Friday, January 2, 2015

When Perception Meets Reality

Normally, I wouldn't encourage you to check out another media outlet--but this might be a good day to tune into all of those ESPN talking head morning shows or other sports radio outlets.  The reason to tune in is to see these "experts" who have been touting the Southeastern Conference as the be-all and end-all of college football explain how and why their beloved powerhouses stunk up the joint in the bowl season this year.

See if the College Gameday guys can explain how a Wisconsin Badgers team that threw 3 interceptions and didn't have a wide receiver who could make a play down the field could beat an Auburn team that played for the National Championship last year and had many of the same guys back this year.  Listen to hear how they think number one seed Alabama with their "genius" head coach Nick Saban lost to an Ohio State team that few "experts" thought deserved to be in the playoffs--and who was starting their third-string quarterback.  Hopefully, they get around to rationalizing the absolute beatdowns that were administered to Mississippi State and Mississippi--who were at one point this year ranked numbers 1 and 2 for a couple of weeks.

The SEC West--which some "insiders" have joked would have beaten teams in the NFC South of the NFL and who some on ESPN argued could have had two teams in the final four at some points this season--went 2-5 in bowl games this year.   When the Big Ten goes 2-5 in bowl games, those same "experts" are killing the conference and talking about how they cannot be taken seriously as major college football powers anymore.

I already have an idea of what the excuses will be: "Well after you play as rugged a schedule as SEC teams have to all year long, you're bound to be beat up, tired or uninspired to play in a "meaningless" bowl game.  Or "it was just one day, anything can happen in any given game".  And of course "well, the SEC will have the majority of players drafted by the NFL in April and that will prove what a stacked conference it was."

This week's debacle will almost certainly be forgotten by the time next August rolls around and the SEC has four of the top five teams in the pre-season polls and ESPN is planning to take College Gameday on its annual tour of every city in the conference.  It will just provide even more incentive for the rest of the country to prove that it has more than "caught up to the big boys".

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