Tag:Florida Gators
Posted on: October 29, 2009 2:42 pm

Shared Excellence Conference?

It’s hard not to notice the seemingly endless SEC – Big Ten debate that rages on Sportsline. I’m not sure when this rivalry of sorts began (immediately prior to the OSU-Florida 2006 NCG?) but it is a worthless debate that shouldn’t be spared much thought.

SEC fans are very proud of their conference and rightfully so. They are perhaps the best football conference in America with teams like Florida, Alabama and LSU just to name a few. However, I get the feeling that sometimes these fans forget that their foremost loyalty should not be to their conference but to their team. Perhaps my perception is mistaken but that is what I see.

Recently, SEC fans have had much to cheer about with Florida and LSU winning the past 3 national titles. Unless you are a Florida or LSU fan, however, there should be little cause for celebration. Did your team win the national title? Was it your team that passed through the gauntlet of a rigorous season to raise the silver football after a championship game triumph? If that is the case, congratulations to your team on a great season. If that is not the case, why pop the champagne? Because Florida won for the SEC? Puh-leeze . . .

The only people that Florida won for were themselves and their university. Their triumph over the Oklahoma Sooners belongs to nobody else. As much as SEC fans want to portray recent NCG triumphs as proof positive of SEC superiority, the victories are not credited to the conference but to the teams that earned them; Florida and LSU.

I haven’t seen the relationship between team and conference so blurred as is the case with SEC fans, a characteristic not prominent for fans of other conferences. For example, did ACC enthusiasts claim North Carolina’s victory over Michigan State in the most recent basketball national title game as a triumph for the conference? I doubt it. I can’t see Duke being too pleased at the thought of Tyler Hansbrough winning a national championship. Did the Pittsburgh Steelers win one for the American Football Conference in their victory over the Arizona Cardinals in the Super Bowl? Hell no! As a Colts fan, I certainly wasn’t happy with a Steeler victory.

Why SEC fans have made such a big deal about their supposed conference superiority, I honestly have no clue. They really don’t need to make it an issue because they are the best conference top to bottom in college football this year. That being said, SEC fans need to understand that they are the Southeastern Conference and not the Shared Excellence Conference. If you’re not a Florida fan, a Florida victory is not a win for you. College football should not be about conferences but about teams. I’m afraid that this important distinction may have been lost on some SEC faithful.

Posted on: October 29, 2009 2:32 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: October 29, 2009 2:26 pm
This entry has been removed by the administrator.

Post Deleted by Administrator

This message has been removed by the administrator.

Posted on: September 14, 2009 1:18 pm

Bye, Bye Tressel

I haven't posted here in awhile but the latest agonizing defeat has spurred me to thought regarding my beloved Ohio State Buckeyes and coach Jim Tressel. It is pretty clear that Tressel is no longer the right man to make the play calls or even stand on the sidelines with the young adults that he coaches.

Don't get me wrong, Tressel has had astounding success in his tenure with the Buckeyes. Even after the USC loss, he boasts an outstanding record of 84-20 with countless Big Ten titles and 3 BCS Bowl victories; one in the 2002 National Championship against the then vaunted Miami Hurricanes. Oh yeah, he's also beaten Michigan.

At almost every other public institution in the country, such a resume would render any notions of his dismissal as nothing short of laughable. However, The Ohio State University has a football program deeply steeped in college football history with a proud tradition. Thus, the latest defeats which have made the Scarlet and Gray the laughingstock of the nation have caused fans to wonder why they have a perceived inability to win the big game. The blame for that primarily lies on the shoulders of Coach Tressel. This is not an exoneration of the players themselves as they have consistently underperformed on the national stage, particularly in 2006 against Florida. Yet even then, one has to wonder if their mediocre play is a result of poor game preparation by the Sweater Vest.

The most recent of what feels like many heartbreaks was perhaps the game when Ohio State looked as good if not better than the opponent. The defense played with intensity, forcing the Trojans into crucial mistakes while the offense however unspectacular, was able to make plays that contributed to the lead they had throughout the game. However, Tressel's poor decisions and play calling turned what could have been a blowout win in favor of Ohio State to a closely contested game and eventual loss. He was aggressive when he should have been cautious in calling for a pass right before the half; the incompletion stopped the clock and gave the Trojans the opportunity to march down the field for a field goal. He was also cautious when he should have been aggressive by settling for a field goal when the Bucks were just mere feet from the scarlet end zone. That's not to mention the conservative and often obvious play calls he made; at one stretch in the game, I believe the Buckeyes ran up the middle on at least 3 consecutive series on first down. Against weak Big Ten opponents, such a faulty game plan might still lead to victory but those same plans have been constantly exposed by the likes of Florida, LSU, Texas and USC.

Winning the Big Ten and beating Michigan should not be enough for Ohio State fans anymore. As then New York Jets coach Herman Edwards said so eloquently, "You play to win the game!" Right now, the Buckeyes play for a Big Ten title and BCS Bowl loss. That is unacceptable for such a storied program and I would like to see a new coach who can maximize the potential of his players and finally put an end to our misery by winning the big game.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com