Thursday, July 28, 2005

An add-on to the John Walters evisceration

(By the way, am I the only one who thinks of REM Green when using the word "eviscerate"? You know, the line "Eviscerate your memory/here's a scene/you're in the backseat laying down/the windows wrap around to the sound of the travel and the engine." Here's the song if you want it. Green was one of the first rock albums I bought when I started to flower as a music fan in 1989 at the age of 14. We can now return to our regularly scheduled programming.)

I did a little grunt work and, using Stassen's composite pre-season rankings, measure the number of out-of-conference games major conference teams play against pre-season top 30 teams. Here are the results:

Pac Ten - 7 (ASU @ LSU, UCLA vs. Oklahoma, USC vs. Fresno State, Oregon vs. Fresno State, Boise State @ Oregon State, Oregon State @ L'ville, Arizona @ Utah)

SEC - 7 (Ark @ USC, Florida vs. FSU, Kentucky vs. L'ville, LSU vs. ASU, Georgia vs. Boise State, Auburn vs. Georgia Tech, Georgia @ Georgia Tech)

ACC - 5 (FSU @ Florida, Georgia Tech vs. Georgia, Georgia Tech @ Auburn, Clemson vs. Texas A&M, UNC vs. Utah)

Big Ten - 4 (Ohio State vs. Texas, Northwestern @ Arizona State, Illinois @ Cal, Bowling Green @ Wisconsin)

Big XII - 4 (Texas @ Ohio State, Iowa vs. Iowa State, Nebraska vs. Pitt, Colorado vs. Miami)

As expected, the Pac Ten comes our in front, given their smaller size, but lo and behold, the SEC, that stereotypical collection of teams who refuse to play anyone good outside of the league, is right behind them. The Big XII being last is no shock; the exalted Big Ten coming in next-to-last is something of a surprise, although in their defense, if Notre Dame is a top 30 team, then their total shoots up. In any event, the point is that Walters' criticism is unfounded: the SEC's out-of-conference menu is just as good (if not better) than that of the rest of major college football.


Brian said...

Amen. The whole "intersectional" thing is a Trojan Horse anyway; as if playing Miami or FSU isn't respectable because they're in the same geographical area.

I eviscerated the other half of his post (except for the Stuart Scott hating, which I participated in).

Re Green... I haven't listened to it in years, but now that you mention it, yes.

Senator Blutarsky said...

It's even sillier at College Football Resource, whose rebuttal to this is a lame explanation about why travel matters. How is BSU going to OSU, or Arizona going to Utah any bigger deal?

peacedog said...

The other half of the scheduling silliness is that people get criticized for games scheduled up to 5-7 years ago.

People have taken shots at Georgia for playing Marshal last year. Marshal was mediocre sure. And scheduled at a time when they were coming off an impressive run (something like 10 wins a year every year in d1 save 1; they played some poweder puffs themselves but had some pretty good teams there as well). People often selectively criticize a school when ignoring this issue.

Sometimes people just want to grind an axe I guess. The SEC enjoys a limited form of omni-presence, and that makes it (and it's members) likely targets.

Green is a good album. In fact, I may have to get it again this week.

Heisman Pundit said...

You are forgetting that the issue was one of SEC teams not travelling to play other teams. Of course, your analysis just looked at playing OOC teams. From your look, the 12 SEC teams are playing a total of 2 OOC road games against top 30 competition, while the 10 Pac-10 teams are playing 4 OOC road games against top 30 competition. So, it looks pretty cut and dry to me. Also, if you guys think that is doesn't mean anything to get on a plane, fly four hours, stay in a hotel, walkthrough a stadium in a different climate and time, play in a hostile environment away from your element, not know where the 25-second clock and sitelines are and not be familiar with a stadium, then you are sadly mistaken.