And sec couldn't beat USC "on the field," so they had their flunkies at the NCAA try to dismantle them.
If you’ve listened to talk radio this week or turned on ESPN or perused the work of some national columnist — like ESPN.com’s Rick Reilly — you’ve no doubt heard/seen/read someone weeping about the expected rematch in the BCS Championship Game: LSU versus Alabama II. If they aren’t showing their lack of football smarts by calling the first defensive masterpiece by those two squads “dull,” then they’re claiming the rematch is all just part of a pro-SEC conspiracy. (Ironically, is there any group in the country more sure that the world is out to get them than us good ol’ Southerners?)
“This SEC bias has to stop. The world of college football doesn’t end at the Louisiana border.”
That’s how Reilly puts it in the column above.
Let’s go along with part of that argument for now. Let’s say Bama’s getting a second shot at Les Miles’ crew only because they play in the perceived mini-NFL known as the SEC. But I want to focus on the “has to stop” part of the argument.
“Has to stop?” When did it start?
Maybe people would say it started when voters jumped Florida over Michigan in order to nix a Maize and Blue rematch with Ohio State in January, 2007. Perhaps the the thought is that the Gators didn’t deserve a shot at the belt. Unfortunately for those who feel that way, UF bombed unbeaten Ohio State, 41-14. No bias in that one. Just a cleated foot straight to the rump of the #1 team in America.
So maybe folks feel a pro-SEC bias allowed LSU — two-loss LSU — to meet the mighty Buckeyes in the title game the next season. Of course, two-loss LSU thumped top-ranked Ohio State, 38-24. And the game wasn’t as close as the score. If bias had anything to do with that matchup, it sure didn’t show up on the scoreboard.
In fact, this bias we keep hearing about — if one really does exist this year — was quite clearly earned. On the field. Against the country’s best teams. In the sport’s biggest games.
2006 season — Florida 41, Ohio State 14
2007 season — LSU 38, Ohio State 24
2008 season — Florida 24, Oklahoma 14 (That’s the Sooner squad that averaged 54 points per game coming in, by the way.)
2009 season — Alabama 37, Texas 21
2010 season — Auburn 22, Oregon 19 (And that’s the Duck team that averaged 49 points entering the title bout.)
The world of college football does not end at the Louisiana border. But really good, defense-first football does.
If Bama’s getting a second-chance because it plays in the SEC — and not just because it’s one loss in overtime to the #1 team in the country is better than any other one-loss team’s defeat — then that should be A-OK with everyone. The past five years have shown us that no matter how the SEC gets to the BCS Championship Game, its teams validate the voters and the computers and in the end.
Fans can drop the “S-E-C, S-E-C” chant for now and instead belt out an older boast: “Score-board, Score-board.”
The SEC bias has to stop? It’ll stop when someone from outside the SEC beats the SEC in a late-season, meaningful showdown. Here’s guessing that’s why so many national talking heads are upset about an LSU-Alabama rematch. No one else will get their shot to put the big, bad SEC in its place.
There’s a desperate desire for someone — anyone: Oklahoma State, Stanford, Virginia Tech, Boise State, Houston — to dethrone the league of champions. Even when it’s obvious that the two best teams in the country are the two that will play in that much-debated rematch.
Come to think about it, how ’bout we stop the anti-SEC bias?