GUEST POST- Thoughts on the SEC

Guest blogger Andrew Hall of is at it again with this latest post about the SEC. Enjoy!

Championship Outlook

The SEC Championship is slowly becoming a little bit clearer. Barring unforeseen upsets the winner of the South Carolina/Florida game on November 13th will represent the East. Mississippi State and Arkansas are no longer candidates in the west by virtue of potential tie-breakers even if Auburn was to lose out and Alabama and LSU were also to suffer another defeat. So, in short the matchup in Atlanta will pit Auburn, Alabama, or LSU against either Florida or South Carolina. While it’s not necessarily what I want to see happen, I still think that a 3rd consecutive matchup between Alabama and Florida may be the most-likely scenario.

Georgia Defensive Coordinator in Trouble?

For the second time in as many years a Georgia Defensive Coordinator is under scrutiny late in the season. No, Todd Grantham’s defense isn’t necessarily under attack, but his “choking gesture” directed at Florida kicker Chas Henry is raising a few eyebrows. Henry, a backup kicker and punter by trade, connected on a 37 yard field goal in overtime to defeat the Bulldogs on Saturday.

Frankly, I find the amount of attention this matter is receiving to be ridiculous. Was any Georgia player, coach, or fan not hoping Henry would miss? Henry has hit 3 of his 4 attempts from 30-39 yards out this season. So, had he missed, I would have filed that kick under “choke.” What team doesn’t hope that the kicker chokes in overtime? Isn’t that why teams take timeouts right before the snap to “freeze” the kicker?

I don’t think that Grantham was referencing a literal choke here. I’m equally convinced that Mark Richt wasn’t attempting to give Henry frost-bite when he called a timeout before the kick. I’m just not sure why this is such a big deal. It’s not like Grantham texted Chas Henry informing him that it was “time to die.” Such classy moves are typically reserved for Gators like Chris Rainey and usually are directed towards females of the ex-girlfriend variety.

Not all statements or gestures should be taken so literally, especially in the heat of a rivalry game.

Auburn Drops in the BCS

Auburn was jumped by Oregon in the BCS poll this week. The Tigers are a really intriguing team. Their résumé certainly establishes their spot among the best teams in the nation. However, I think that if Cam Newton were to get injured or get suspended for throwing another stolen computer out the window, the Tigers would instantly drop to the middle of the SEC pack. I really think that Alabama, LSU, Mississippi State, Arkansas, South Carolina, Florida, (and possibly even Georgia) could defeat a Newton-less Auburn squad. I’m not sure if this thought demotes Auburn or further elevates Cam Newton’s Heisman campaign. I find it hard to imagine that guy actually getting hurt, so maybe it bodes well for him individually and the team.

Other BCS Perspectives

This week’s BCS poll has TCU, Boise State, and Utah all ranked in the top 5. I find it ironic that all of these schools will undoubtedly make some sort of “the system is broken” argument before the season is over when this is the first time in history there are three non-BCS conference schools ranked this highly. You’d have to go back to November 13, 2008 to find a time when a single conference had 3 teams in the BCS top 5 (Texas Tech, Texas, and Oklahoma). It is equally “impressive” and even rarer to see 3 non-BCS schools represented in the top 5, so I don’t want to hear about the BCS bias against smaller conferences. Smaller conferences are getting increasingly more attention, whether it is deserved or not.

Admittedly, I am not a proponent of small-conference football teams. I’d love to see the WAC and the MWC consistently take on SEC or Big XII schools. College Basketball does a good job of trying to create inter-conference rivalries with the ACC/Big 10 and Big East/SEC Challenges, but football scheduling is too difficult to coordinate something similar. I’d love to see TCU, Boise State, and Utah take on the three best SEC schools (Auburn, Alabama, LSU). In theory the Frogs, Broncos, and Utes should dominate. After all, they boast an average BCS ranking of 4, while the SEC schools’ average ranking is 6.

The only people who wouldn’t want to see these matchups would be the intelligent, silent minority of TCU, Boise State, and Utah fans.

The fans from non-automatic qualifying conferences want a playoff because they don’t think their schools get the respect they deserve. BCS conference fans want a playoff because they think small-conference schools get too much respect. Will this debate ever end? Shouldn’t the NCAA capitalize on the one thing all fans agree on, a college football playoff?