HP’s Top 10 Teams, Week 6

1. Oregon

2. Ohio State

3. Boise State

4. TCU

5. Nebraska

6. Auburn

7. Arkansas

8. Alabama

9. Stanford

10. Oklahoma

On the cusp: South Carolina, Utah, Michigan State, Oklahoma State, Florida State

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About Heismanpundit

Chris Huston, A.K.A. ‘The Heisman Pundit‘, is a Heisman voter and the creator and publisher of Heismanpundit.com, a site dedicated to analysis of the Heisman Trophy and college football. Dubbed “the foremost authority on the Heisman” by Sports Illustrated, HP is regularly quoted or cited during football season in newspapers across the country. He is also a regular contributor on sports talk radio and television.

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35 Responses to HP’s Top 10 Teams, Week 6

  1. will October 10, 2010 at 8:11 am #

    its funny how people praise Oregon last year like the same time haha and what happen Ohio State beat them in the rose bowl haha guess they just gone have to do it again blog polls are funny haha

  2. WashingtonDCduck October 10, 2010 at 2:34 pm #

    ***UNDERSTAND*** the team that Ohio State beat is not the same 2009 Oregon team. Masoli made Oregon a one dimensional, smash mouth / speed run option attack.

    Darron Thomas now gives Oregon a real passing threat.

    Don’t make the ignorant mistake that this is the same Oregon team.

  3. Will October 10, 2010 at 6:09 pm #

    Ha funny but could they stop Pryor because they couldnt last year. I have seen the ducks play any Defense this year at all and the buckeyes can play defense

  4. Nate October 10, 2010 at 6:14 pm #

    Has anyone ever really stopped TP other than Purdue :-p. Ohio State is the real deal and they play D. OSU looking good.

  5. Solon October 10, 2010 at 10:30 pm #

    I must say, I find it sort of ironic that HP is so obsessed with the SEC that he is reduced to telling us how far ‘Bama should fall in the polls (and, of course, they fell where they should have fallen to, because the bias he imagines is just that, imagined), and constantly disparaging the scheduling of SEC teams, yet he ranks Ohio State second without mentioning how poor their schedule has been.

    According to Sagarin, Ohio State has the 117th ranked schedule in the country, an easier schedule than noted CFB stalwarts Wofford and Cal Poly-San Luis Obispo. But, for some reason, the fair-minded HP…not a peep about what an embarrassment their schedule is, or its role in propelling Terrelle Pryor to Heisman front-runner status.

    By the way, HP – Nebraska was ranked #1 in October 2000, and lost to Oklahoma 31-14. That was a Nebraska team that wasn’t the defending national champ, who wasn’t riding a 19-game winning streak, and who didn’t have wins over multiple ranked teams – unlike 2010 Alabama.

    They only dropped to #5 in the polls.

    Scandal! Nebraska should have AT LEAST fallen to #8! Why does the Big 12 get all the love from the pollsters, while SEC teams get the shaft?

    • Heismanpundit October 11, 2010 at 12:45 am #

      I’m not obsessed with the SEC, but rather the media coverage of the SEC. I like the SEC and think it’s been a great conference these last four years, but the media does as much as it can to rig the game in its favor.

      As for your point, I’m sure if this blog had been around in 2000, I’d have made quite a stink about Nebraska only dropping four spots.

      But it wasn’t.

      As for Alabama’s schedule, it has beaten one good team–Arkansas–and lost by 14 to the other good team it played.

      In either case, my poll is more of a power ranking that reflects not the body of work, so to speak, as some of that combined with how well the teams are playing now.

      Since you are so good at figuring these things out, I’d like to know the last time the No. 19 team beat the No. 1 team and managed to get put inside the top 10 the following week. No snark, honestly curious.

      Congrats on UGA finally getting a win.

  6. Chris October 11, 2010 at 9:53 am #

    HP –

    You insist that South Carolina moving from 19th to 10th is a clear sign of SEC bias?

    #9 Arizona lost
    #13 Miami lost
    #14 Florida lost
    #16 Stanford barely beat a team you tell us is crappy
    #18 Michigan lost

    If South Carolina had just held serve they’d be ranked 14th. The only possible criticism might be jumping Utah, and that’s a BCS conference bias, not an SEC bias. This year Stanford went from 16th to 9th after beating 1-2 Notre Dame. I guess you think that’s justified while South Carolina’s move isn’t.

    You say Alabama has only played 2 good teams (dissing Florida with a healthy John Brantley). How many has Oregon played?

  7. Solon October 11, 2010 at 10:11 am #

    Glad you weren’t being snarky, HP, because moves like SCar’s happen all the time.

    A couple things – my records are only from 2004 and before, and this situation – an October loss by an undefeated top team to a 1-loss team ranked around #19, NOT involving the SEC – doesn’t happen often.

    At some point in October 1999, #6 Washington lost to #20 Oregon State by 7. Oregon State jumped to #10 in the polls.

    Also, on October 4, 1998, #2 Nebraska lost 23-16 to #20 A&M. A&M jumped to #11 in the polls.

    I’m sure there’s plenty more, but after a while it’s sort of redundant. The bottom line, though, is that it’s just not that unusual to see a jump like that.

    Believe me, as a long time poll-watcher, it’s evident that SEC teams do not get favorable treatment in the polls. In terms of a pattern of bias, no conference has gotten favorable treatment since the Big 10 used to get it in the 1950’s and 1960’s. But since then, there’s not really anything.

    This is actually self-evident. Pollsters in either poll come from all over the country, and some of them are from the west coast and favor the Pac 10. Some come from the east coast and favor the Big East, or traditional powerhouses that are on TV in NYC. The South is actually underrepresented, at least in the AP poll – something like 40% of all BCS teams are from the South, but there’s no way 40% of AP voters are.

    So, in the end, everyone gets a fair shake. Or, at least, non-SEC teams don’t get an unfair one.

  8. Solon October 11, 2010 at 10:47 am #

    Actually, just one addendum – I think there is a bias in the polls terms of traditional powers, and teams that have been good in the recent past. But it’s not conference-based.

    This is actually a departure from the polls in the 1950’s, 1960’s and 1970’s. Back then, teams would be dropped from #1 all the time. Now, it’s some sort of big, huge dramatic production if a team is #1 and gets dropped – and some people hold to the “if the #1 team wins it stays at #1” belief, no matter what (I’m sure people did back then, too, but there were less of them).

  9. Chris October 11, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Solon –

    I’m not sure there’s another instance of #19 beating #1 in the BCS era. But these are the smoke screens HP tosses out when he can’t defend his wild assertions of SEC bias.

    I previously pointed out that the SEC is under-represented in the media polls relative to the computer polls. Since 2006 the SEC has had 14 teams in the final AP top 25 and 24 teams in Sagarin’s top 25. The Pac 10 has had 12 in AP and 14 in Sagarin. On a per team basis, that makes the Pac 10 slightly more likely to be ranked in the AP poll than the SEC, but far less likely to be ranked in the computer polls.

    When I pointed out that the Pac 10 appeared to be more favored by the media, HP just caved and moved on. Now he’s resurrected the false accusation on a later thread.

  10. Solon October 11, 2010 at 12:28 pm #

    Chris – I think you are right about the polls.

    Just anecdotally, I looked at the end-of-the-season polls from 1992-2004, and compared Pac 10 and SEC teams with the same number of losses. Turned out something like 25 Pac 10 teams were rated higher than SEC like-lossed SEC teams, and 24 SEC teams were rated higher than like-lossed Pac 10 teams. It’s not the best measure, but it should be noted that often times SEC teams had played extra games from being in the SECCG, so presumably they should have gotten more credit for the greater number of wins. I had hoped to do a run through with all of the conferences, but it just proved too time-consuming.

    Honestly, I think HP has backed himself into a bit of a corner. His current raison d’etre is to tell us how much the media loves the SEC and how unfair it all is. But for it to matter, and for it to actually be unfair, it’d need to manifest itself in the form of bias in the polls (or the computers, presumably, although I don’t think that’d be a reasonable argument).

    I think to him, it necessarily follows that the media loves the SEC, so the rubes that are voting in the polls rate SEC teams higher because they are unwittingly affected by this bias. But the facts just don’t bear that out.

    In fact, a much stronger argument could be made for the opposite case, as you tried to make a few weeks ago – that the polls, at least *aren’t biased enough* in favor of the SEC.

    I think, as a general rule, the mid-level teams from the strongest conferences are underrated – because, for example, a 3-loss SEC team who has losses to 3 top-10 caliber teams would never be ranked above a Big East team with a bad OOC loss, no matter how bad that conference is (consider Pitt’s absurd #8 ranking in mid-November last year for a rough approximation of what I am talking about). But the computers wouldn’t have any qualms about ranking those two teams properly.

  11. Nate October 11, 2010 at 1:54 pm #

    I wouldn’t exactly call Ohio State’s schedule “weak” Also I would like to point out how hillarious it is to watch when the SEC homers hear opinions they don’t like. They just rage and rage.

    Bama lost, deal with it.

    As for SC and the jump they made. I will have to agree with the SEC crowd on this one unfortunately. SC deserves to jump like they did because there’s one of two explainations for last saturday.

    1. Alabama was grossly overrated.
    2. South Carolina was underrated.

    I’d be more easily convinced that SC was underrated and that Bama is still a top-tier team.

    A also would simply not be able to put SC behind alabama were I to vote. SC deserves the jump. They beat the best team from arguably the toughest conference.

  12. Solon October 11, 2010 at 3:03 pm #

    Nate – as is often the case, I don’t know if your comment is directed toward me, but I am pleased as punch that ‘Bama lost. In case you can’t tell from the above, I went to Georgia, so if any other SEC team wins a national title, it actually kind of pisses me right off. Hell, I’ve been pissed after each of the last 4 title games.

    To the extent that there’s any rage whatsoever, it’s that HP has directed so much ire toward the SEC for its supposed weak scheduling and ignored the fact that Ohio State has played a much bigger joke of a schedule than anyone in the SEC. Please note that Sagarin is the one saying their schedule is weak, not me.

    Honestly, to be halfway through the season and to have played a weaker schedule than Cal Poly-SLO or Wofford is the sort of thing that should be ridiculed mercilessly (and note that BCS rankings have Ohio State 5th for this very reason, despite their being first in both polls). And, more to the point, had ‘Bama played Ohio State’s schedule to date, you’d never hear the end of it from HP, particularly if the schedule had inflated the chances of a ‘Bama player to win the Heisman. But HP has TP as his frontrunner for the Heisman, and Ohio State as his #2 ranked team, and there’s simply silence from him.

    Hint to HP – if you want to build your credibility as something other than an SEC-basher, here’s a good place to start.

  13. HP October 11, 2010 at 6:36 pm #

    Solon, I’m pretty sure that I have credibility in areas outside of my supposed bashing of the SEC.

    I think it’s funny that you think I would bash Alabama for Ohio State’s schedule. I had Alabama No. 1 for most of the year and was one of the first people last year to have Bama at No. 1.

    You seem to think that I am unable to separate a good team that plays a bad schedule and an average or bad team that plays a bad schedule. There are just more teams in the SEC who play bad schedules, which boosts their rankings, aided and abetted even further by a willing and compliant media. Look at four SEC teams now in the top 10, ahead of other teams that might have similiar claims. Now whoever beats them will get credit for pollsters for beating top 10 teams! How convenient.

  14. HP October 11, 2010 at 6:41 pm #

    By the way, that whole lovefest back and forth with your fellow SECist was hilarious. The SEC is underrepresented in the polls and the Pac-10 benefits from favoritism! Who woulda thunk!

  15. Bucknut October 11, 2010 at 6:59 pm #

    Southern Miss, Furman, Troy, Miami of Ohio, South Florida, Louisiana-Lafayette, Idaho State, Colorado, Tennessee Tech, Louisiana-Monroe, UTEP, Arkansas State, you know I can go on and on. SEC plays a tune-up schedule just like the Big Ten. Alabama had six now five ranked opponents on their schedule. Ohio State had five and now it has three ranked opponents. Now I’m not saying the SEC isn’t a great conference, but let’s get real the SEC is having a down year. Tennessee gets manhandled by Oregon, almost beats LSU who beats Florida. Here I go daisy chaining again, but seriously the SEC acts like every game they play in conference is so close because the SEC plays defense and beat the hell outta each other. Well so does the Big 10 and the Pac 10, give those conferences their due. Ohio State is 0-9 vs SEC in bowl games, but for some reason other Big 10 teams seem to do alright against the SEC.

  16. Floridan October 11, 2010 at 7:53 pm #

    HP: “There are just more teams in the SEC who play bad schedules, which boosts their rankings, aided and abetted even further by a willing and compliant media.”

    More so than Boise State?

  17. Chris October 11, 2010 at 8:19 pm #

    HP said:
    “The SEC is underrepresented in the polls and the Pac-10 benefits from favoritism!”

    Glad you agree with my explanation for the differences in Sagarin and AP polls. Didn’t expect you to cave completely, but knew we could count on you to express an opinion without any supporting data.

  18. HP October 11, 2010 at 8:44 pm #

    Want supporting data? Take a look at the current AP poll.

    The three highest-ranked one-loss teams are each from the SEC. There are two one-loss teams from the SEC in the top 10.

    The highest-ranked two-loss team is also from the SEC.

    There are five undefeated teams ranked below LSU, which is just not a very good team.

    But no, none of those instances are evidence of poll bias toward the SEC, is it?


  19. Chris October 11, 2010 at 9:04 pm #

    HP –

    You’ve got Alabama 8th and South Carolina 11th! The poll you accuse of extreme SEC bias has Alabama 8th and South Carolina 10th. Perhaps you should go back to changing and omitting sportswriters words as “proof” of extreme media bias.

    Do you have ANY explanation whatsoever for the Sagarin data I presented that suggests the SEC is typically underrepresented in the media polls?

  20. Solon October 11, 2010 at 10:56 pm #

    HP – I did not intend to disparage your knowledge and credibility with regard to the Heisman, where you truly are the foremost authority, both on the Internet and in reality.

    Now then, though, with regard to Chris’ point RE Sagarin, this isn’t hard.

    (1) Do you accept that Sagarin is more neutral and less open to be influenced by media bias than the pollsters?
    (2) Assuming the answer to (1) is yes, please explain how if SEC teams are ranked higher in Sagarin than in the polls, how you can argue that the media is biased?

    This is simple logic. There is a rating system (Sagarin) that is presumably free of bias. Then, there is a rating system (the polls) that is supposedly governed by bias in favor of the SEC. But the unbiased system actually is more favorable to the SEC than the supposedly biased system.

    Given this, here are your options:
    (1) Claim that Sagarin is actually more biased than the pollsters.
    (2) Accept that the pollsters are actually not biased.

    There’s not really a 3rd option. I guess you could argue that Sagarin’s full of shit, but I know you don’t believe that since you love his conference rankings when the Pac 10 is #1 (which they are right now, by the way – where’s the link?).

    Beyond this, though, I am afraid that your argument about how the current poll proves SEC bias is among your most pathetic efforts.

    The SEC has the highest-ranked 1-loss teams and the highest-ranked 2-loss team, which is clear-cut, incontrovertible proof of media bias.

    But the fact that there are two undefeated teams from the SEC, and they are both ranked behind undefeated teams from the Big 10, Pac 10, WAC, MWC, and the Big 12 (x2)…what does that prove? I mean, that is, other than that your point is moronic.

    Put another way – there’s not a single conference with an undefeated team that doesn’t have at least one of them ranked in front of BOTH undefeated SEC teams.

    I’m sure there’s some way that this actually proves your point about media bias, but I can’t imagine we’ll ever hear it.

  21. HP October 12, 2010 at 3:04 am #

    Well, this is why I explicitly pointed out that the three highest rated 1-loss teams are from the SEC.

    And that the highest two-loss team is from the SEC.

    Why is that important?

    Because in each instance, it puts an SEC team (and in one case, three of them) in beautiful position for possible BCS berths or for higher rankings later.

    This also enables these teams to have better matchups when they go up against each other, thus elevating the perception of an ‘sec gauntlet’ that both teams must go through.

    But, your SEC myopia just doesn’t see it. Too bad.

  22. HP October 12, 2010 at 3:07 am #

    And lastly, media bias toward the SEC doesn’t just manifest itself in the polls, but also in coverage. So we get Robert Smith (or whoever it was), claiming that the SEC champ has a ‘right’ to be in the BCS title game. Or articles like the one by Ivan Maisel that quotes an SEC coach as some sort of ‘proof’ of SEC superiority. It all creates this general tilt toward the conference that benefits the league in various ways, from rankings, to recruiting, to perception, to bowl berths, to BCS title berts, etc.

  23. Chris October 12, 2010 at 7:21 am #

    HP –

    I repeat. Do you have any explanation whatsoever for the Sagarin data I presented that suggests the SEC is typically underrepresented in the media polls? That was quantifiable multiyear data that contradicts your wild assertions of media bias.

    Without addressing this you’re just a crazy standing on a cardboard box spewing conspiracy theories. I can hear you now:

    “The media is a bunch of SEC homers for ranking South Carolina 10th when I think they should be 11th.”

    “The polls are rigged because 4-2 Florida is slightly higher than 3-2 Oregon St.”

    “Robert Smith, or somebody else whose quote I can’t produce, once said a 1 loss SEC team should play in the championship game.”

    Walk on by folks, the loony Pac 10 fan has nothing of substance to add.

  24. Solon October 12, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    “SEC myopia”? I know you love to try to tarnish anyone who disagrees with you with the same brush, but, seriously, come on.

    I started saying the SEC was legit after the 2006 season. Prior to that, I wasn’t pushing that view, on this site or elsewhere. You know this, or have chosen to forget it. And it’s the damndest thing, but now you seem to have come around on how good the SEC has been since that time. Funny how that works.

    The difference between us is that I have no stake in this matter. I actually assess the evidence and make a determination, while you do the opposite. It doesn’t really make any difference to me whether the SEC is the best conference or not in a particular year, whereas to you whenever they are not a complete joke the Pac 10 is always proclaimed the best (such as last season…when the proclamation was especially embarrassing).

    Just to illustrate, for the season to date, I actually think the Pac 10 has been the top conference, although given their bowl performance last season (2-5 when favored in 6 bowl games) I want to wait and see how they do later in the season for confirmation.

    I don’t think the SEC is bad, or even down this season – I actually think it’s pretty strong – but I think the mid-level teams in the SEC are slightly worse than the mid-level teams in the Pac 10 (I think the SEC is better at the extremes, but I don’t think it makes up for the Pac-10’s stronger middle). We’ll see how it all plays out though.

    In addition, I am still waiting for your explanation of how Chris’ analysis of the Sagarin ratings doesn’t completely piss on your allegations of media bias.

    It will get especially interesting if the Pac 10 follows through and has a good season, and you’ll realize that Chris’ point holds true for ANY conference that does well – if a conference is good, the pollsters are going to underrate teams from it, regardless of who they are.

    And, my God. The slanted coverage in favor of the SEC produces BCS title game appearances? That must be why LSU was behind USC in the polls in 2003, why Auburn was the #3 ranked team in 2004, and why Florida had to wait for USC to lose to UCLA in 2006 to get their shot at the title. In each case, a Pac 10 team benefited from polling at the expense of an SEC team. Have you thought this through?

    • Heismanpundit October 12, 2010 at 10:56 am #

      So what you are saying is that you don’t read or watch TV?

      Do you just totally ignore the over-the-top SEC love fest that happens on a weekly basis? Clearly, you do.

      As for BCS berths, um, yeah. I certainly have no beef with 2006, but in 2007, LSU was bumped from No. 7 on the last weekend of the season all the way to No. 2 on the strength of being the SEC champion alone, even thought four teams had equal or better records.

      In 2008, Florida got a bid over two other one-loss teams. So two of the last four national titles were basically determined by the media’s willingness to give the SEC the benefit of the doubt.

      The mentality even now by some in the media is that the SEC champion should get a BCS berth, even if its record isn’t as good as other teams. Yet, you just ignore that.

      Again, I have nothing against the SEC. What I detest is the incessant over the top bleating and sucking up by the media to the conference, which only a myopic would think has no effect on the perception of the league.

  25. Chris October 12, 2010 at 12:52 pm #

    Do you have any explanation whatsoever for the Sagarin data I presented that suggests the SEC is typically underrepresented in the media polls?

    HP said: “So we get Robert Smith (or whoever it was), claiming that the SEC champ has a ‘right’ to be in the BCS title game.”
    Can you give us the exact quote or is this yet another one of your vague and unsupported accusations?

    As for LSU in 2007 the media didn’t cause 5 teams to lose ahead of them at the end of the season. The closest thing to a gripe would have come from Virginia Tech who got killed by the computers (9th). Just like USC did in 2008 (8th). In 2008, the closest thing to a gripe was from Texas, who lost late in the year and failed to win their 6-team division. The best argument there would have been for Texas instead of Oklahoma, rather than a rematch of a divisional game.

    The SEC has gotten a computer boost by playing a 13th game while the Pac 10 is decorating Rose Bowl floats. It is ironic that the conference that doesn’t want a conference championship game or any sort of playoff squeals the loudest when they get excluded. But USC did get to play an extra home game against an over-matched Big 10 team.

  26. John October 12, 2010 at 1:07 pm #

    My only question is why you ranked Arkansas over Alabama. Didn’t Alabama, you know, beat Arkansas?

  27. John October 12, 2010 at 1:22 pm #

    Ok, that wasn’t my only question. I really didn’t want to jump in on this SEC debate, but… “In 2008, Florida got a bid over two other one-loss teams. So two of the last four national titles were basically determined by the media’s willingness to give the SEC the benefit of the doubt.” Wasn’t the media right in this case, and in 2006 & 2007? The SEC team WON those national title games. The media was proven correct. So what’s the problem?

    I really wish you’d stick to the Heisman and stop doing these polls. Some of us still remember last year when you ranked USC, after a loss to unranked Washington, ahead of then-undefeated Florida.

    • Heismanpundit October 12, 2010 at 3:04 pm #

      John, these rankings are not just based on season resume, but also on how well the teams are playing in a given week. The reason I have Arkansas ranked ahead of Alabama is that I think they would beat them if they played today.

      No, selecting an SEC team to go to the BCS title game is NOT justified because they won. Other teams could’ve won, too.

      And I did not rank USC over Florida after they lost to Washington. The next poll after that, USC was 10th and Florida 2nd. The poll after that, USC dropped again (despite winning), while Florida was 3rd. There might’ve been a point later in the season, before USC’s collapse, where they briefly were ahead, but so what? As more data came in, USC was dropped out of the poll as they deserved to.

      Everyone takes this stuff WAY too personal. It’s just a ranking of teams. It’s one man’s opinion. The pollsters are often wrong, too. It’s not easy to be perfect doing these rankings.

  28. Solon October 12, 2010 at 1:42 pm #

    I certainly don’t hear the same SEC lovefest that you do. Yes, I guess I hear people say the SEC is the best conference, but generally that’s true, so I don’t make a note of it. I certainly didn’t hear anyone saying it in 2004, when the SEC clearly wasn’t the best conference.

    I think your problem is you hear nothing else. Musberger pimped Boise hard for the title game when they beat mighty VaTech. Then, this weekend during the Stanford/USC game I heard the announcers say that they thought the Pac 10 was the deepest conference in the country. There’s a good bit of diversity of opinion out there, and if it’s slanted in favor of the SEC, that’s a product of its being a good conference for the last several years.

    If the Pac 10 were to have 3 different teams win 4 title games in a row, do you think everyone would be going on and on about the SEC? I mean, come on – what do you expect when a conference has such a ridiculous run of success for a sustained period?

    Either way, none of that is relevant unless it’s somehow reflected in inflated poll rankings, which it isn’t.

    As an illustration of how it is not reflected in the polls, let me use your two examples.

    (1) In 2007, going into the last weekend of games, LSU was ranked 5th in the AP poll. That weekend, two of the teams above them lost. They jumped one team who didn’t lose. Wanna guess who that was? Georgia. Tell me again how this was indicative of some sort of media bias in favor of the SEC.

    (2) I don’t think I really need to argue for Florida 2008. No shit they made the title game, after their 1-point loss to future Cotton Bowl champ Mississippi they beat the remaining 8 BCS teams on their schedule – 5 of which were ranked, and 3 of which were ranked in the Top 6 – by an average of 35 ppg.

    Perhaps you took it a bit personally when USC was ruled out of the title game early on by their loss due to the Pac 10’s weakness, but I’m not sure how you could argue USC deserved the spot in that title game over Florida. They rolled over the rest of their schedule after their loss as well, but it was nowhere near as tough as Florida’s – only three ranked opponents, total – and they only won by an average of 32 ppg. And somehow the Pac-10 managed to have a LOSING record OOC that season. I don’t even know how that happens to a major conference.

    Penn State wasn’t bad either, but, seriously, there’s no way they deserved to be in there over Florida. Same thing as USC, they played a weaker schedule than Florida and were nowhere near as dominant against it.

    You’re almost reduced to arguing that two of the Big 12 South teams should have been in there ahead of Florida, which beggars belief, especially in light of the title game result.

    I am still waiting for you to explain why Sagarin ranks SEC teams higher than the pollsters, and what this says about any supposed bias on the part of the media. I suspect we’ll all be waiting a while for that one.

    • Heismanpundit October 12, 2010 at 2:56 pm #

      Solon, I think you’re missing my point. Efforts to bolster the SEC in every way don’t alway succeed. But it doesn’t mean the effort isn’t there and that’s the subject I am talking about. From overall coverage emphasis, to Game Day locations, to talking heads to constantly talk about SEC speed and athleticism, to how every data point must always be angled to demonstrate the SEC’s top-to-bottom strength, to not seeing it as implicating the conference when SEC teams embarrass themselves (Ole Miss, etc.), to ALWAYS indicting other conferences as a whole when one of their teams embarrass themselves, to never re-examining their locked in tenet that the SEC is always the best…. Just look at Ivan Maisel’s recent columns on the SEC and then on the Pac-10. Here is the Pac10 one http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=5628437 and here is the SEC one http://sports.espn.go.com/ncf/columns/story?columnist=maisel_ivan&id=5601238… one is dry and straight down the middle of the field as far as reporting while the other is flowery and full of unsupported statements like “There are at least 10, maybe more, teams in this league that can be ranked in the top 25”. And so on.

      Now, I understand you are an SEC honk and that’s why you don’t hear any of this. But it’s out there and that’s why I am trying to point it out. Doesn’t seem to go over very well with SEC people who are only used to wine and roses.

  29. Solon October 12, 2010 at 3:29 pm #

    Once again, I wonder what color the sky is in your world. Did you read those two articles? Here are some selected quotes from Maisel:

    “It turns out that Scott knew a little bit about being commissioner. Yet all that Scott transformed off the football field pales in comparison to how the Pac-10 has transformed on it.”

    “Before it becomes the Pac-12, the Pac-10 is making its last season one for the record book.”


    “All SEC schools have proved this year is that they don’t like to play tough nonconference games.”

    “The defense in the SEC is very good; defense wins championships; etc. But let’s not get carried away. The offenses are mediocre.”

    If those articles are the best you can find to prove your point, it’s a piss-poor point.

    And, once again – that locked-in tenet in the media about the greatness of the SEC COINCIDES WITH THE GREATNESS OF THE SEC. That mindset didn’t exist until the last couple of years, at which point no one – yourself included – questioned the superiority of the SEC.

    And yes, HP, I am a total SEC honk. Now then, since it should be simple, can you tell me a time when I claimed the SEC was the best conference that it wasn’t? Care to argue over the merits of the two conferences last year, when you embarrassed yourself by saying we all “owed the nation’s best conference a thank you,” just before they laid an egg in the bowls? I don’t make absurd claims that aren’t bolstered by evidence, that’s the difference between the two of us.

    (That’s actually not true – I remember arguing with some dude at Georgia in 1992 about how great the Pac 10 was relative to the SEC right before the Pac 10 showed its ass in the bowls while the SEC lost 1 bowl game that year and the 8-point underdog Alabama walloped mighty Miami in the Sugar Bowl for the national title. But, you know, since then.)

  30. Solon October 12, 2010 at 3:54 pm #

    And, either way, HP – none of it matters unless SEC teams receive favorable treatment in the polls.

    None of your anecdotal arguments withstand scrutiny, and there’s plenty of counter-evidence to show that the SEC doesn’t receive any benefit in the polls from its reputation. Not the least of which is the Sagarin thing. Are you ever going to try to explain that?

    Without that, what you’re reduced to is whining about the inherent unfairness of someone saying a 1-loss team from the consensus best conference deserves a spot in the title game, I guess over an undefeated team from a major conference, which will never be anything but ignored by the people who make the decision (despite your paranoia, ‘Bama can win every remaining game by 50 points, and if Ohio State, Oregon, and Oklahoma/Nebraska win out, ‘Bama’s not jumping any of them in the polls). So why does it warrant any sort of attention?

  31. Chris October 13, 2010 at 4:52 am #

    HP –

    Let’s make this multiple choice…

    Question 1: Why do higher Sagarin ratings for the SEC not suggest the media polls don’t favor the SEC?
    A) I’m a Pac 10 honk and refuse to answer substantive questions.
    B) I’m too lazy to do anything but call people “honks” and “pissants” if they disagree with me.
    C) I realize I’m wrong but can’t admit it.
    D) Evil SEC fans have threatened to kill me if I tell the truth.

    Question 2: Can you show us your Robert Smith “smoking gun” quote or at least stop falsifying quotes about the media?
    A) I suffered a “medulla hijack” and Robert Smith never said what I claimed.
    B) I’m too lazy to find the quote, but I’ll post long rants about it.
    C) The Pac 10 will stop paying me if the holes is my promotional pieces become too obvious.
    D) I’m busy trying to explain why nearly half of my All American Team is from the Pac 10.

    Of course, you’re also welcome to respond substantively.