Fiu: What's Wrong With The SEC?
Posted Sep 2, 2013

Fiu Thought: After Week One, is the SEC finally taking a step back to the pack?

CFN Thoughts

Fiutak: It's Still An SEC World

E-mail Pete Fiutak
Follow me. Don't cost nothin' ... @PeteFiutak 

Look, America, it's only the first week of the college football season. I'm not going to spend yet another year having this debate with you.

Not only is the SEC really that good, it's by far – like, 1,589-mile-wide gap far – better than any other conference.

What? Really? This is on the table? Apparently, yes, and Professor Fiu spent most of his Sunday – I'm working at least 19 hours on Labor Day; I'm going third-person – trying to kick some knowledge in back and forth arguments with several people both in the business and out that the sky is blue, MGMT is pretentious drivel – as are most of my columns - and we're all living in an SEC world whether we like it or not.

I looked it up. There's a technical term for those who choose to spend their time fighting me on this: wrong.

"See, SEEEEEE. Clemson beat Georgia, and the rest of the conference was unimpressive," has been the general tone of each and every piece of nonsense thrown my way over the last 24 hours.

First of all, Clemson might be the best team in the ACC and is probably one of the ten best teams in America, if not top five. It was mega-amped up to an all-time level for this gigantic, statement-making, nationally-televised headliner date with the Bulldogs in Death Valley, and even so, it took a fumbled hold on a field goal attempt and a recovered onside kick to get out alive with a three point win in a dead even game. There's no question that it was a fantastic win, but if you had to bet your kids on a rematch if it was played on a neutral field, I know exactly who you'd take.

"See, SEEEEE. Mississippi State was mediocre in Houston." Yeah, but Oklahoma State is one of the Big 12's three best teams, if not the star of the league, while Team Cowbell is somewhere around the tenth-best in the SEC, and even that might be a tad bit high. Oooooooh, the favorite to go to the Fiesta Bowl whacked an SEC bottom rung. As we learned this weekend, as average as Miss State might be, it's still probably better than at least half of the teams in the Big 12.

"See, SEEEEE. Texas A&M's defense struggled a bit in the first half against Rice, and the team didn't look all that solidified until Johnny Halftime came off the bench." 1) Rice is probably one of the three best teams in Conference USA and will probably play for the title, 2) the Aggies won 52-31, and 3) Johnny Manziel actually does play for Texas A&M, which was sort of the point when he stepped in and scored easier than he did at any frat party this offseason .

"See, SEEEEE. LSU struggled with TCU. The mighty defense gave up 27 points in a fight." Yeah, but LSU still won by ten, easily covering an absolute gift of a 4.5-point spread. Yes, the Tigers didn't look all that sharp, BUT THEY WON BY DOUBLE DIGITS.

Okay, so Kentucky lost to Western Kentucky, but Bobby Petrino's club is probably the class of the Sun Belt while the Cats are looking around the SEC poker table wondering who the sucker is.

Sure, Auburn hung on for dear life against Washington State at home, but at the same time it proved Mike Leach wrong that the bottom of the Pac-12 was stronger than the dregs of the SEC.

Absolutely, Alabama didn't look like a world-beater on offense against Virginia Tech, but, and I said this in the preview I wrote for the game, that might be the best defense the two-time defending champs face all season long and they still won by 25.

And please, for me, get off the "Florida's offense stinks" train. No, it doesn't; it's just not splashy. The Gators pound away on offense, relying on a strong defense and good special teams to get the job done. Toledo is going end the season with one of the MAC's top statistical offenses, and it went nowhere.

Meanwhile, South Carolina made a strong North Carolina team look ridiculous, and Arkansas blew away a Louisiana team that's probably second-best in the Sun Belt.

Look, I'm sorry. I really, really am. I wish I could make everyone else be better at college football, but they're just not.

So, America, what's your point?

You're going to argue that a handful of schools could beat anyone in the SEC on a given day, Sure, fine, but Ohio State, Oregon, Clemson, Florida State, Oklahoma and Louisville get the lucky break of playing Candy Land at the kid's table while Ole Miss and Vanderbilt were off playing grown man football in one whale of an opening act – and those two are lower-tier SECers.

Of course the Buckeyes, Ducks, Tigers, Seminoles, Sooners and Cardinals would do fine in the SEC, but they wouldn't win anything. Why? They're not good enough, and neither was an LSU team that didn't win anything last season despite coming up with a whale of a regular season. You know who else didn't win anything that truly mattered? Texas A&M, South Carolina and Florida, and all of them were among the ten best in America by the end of last year and would've drilled – absolutely drilled – Notre Dame in a BCS championship setting.

Again, what's your point?

You really want to argue that any other league is remotely close to the SEC? Please, be my guest, but you'd better be waving a white flag, high and clear so as I can see it.

The Big 12 politely decided to tap out after the FCS came calling. The Pac-12 looks stronger, but we're too old to B.S. each other; that Oregon offense wouldn't work on a regular basis against SEC teams and Stanford, as good as it is, simply doesn't have the raw speed.

Of course you're not going to bring up the ACC, and you're not going to insult yourself or your lovely wife, Betty, by suggesting the Big Ten even comes close to comparing to the SEC from top to bottom.

Are there problems here and there with the SEC? Yes. Are there major flaws with Alabama, Georgia and the other top teams? Sure. Is it annoying when people have conversations with themselves by asking questions and then answering them? Absolutely. But again, I'm sorry. I wish I could change this, but I can't.

The SEC really is that good, and your conference isn't.