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How the SEC and its one-loss teams are hurting college football

Last week I talked about how ridiculously easy Alabama’s schedule is and how it inflates their status as defending champion. Pretty easy to beat Georgia State and Chattanooga in the same season. One-loss SEC teams are considered equal to undefeated teams in any other conference and that is complete bull. Alabama could lose at home to lowly Kentucky (an SEC team, please keep this in mind) and won’t drop out of the top five simply because it was an in-conference loss and as the media would likely say, “well, they’re still back-to-back defending champions so they deserve a top ranking.” I say this is absurd. If UCLA, an undefeated Pac-12 team who has played a much more difficult schedule than Alabama so far, were to lose to Utah, someone who would likely defeat Kentucky, they would drop six spots in the rankings. Even if they won out after that they would still be questionable for a BCS bowl game because of that one bad loss.

If you’re in the SEC, one loss doesn’t mean anything. It’s laughed off as a bad day on the field and you’re considered the exact same team as you were the week before. If Stanford had lost to Washington this weekend, they’d be out of the top five and out of national title contention. Four of the top 15 teams are one-loss SEC teams. They are Georgia, Texas A&M, LSU and South Carolina. They’ve lost to Clemson, Alabama, Georgia and Georgia again, respectively. I understand that losing to good teams doesn’t make you a bad team, but you still lost. Your season isn’t perfect and you don’t deserve to be a national title contender until everyone else loses. No other teams can lose a game and still be considered for a championship. Not Clemson, not Stanford and not Oregon.

Alabama will play LSU during the regular season AND could do the same for the National Championship. This cannot be said for Stanford and Oregon. It would be an abomination to football if a one-loss Pac-12 team played for a title because the SEC is so obviously better than everyone else always every day for ever and ever.

There are nine undefeated teams outside of the top 10 from all sorts of conferences and only four of them haven’t beaten a ranked opponent. Baylor is averaging a ridiculous 70.5 points over four games, Fresno State is in the top ten in points and passing yards, Northern Illinois has only lost twice in the past two seasons (to Florida St. in last year’s Orange Bowl and to Iowa to open 2012) and Mizzou is only there because they’re in the SEC. Find me a better reason and I’ll recant that statement. But until then, I stand by what I’ve said wholeheartedly.

The SEC is overrated because it’s so top-heavy. Teams like Kentucky, Vanderbilt and Mississippi State are forgotten because of their higher-ranked brethren. I know I can sound like a whining baby, I hear myself talking when I write these articles. I also know that an undefeated season consistently goes unrecognized because everyone believes a one-loss SEC team is better every day. If they were better, they wouldn’t have lost. End of argument. A one-loss team should NEVER be considered for a BCS title unless there is only one undefeated major conference team. If Northern Illinois is the only undefeated team left over at the end of the year, give them a BCS bowl. If Oregon is the only undefeated team left over, give them the title game and match them up against the best one-loss team.

Thankfully this will all end with this season as the playoff system begins in 2014. We will soon find out that four teams isn’t nearly enough and that an expansion to eight is very necessary. We’ll also find out that being undefeated and having a stronger schedule is very necessary. As I said last week, Alabama plays an incredibly weak schedule with all of their toughest games at home except September’s Texas A&M contest. Voters would put them in the playoff on name recognition alone but they sure as hell don’t deserve it. I’m not saying they aren’t a top team, they sure are, but if Ohio State did not have a bowl ban last season it would have been the Buckeyes playing the Irish in the title game. If you disagree, check the record. Alabama lost a game and only undefeated teams should get the shot at a championship, I don’t care who you lost to, the point is to finish the season with a perfect record and if you can do that you deserve the ring.

Games I’m watching this week:

Thursday 10/10:

7:30 p.m. Arizona @ USC – Gotta watch my Wildcats! Also since it’s a Thursday, Ka’Deem Carey will be in the national spotlight. The best RB in the country will finally get seen on the east coast. Hey ESPN, respect this Heisman contender before he makes you look foolish again.

Saturday 10/12:

12:30 p.m. #17 Florida @ #10 LSU – Just because I rip on the SEC doesn’t mean I won’t watch their games. It’s the best conference in football, I just don’t think they’re as head and shoulders above everyone else as the rest of the media.

12:30 p.m. #15 Baylor @ Kansas St. – I am not missing Baylor for the rest of the season. They’re averaging 70.5 points over four games and I can’t wait to see if they’ll do it again. Lache Seastrunk is going to be an NFL star, so watch these games and be the fantasy football hipster like me. “I knew about that guy waaaay before everyone else did.”

1:00 p.m. #2 Oregon @ #16 Washington – The nation’s best offense takes their show on the road to a difficult environment. UW is coming off an extremely tough loss on the road to Stanford and will gladly welcome their bitter rival to town to prove they’re the better team.

7:30 p.m. Oregon St. @ Washington St. – If you like passing offenses, you’ll love this one. QBs Sean Mannion and Connor Halliday will be airing it out all night long. Plus you’ll get to see one of the nation’s top wideouts, OSU’s Brandin Cooks.