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

takedowndawg

January 4th, 2010
10:02 pm

fl gator, alias larry munson, Florida will lose 3-4 games next year. Mark it. Or deny it. You or They have lost too much and too much inexperienced personal coming in to be top notch even if the new recruits are ranked high. Don;t think you have a lock on the East at all! Write you statement down and date it and lets chat again about it next Jan. It will be ok to call my hand on it if I am wrong. You are due for a significant letdown. The DAWGS can only go up! We had our letdown this year and then some!

Love GEORGIA

January 4th, 2010
10:48 pm

Roll Tide, You are dumb. GT 2-1 Beat vandy& miss st. LOST to GEORGIA. Clemson 0-2 lost to alabama & s. carolina.

Doo dah- Doo dah

January 4th, 2010
11:04 pm

Auburn was extremely lucky to win against Northwestern. If NW had a kicker they would have beaten Auburn.

Doo dah- Doo dah

January 4th, 2010
11:07 pm

Where is that TCU team that all the experts were giving props to all year? Boise State looks better than TCU.

Auld Lang Syne

January 4th, 2010
11:10 pm

You’ll know that the SEC is REALLY down when SEC fans start whining about how the other conferences are “over-rated”.

ESPN knows what the numbers are. When (if) another conference becomes superior, they won’t be able to keep it secret. After all, It’s not like ESPN is controlled by the Illuminati.

Auld Lang Syne

January 4th, 2010
11:12 pm

“Where is that TCU team that all the experts were giving props to all year? Boise State looks better than TCU.”

They both look pretty lame when they encounter a team with a decent defense.

Doo dah- Doo dah

January 4th, 2010
11:17 pm

David Greene never played in one NFL game!!!

LuvMachine

January 4th, 2010
11:21 pm

I don’t expect SEC fans (other than Bama and Fl) to understand tonite’s game, since they know nothing about playing defense.

Doo dah- Doo dah

January 4th, 2010
11:28 pm

Orlando should be absolutely ripped over the condition of the field that LSU and Penn State had to play on. That was pitiful.

LuvMachine

January 4th, 2010
11:49 pm

I’ve read much about how much money UGa has to burn on athletics, and that they can buy coaches because of this treasure chest. Check out US News College rankings and you’ll find that the UGa endowment as stated is $50,137.517, compared with UNC’s, for example, which is listed at $2,335,824.025. Maybe UGa grads are apparently giving their money to fund athletics instead of academics. That’s why they truly fit into the SEC.

Paul in RDU

January 4th, 2010
11:59 pm

How2fish

January 4th, 2010
11:57 am
….
The SEC put 10 teams into bowl games against the very best in the nation and the worse we can go is 5-5……

Wow – Looks like Tony B isn’t the only one who overdoses on hyperbole.

“Very best in nation” includes Texas A&M (6-7), ECU (0-2 vs ACC), Northwestern (Big 10’s answer to Vandy), UConn (3-4 in Big East)

Jimmy

January 5th, 2010
1:16 am

GatorG:

Tony is absolutely correct when he says uncertainty breeds speculation.
He’s not picking on Meyer.
I am a Georgia fan and I can tell you…I wouldn’t want this thing hanging over our recruits heads.
Whether you or anyone else likes it or not, this is a fact.
Meyer was stepping down…then does a sudden turnaround.
My opinion–that was about holding a recruiting class together…not about his health.
If his health was bad enough for him to step down…it is bad enough for him to stick to that.

An “indefinite” leave of absence is just that–indefinite.
It is in Urban Meyer’s and the university’s best interest to be decisive on this.
Meyer’s medical issues are indefinite.
The university and the coach should just be honest about that and let these kids decide what is best for them based on facts.
Saying, “I feel in my gut that I’ll be back in 2010″ is not honest when you had just stepped down the two days before.
Be honest.
You don’t have to say a word about your condition to say “I can’t be sure at this time if I will return or not. I am hopeful I can.”

Meyer and his family’s life are not the only one’s being impacted by all this.

gcs

January 5th, 2010
1:36 am

1. Auburn’s win over Northwestern was not that pretty.
2. Kudos and much respect to Rich Brooks. Happy retirement.
3. TCU-Boise State game was BOOOORING! Exhibit A & B as to why they should not be invited to the big games.
4. I’m not a Gator fan but if Tim Tebow goes to the right NFL team with the right coach who can build an offense around him, they will do BIG things.
5. As I said, I’m not a Gator fan. Therefore, Urban Meyer needs to keep his plans secret. Act all weird and mysterious. Recruits LOVE that!

.

TeeBerry

January 5th, 2010
1:59 am

Look at 11:59 AM above He’s right: only really good teams SEC teams played was
Kentucky played Clemson—- and lost. And LSU played Penn State——-and lost.

Of course, Bama is what you vulgarians think ALL SEC teams are. They play a fine Texas team.

SEC: Most overrated conference- top to bottom.

Two powerhouses in Florida and Bama The rest are average AND that includes LSU.

Some of you people are infatuated with a NAME. Some of those teams USED to be good.
That was then. Army and Navy (and Michigan) USED to be good. NO MORE.

Preston

January 5th, 2010
2:23 am

Tee, GET REAL! The SEC is on the verge of yet another national title. In fact, the only time an SEC team doesn’t win it is because the FU BCS system scres us out of playing for it. Please admit that you are an Ohio State fan. On second thought, if I were you, I wouldn’t.

Dagny

January 5th, 2010
8:27 am

Win or lose in the Orange Bowl, Tech will be ranked in the top 15 in the preseason polls.

UGA will not even be in the top 25. Based on votes, they’ll be around 40th or so.

That’s remarkable, since Tech plays legitimate student-athletes who have never seen the inside of a jail. Most UGA players could not even get admitted to college if they weren’t athletes.

Pathetic, isn’t it.

Dagny

January 5th, 2010
8:30 am

TeeBerry is right about the SEC being overrated. Put All the SEC teams up head-to-head with all the ACC teams, and the ACC would win 6-7 of the games.

Auld Lang Syne

January 5th, 2010
8:55 am

It doesn’t matter if Tech loses. This game isn’t really all that important. They still get good grades — and everyone knows that’s what college football is REALLY all about, right?

Mr. College Football

January 5th, 2010
9:04 am

Congratulations to the Boise State Broncos (14-0) !!!!

The 2009 College Football National Champions !!!!

Mr. College Football

January 5th, 2010
9:07 am

Just so EVERYONE can CLEARLY see the BCS agenda ON DISPLAY,
just look at the “trashing” ESPN is giving the Fiesta Bowl.

http://sports.espn.go.com/espn/columns/story?columnist=wojciechowski_gene&id=4797061&sportCat=ncf

Mr. College Football

January 5th, 2010
9:21 am

Looking back on Florida’s season of under-performance and “questionable” wins, and then getting completely dismantled by Bama means simply……

that Flroida was completely undeserving of a #1 ranking throughout 2009.

Just another…in a GROWING LIST OF REASONS…why the BCS isnt legit.

Mr. College Football

January 5th, 2010
9:25 am

I hope everyone saw/heard Jimmy Johnson’s recent quote on the BCS…….

“In today’s level of competition in college football, if it aint a playoff system, it aint legit.”

Amen, brother !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Johnny Test

January 5th, 2010
9:27 am

By SEC standards this was a down year… Playing for the National Championship again, 5 loss SEC teams defeated the ACC champion and ACC Atlantic division Champion, 10 teams bowl eligible, winning bowl record with second tier SEC teams matched up with top non-BCS contenders from other conferences. Winning record vs ACC with ACC top team GT playing the two worst SEC teams… Vandy and Miss ST.

Johnny Test

January 5th, 2010
9:30 am

Mr College football sounds like M.. An ACC fan who is tired of seeing the SEC dominate. Florida proved Cincinatti was a fraud as is Boise. Tech will show tonight they don’t belong in the top 15.

Cindi Erwin

January 5th, 2010
2:39 pm

Tony- This is your cousin Cindi- Need to find out how to stay in touch. Our parents are getting older and I do not want to lose touch with all of my family so if you would e-mail me your contact info to cerwin@classicutility.com we can keep in touch. I think we need to start networking with the rest of our family so we can all get together more often. I have also tried to update with Rodney, Craig, and Caroline. Enjoy seeing you on TV and read your columns all the time. Phil thinks no one else’s opinion matters and brags on you constantly. He is a big fan. Me too for that matter.

volbald

January 5th, 2010
8:50 pm

Tony missed the Boise State v. TCU outcome – but either team could play every week in the SEC. Most of the other big name schools couldn’t. Even with several SEC teams have disappointing seasons, a PAC 10 team, a Big East team, or a Big 12 team having to play some of them and UF or ALA every week would result in their experiencing a lot of bruised bodies, bruised egos, and lacklust won-lost records.