The Royal Heffernans

Quite possibly the best family ever

Wednesday, November 28, 2012


It's begun. In fact, it began as soon as the last second ticked off the clock in Southern California with Notre Dame 12-0 and headed to the BCS National Championship Game...

  • "Whoever wins the SEC championship game will destroy Notre Dame."
  • "Notre Dame would be a .500 team if it played in the SEC."
  • "Notre Dame is the sixth best team in the SEC."
  • "Let's see Notre Dame go 12-0 if they have to play Alabama, LSU, and Georgia every year."
First of all, I'm think Notre Dame's chances of beating an SEC team are pretty solid. Notre Dame plays like an SEC team - great defense, ball control offense.

I won't even touch items two and three. Complete speculation.

I will comment on item four. Everyone thinks the SEC is such a rough schedule, but the reality is not even Alabama, Georgia, and LSU had to play Alabama, Georgia, and LSU - and they're all in the SEC! And none of them are 12-0.

Alabama did play LSU in the regular season, but avoided Georgia (until this weekend), Florida, and South Carolina. In what I would consider their only "competitive" SEC games, they went 1-1, with a home lost to Texas A&M.

Georgia played Florida in the regular season, but avoided Alabama (until this weekend), LSU, and Texas A&M. They were routed by South Carolina, 35-7, to go 1-1 in "competitive" SEC games.

LSU had the most difficult path of the three, playing Florida, South Carolina, Texas A&M, and Alabama in the regular season. They avoided Georgia. They went 2-2 in "competitive" SEC games.

The SEC isn't stupid. It knows that if it schedules all its big dogs against each other every season the odds of one (or two) coming out unscathed are slim. So it balances the schedules to ensure that the big clashes are offset with plenty of Kentucky's, Ole Miss's, and Tennessee's.

Take a gander at the SEC conference standings when you have a minute. Seven of the 14 teams in the conference finished the season at or below .500. Two teams, Kentucky and Auburn won zero - ZERO! - conference games and another, Tennessee, won only 1. The SEC, like all other conferences, is one of have's and have-not's.

So before you start touting the merits of the SEC (or any other conference) take a step back and really look at both the separation of powers and the results. Oh, and every SEC team - Every. Single. One. - padded their schedule with FCS and/or lower-tier FBS opponents. Not so for Notre Dame.

And don't give me any crap about Notre Dame not playing in a championship game. It's not ND's fault that the SEC wanted a money grab at the possible expense of a representative in a BCS game.

Of course, this is all a moot point if the SEC opponent whips Notre Dame. But I don't see that happening. Go Irish!

1 comment:

Teddy said...

I read an AWESOME article on this very topic that took a novel approach: compare Notre Dame, Alabama and Georgia's schedules game by game in order of opponent difficulty.

It's by Pat Forde, who I usually like to read. Certainly NOT an ND homer!

The only other thing I can add is that you simply cannot compare records when both those schools played **2** FCS schools!

Not only that, but these guys also played Georgia Southern, Western Kentucky, and winless SEC foes Auburn and Kentucky (Georgia got both).

Not only are their schedules a joke, but their team and player stats are totally skewed by the level of competition!

On a side note, Johnny Football's Heisman resume is also a joke - skewed by stats against horrible competition and 1 big win. A&M fattened up on 2 FCS schools, SMU and SEC dregs Auburn, Arkansas, Ole Miss and a TOTALLY overrated Miss. State. (MissSt went undefeated against literally the easiest 1st 7 games I have ever seen and then lost 4 of their last 5).