leaving?? Sorry, but that is what UC was.. Sorry. They should not be #3 and that was shown in the Sugar Bowl and they should have played somewhere else.

murfdawg

January 4th, 2010
11:04 am

With 34 bowl games, you get a lot of mediocrity.The SEC was full of 7-5 teams this year, so there was not any way for them to dominate their bowl game.
The Bowl System is a cash cow for college football and will not and should not change. If college football goes to a playoff, every school will have to cut out minor sports programs.

The highlight of the bowl season so far is the enthusiam of the Idaho coach. I guarantee he enjoyed his bowl game more than Saban and Brown.

Bawney Fwank

January 4th, 2010
11:08 am

The bottom six SEC teams would win 70% of their games if they played in the majority of the other conferences across America!

UGADawg83

January 4th, 2010
11:09 am

Maybe this is a “down year” overall for the SEC. However, who is better? Didn’t think there would be an answer for that.

What have we learned ??

January 4th, 2010
11:14 am

We have learned the following this year ….

(1) Tony hates Florida with a passion and is really upset that Meyer will be back .. Tony is obsessed with the Gators

(2) Tony IS NOT .. . “Mr Football” …. he is “Mr. SEC Football” …

(3) The older Tony gets… the harder it is for him to hide his Dawg feelings

(4) Georgia over A&M was a good win? I hope you are kidding? Lets see.. who else finished 6-7 this year… besides A&M?

BILLY JACK

January 4th, 2010
11:14 am

M never brings anything to the table,so listen up JACKASS-SEC is the most dominating conf in the country WHY?Count with me no.1- 10 teams in bowl games nobody close.2-another SEC team playing for national title 4 in a row.3-more players will go to the NFL from the SEC than any other conf-4-for the people who say SEC is top heavy-take a closer look-example-ARK-FLA LSU-ALA OLE MISS-ALA MISS ST-FLA and many more games were very competitive.These are the facts and they are undisputed.

some guy

January 4th, 2010
11:21 am

yo billy, not saying its better, but the acc had 10 teams in bowls last year and im actually has had the most nfl draft picks in the last 5 years or so. still dont have a dominant team to make a championship run though…

also, your competitive in conference games argument doesnt really work when those middle of the road teams get blasted out of conference in bowl games.

GoJackets

January 4th, 2010
11:25 am

I dont see how LSU and Ole Miss can be considered pretty good. LSU didnt beat anybody this year that would be considered good. They got lucky to beat UGA and Arkansas. Ole Miss has maybe one good win against Oklahoma St when Oklahoma St had 7 turnovers. Most bowl eligible teams would have beaten Oklahoma St in that game. They also lost to Mississippi St. I would agree that Florida and Alabama are great teams. I would throw the rest of the conference in the okay(at best) category.

m

January 4th, 2010
11:26 am

the m at 10:36 is an imposter.

Bowl record this year …Acc 2 sec 0

The sec is the most overhyped conference in history.

I am going to laugh when Texas kicks alabammmers arse just like like Utah did last year.

ReptilesRule

January 4th, 2010
11:28 am

GatorG…Your 11:03 post could not have said it any better. As a person who had been “involved” in mental health care for almost 25 years I can tell you that there are state and federal laws protecting your health care privacy for very good reasons. Urban doesn’t “owe it” to anyone to detail his specific health situation. I do believe that UF and Jeremy Foley will outline a plan for the sake of the players, recruits, boosters and fans to give as specific as possible an idea of what’s going on as far as UMs future. Urban will receive all the time and professional help he needs. I personally will be shocked if we don’t see him on the sidelines in the fall.

What?!

January 4th, 2010
11:29 am

“According the various published reports, Florida has 20 verbal commitments and the Gators hope to hold that class together until national signing day. In the absence of any specific information, speculation fills the vacuum.”

Tony, are you suggesting that Urban Meyer should be communicating his plans to these 20 committments via YOU?! What kind of ego trip are you on?! I think he can call them and talk to them privately without any need of your help, thank you.

Denver Dog

January 4th, 2010
11:33 am

m and othere irrational detractors. In a down year we will win the Nat Championship, and the State Championships of all the states in which our Universities reside. Our second place team played the #3 ranked team in thecountry. Our 3rd ranked team played the #11 team in the Cap one Bowl, our fourth ranked team played the #3 big 10 team and beat them in the Outback. Our 5th ranked team got kiled by Va Tech, who should have been your champion. Our 6th ranked team beat the Aggies of Texas A&M our 7th ranked team played your #2. Our 8th ranked team and the beat goes on. 30-24 is the score that you need to worry about.

Tide Rising

January 4th, 2010
11:36 am

Only in the sec could a down year be going .500 or 6-4 if we beat Texas. I’m not sure but I believe the sec has only had 1 or possibly 2 losing bowl seasons in the past 10 years. Anybody know the stat on this?

Also, I would like to see the Mountain West get an automatic bid. If the acc and big east get automatic bcs bids can anybody reasonably make the argument that the mountain west shouldn’t also get an automatic bid based on their accomplishments last year and this year? The last several years they have also been beating the pac 10 head to head every year 5-0, 6-0, etc in the regular season.

ReptilesRule

January 4th, 2010
11:41 am

Also, the SEC was a very mixed bag this season. Bama and Florida, in my opinion, were the two best teams in college football. But there was alot of mediocrity in the league this year as witnessed by UGAs season. STILL, UGA was able to beat the best team in the ACC at THEIR place and look impressive in their bowl game. Florida destroyed the “#3″ team in the country and I believe Bama will raise the trophy in a couple of days. Tennessee and LSU really disappointed in the bowl games and as much as I hate to say it, USC and the ‘Ole Ball Coach are just floundering. SEC was definitely down this year from top to bottom.

Tebow is overated

January 4th, 2010
11:44 am

Tebow ran a spread offens eunder Meyer. Meyer’s Smith at Utah and Leak at Fla both had more success than Tebow. Tebow got worse every year at Florida statistically, never won a game against a top 10 team without riding shotgun to Harvin, and couldn’t throw more td’s than Joe Cox.

Tebow’s delivery is terrible, his leadership skills proved to be no better than Chris Leak’s, Tebow didn’t run a Pro-Style offense, Tebow’s decision making and reads against good defenses are slow and suspect. He’ll never be the starting QB on an NFL team likely will not get drafted.

Cox has a better NFL future than Tim Tebow–MUCH better.

gator gator

January 4th, 2010
11:46 am

GatorG – directly on the mark

Dog Dawg

January 4th, 2010
11:49 am

Murfdawg,

“The Bowl System is a cash cow for college football and will not and should not change. If college football goes to a playoff, every school will have to cut out minor sports programs.”

I’ll bet you still use a typewriter and white out. They can both exist.

mgdawg

January 4th, 2010
11:55 am

Personally I don’t think tebow will last for a totally different reason then those that were mentioned by the tv announcers. In fact the tv announcers told me more reasons that I didn’t even realize. I don’t think he will last because of his style. Yes he is a big guy compared to college players, but he tries to run over people too much and in college football that is what made him so good. I would like to see what happens when he tries to do that against ray lewis. His legs and power is what made him so good in college and in the nfl it just isn’t going to work that way. And NFL owners aren’t going to want their starting qb taking hits like he will take.

However, if he is drafted and used how brad smith is used with the jets. If he is used as a wildcat offense QB I think he could have success, but I don’t think he will make it as a starter in the NFL.

Urban meyer I think does need to explain his plans further. I think he needs to say I’m going to take a leave of absence for a month and be back, or I’m just going to leave. Where he is right now I think just hurts florida.

ReptilesRule

January 4th, 2010
11:56 am

“Tebow is overated”…that had to be the funniest post I’ve ever read, especially the punch line at the end.

Pearly Erps

January 4th, 2010
11:56 am

Yalls need to shut up about Big Daddy Kiffen. Wait till yalls see the recruits we is bringin in. Go Vols!!!!

wiley

January 4th, 2010
11:56 am

A week ago all we heard about was the dominance that the SEC would bring to bowl season. Its not like the SEC got any unfavorable match ups…I mean Northwestern(lost to Syracuse), ECU(lost to southern methodist), Texas A and M(lost to colorodo and lost 62-14 too Kansas State!), Uconn (4-4 in the big east!!!), and Ok state ( who lost 27-0 to a heavily injured and 6-6 Oklahoma team). There is no excuse for a team from “the most dominant conference” in college football to lose/struggle with these teams. VT absolutley destroyed a UT team that had lost on a blocked field goal to alabama, smoked UGA 45-19, and played its SEC schedule pretty well. What a great bowl season! The ACC def looks to be on the rise with VT, Miami,Clemson, FSU, and GT improving every season.

How2fish

January 4th, 2010
11:57 am

m…Tech is playing Iowa …and UGA is ACC “Champ”…and USC is the runner up. And I hope you can find something funny in the Bama/Texas game..Aggies went toe to toe with Texas..and look how UGA beat them like Bugs…no m I’m afraid you will have to wait to laugh….well unless you keep following ACC football teams..lots of giggles there. The SEC put 10 teams into bowl games against the very best in the nation and the worse we can go is 5-5…

BILLY JACK

January 4th, 2010
11:57 am

Reptile-I agree we were down a little but our down years in the SEC are anybody elses great year.6-4 in bowls are not bad.To answer M -you think Texas who almost lost to Tex am will beat Alabama?If you want to put your money where your mouth is, let me know on this blog I will meet you and we will bet any amount you choose.Alabama 24 Texas 7.I also want to tell everybody who said TEX AM was not good-everyone said especially you BAMA STAN Georgia would lose 49-7 or worse before the game.

SEC turns water into wine

January 4th, 2010
12:00 pm

Bawney Frank says:
“The bottom six SEC teams would win 70% of their games if they played in…”

This is my favorite argument from the proponents of SEC superiority. Decreeing it to be so doesn’t make it so, Bawney. Nobody knows if they would win 70%, all of them, none of them, nothing.

Another good one is “We suck?? We’ve won the national champioshop for the last…”

So if Texas wins, that makes the big 12 the best conference, right fellows? When SC wins, that means the Pac 10 is the best, n’est ce pas?

Sheesh…..

guy

January 4th, 2010
12:08 pm

to be fair, UGA managed to least impressive blowout in the history of football against a&m

What?!

January 4th, 2010
12:11 pm

Enter your comments here

Old Dawg

January 4th, 2010
12:17 pm

I was really disappointed in the Sugar Bowl. Not only was Cincinnati poorly matched up with Florida, but it was obvious the Bearcats gave up when they fell behind. The game reminded me of the Georgia-Hawaii contest two years ago. I know some of the non-BCS schools have broken through and beaten BCS schools, but just because a school goes undefeated shouldn’t put them in a position to play in one of the upper tier bowl games.

The process continues to be flawed. Oh, well. At least it was football I was watching … blood-letting and all!

Bo Williams

January 4th, 2010
12:26 pm

Edugator, I’m sorry, but I thought I saw Meyer coaching Fl in the bowl game. And I also thought that I saw an assistant coach coaching Cincy. I don’t care who coached the defenses, Fl and a very good defense and Cincy’s was non-existent. Look at how many Pitt put up against Cincy in their game. (Pitt only scored one TD against UNC in their bowl game.)

Tom Davis

January 4th, 2010
12:32 pm

Yes, the Dawgs rule the ACC as Champions – proven on the field not even at a neutral site. We are KINGS OF LEON.