I’m in the Twilight Zone

What an unbelievable weekend of college football. Both Vanderbilt and Kentucky are legitimate contenders in the SEC. Kentucky nearly beat the number two team in the country, Alabama. I’m watching Vandy in the victory formation right now to beat Auburn 14-13. It’s their first win over Auburn since 1955! After this game Vandy will be in the lead in the SEC East—ahead of both Florida and Georgia. ESPN’s College Gameday broadcasted from the Vanderbilt game in Nashville and passed on the Miami vs. Florida State game. Unbelievable.

I feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone.

ESPN reporters are humorously describing the Vandy victory in this way:

“The Geeks Shall Inherit the Earth”

“Geek and Destroy”

[LSU is off this week but will play at Florida next week.]


  • Daniel

    I’ve been reading your blog for several months but have never commented. Today I must break my silence. This is the best post you have ever made. Thank you.

  • Matt Svoboda

    Amen Darius!

    The Big 12 leaders are actually better than the rest of the league. Florida isn’t even better than Ole Miss. 7 teams in the Big 12 would beat Ole Miss and Kentucky and yet Kentucky almost beat the best team in the SEC. SEC is quite overrated. Denny, do you realize the Big 12 has 6 of the best 10 quarterbacks in the nation? Stafford is clearly overrated, Tebow is a let down, and the SEC ‘powerhouses’ continue to prove themselves powerless.

    When you say Vandy and Kentucky are actual contenders you are mocking your own conference..

    Oh, by the way, it was great meeting you outside of church today!

    And yes, I am a Big 12 fan.

  • Faimon

    Darius and Matt,
    Easy, fellas. MIght want to have a whole season of success before you boldly proclaim Big 12 dominance. Remember last year, when much this same OU team got wiped by WVU in the Fiesta Bowl?

  • Denny Burk

    Amen, Faimon. And we all remember how OU got wiped by LSU and then by USC in the title game in consecutive years. I am not a Big 12 hater, but you guys need to be a little more realistic. 🙂

  • Darius

    Seriously, you’re going to bring up ancient history? Each year should be judged on its own merit, and based on this year’s, the Big 12 rules the nest.

  • Mark Gibson

    Speaking of ancient history, the last time Baylor and LSU played each other was in the 1985 Liberty Bowl. Baylor 21 LSU 7
    Therefore, SWC > SEC.

  • Nathan

    See History Lesson below: I agree that each year should be the issue.

    As far as I am concerned, LSU is not the pretender of the SEC. It is Alabama, who jumped way over everybody because they beat a Georgia team that was overrated to begin with.

    Alabama would get lit up by any of the top Big 12 teams. The Coaches Poll has OU and Mizzou first and second, with LSU at third.

    As far as history is concerned:

    Last Ten Years 1998 – 2007 (Number of Titles)

    SEC – 4
    Big 12 – 2
    ACC – 2
    Big 10 – 1
    Pac 10 – 2

    Last Twenty 1988 – 2007
    SEC – 6
    Big 12 – 6
    ACC – 5

    So, while the last two years have pulled the SEC ahead in the last ten, over the last twenty it is pretty much a toss-up.

  • David Hamilton

    How exactly does the fact that Kentucky and Vandy are now viable contenders hurt the credibility of the SEC?

    That just means that two former “cup-cakes” can no longer be overlooked.

    LSU last year puts an exclamation point on SEC dominance. They couldn’t get out of the SEC regular season without losing two games, yet they dominated Ohio State and won the national championship. Everybody questioned their right to be there until they put a big ol’ SEC whoopin’ on OSU!

  • Darius

    Or, David, perhaps Kentucky and Vandy are only made viable due to a very average conference. Let’s try a different scenario… if Baylor beat Texas and OU one season, would you more likely believe that Texas and OU were having bad years or that Baylor was a top 10 team????

    Dominating Ohio State doesn’t mean squat, OSU is routinely one of the most overrated teams in the country (this coming from a guy who lives in Big 10 country). The Big Ten is pretty much worthless (this year’s Penn State could be an exception, but I doubt it), only slightly better than the Pac 10.

  • Matt Svoboda

    Well said Darius. No one ever gives respect to the Big 12. Texas killed Arkansas worse than Bama and Texas is the third best team in the Big 12. The SEC is quite down this year. Florida is average, Auburn is average, at best, Tennessee, Arkansas, Ole Miss, Miss. St, South Carolina are all terrible. Georgia has been overrated all season. Alabama and LSU are the only two teams worthy of a top 15 bid. The other ones are lucky of SEC bias…

    Wait until the end of the season, my friends. The Big 12 will have the most bowl victories, easy.

  • Faimon

    Darius and Matt,
    Yeah, no one ever gives respect to the Big 12. Just voting OU into those two title games and then watching them get waxed two years in a row. Five years ago, Oklahoma was this year’s Ohio State.

    And if you read what I said, I just said that we should wait and let the whole year play out before you beat your chest. Last two national titlists: SEC. Only team with two national championships in this decade: SEC team (LSU).

    The Big 12 may be the best this year, but let’s see OU get past Texas and win a bowl game, let’s see Mizzou beat someone other than other Big 12 teams.

    Easy to call teams average when I could just as easily say the same about Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M, Nebraska, et. al. Let’s let the whole season play out, and if the Big 12 does turn out to be stronger this year, so be it. I’m fine with that.

    The SEC can’t be the best conference every year. Just more years than any other.

  • Darius

    Faimon, you must not have been watching the bowl games last year, but Mizzou crushed your precious Arkansas BEFORE the Razorbacks sucked. The only team Missouri has lost to in the last 1.5 seasons is OU. They’ve decimated everyone else.

    Also, you really should learn your history. The Big 12/Big 8 has been the predominate class of the country for the last 4 decades. Most of the SEC is new to this thing we call college football.

  • Matt Svoboda


    I agreed with your post until you said Texas Tech was average. Are you smoking something? They are better than almost every team in the SEC not to mention ranked 7. Give me a break. Denny, Faimon was no tin the right state of mind when he wrote that. Kansas could also be well over majority of your precious conference. But yes, my Huskers are average and it is heart breaking. But we will rise again! LSU might be the only team to win 2 NC this decade, but Nebraska won 3 in the 90’s. You do not want to go into a history debate. Nebraska and Oklahoma wipe the floor with everyone in the SEC. Not to mention Texas winning a National Championship.

    Thank you Darius for truth and reason! Mizzou did kill Arkansas who came in 2nd in the SEC west.

  • Faimon

    Darius and Matt,
    Again I feel compelled to educate you. Perhaps you might want to revisit your college football history.

    Alabama and Notre Dame are tied for the most national championships in the history of college football. As far as I am aware, the Big 12 has not accepted Notre Dame as a member, and Alabama is in the SEC.

    Texas Tech has yet to play anyone, and therefore, like every year of the Mike Leach era, must be treated with suspicion. Those wins over Eastern Washington, Massachusetts and SMU are not very impressive, really. I hardly think that the Red Raiders have a better resume at this point than Alabama or LSU, and so a statement that they are better than everyone in the SEC is simply indefensible and borne of a relentlessly narrow minded view point.

    Kansas? You mean the team that lost to South Florida? Okay….

    As for Mizzou, they could be the real deal. But had they played the SEC equivalent of a third place finisher in the conference (as they were last year) they would have played Georgia. And I don’t know that they would’ve won that game. But Arkansas was not their equal, even with Darren McFadden. And like I said, they could be very good this year – in fact, I think they are one of two teams in the Big 12 that are very very good. But I still want to see more from them, as yet their toughest opponent has been a mediocre Big 10 team.

    Again, I reiterate, let’s let the season play out. Then we’ll see.

  • Nathan


    Your education seems to be lacking a little yourself. Granted Notre Dame and Alabama have the most titles, but see my stats in post #9, unless you want to say that Princeton and Army are better than most of the schools in the SEC since they have more titles. Let’s not get into ancient history.

    As for Texas Tech’s schedule, waht about Georgia’s. It is littered with such powerhouses as Georgia Southern, Central Michigan, South Carolina, and Arizona State.

    All the teams play a chump schedule early in the year, so that is an illegitimate argument.

    Also, if Arkansas was such a chump team last year what does that say about LSU who was beaten at home by them?

    So, in other words, you are stating that Mizzou would trounce LSU given that Arkansas was not Missouri’s equal even with Darren McFaddon.

    Thanks for making the point that the Big 12 is superior.

  • Darius

    One thing I forgot to point out before… OU lost to a pumped up West Virginia team with three defensive stars out of the game with injuries, as well as a couple offensive ones. They were doomed from the beginning.

    As for your “history” lesson, Faimon… last time I checked, Alabama was only ONE of the teams in the SEC. Besides Florida’s recent success in the 90’s, what other team can claim much perennial success from the SEC? In contrast, the Big 12/Big 8/SWC has teams like Nebraska, Oklahoma, Texas, Texas A&M. In the modern era of football, OU and Alabama each have 7 titles, Nebraska has 5, Texas 4, LSU 3, and Florida 2. So the Big 12 has 16 to the SEC’s 12, and the SEC got three of theirs in the last 4 years.

  • Mark Gibson

    I think Ole Miss has three. Arkansas has one but that was when they were a SWC team. What year is to be considered as the beginning of the modern era of football?

  • Darius

    Mark, I wasn’t counting every single team’s championships, since A&M has one I believe, and Colorado has one. OSU might have one too. I was just pointing out the top teams in each conference (3 in the Big 12, 2 in the SEC).

  • Darius

    Anyone who relies on that table for their rankings obviously doesn’t know their college football. No serious person would ever put the Big 10 above either the SEC or the Big 12/Big 8/SWC.

  • Mark Gibson

    If you are going to use the all-time rankings, then you need to move about 90% of Arkansas and TCU’s history to the Big 12. That’s a ton of points for national championships and Big 4 Bowls. You would also have to take into consideration that the SWC champion always went to the Cotton Bowl. The SEC champion goes to the Sugar Bowl, and the Pac/Big 10 champions for years automatically went to the Rose Bowl. Since the Fiesta Bowl has replaced the Cotton Bowl as a Big 4 bowl, the Big 12 Big 4 bowl points have been understated.

  • Ryan

    Well currently you are right, Big 12 and SEC sit alone at the top. Still hard to argue that the Big 12 is deeper then the SEC, you may be alone on that one.

  • Darius

    Hardly, since Steve made that exact point in a different thread. I’ll repost his comment here (with my comments in parentheses):
    Georgia vs. Oklahoma
    Florida vs. Missouri
    LSU vs. Texas
    Alabama vs. Texas Tech
    Auburn vs. Kansas
    Vanderbilt vs. Nebraska
    Kentucky vs. Oklahoma St.
    South Carolina vs. Colorado
    Mississippi vs. Kansas St.
    Tennessee vs. Iowa St.
    Mississippi St. vs. Texas A&M
    Arkansas vs. Baylor

    Man, it’s tough to argue based on this that the SEC is the tougher conference. I’m an SEC guy, and it’s tough to objectively say that the SEC is the best based on these match ups. Here’s how I’d pick these games:

    Oklahoma over Georgia (by a mile)
    Florida over Missouri (this could go either way)
    LSU over Texas (Texas could easily win this matchup this year the way McCoy is playing)
    Alabama over Texas Tech (probably Alabama, but again, they need to prove that they are for real or they could lose by 50 to TT’s offense)
    Auburn over Kansas (Kansas wins this one easily, since Auburn has zero offense)
    Nebraska over Vandy (Vandy probably wins this one, since the Huskers suck)
    OSU over Kentucky (Oklahoma State wins this in a cakewalk)
    Colorado over South Carolina (South Carolina would have a pretty decent shot)
    K-St. over Ole Miss (This is a toss-up)
    Tennessee over Iowa St. (Agreed)
    Texas A&M over Miss St. (Toss-up)
    Arkansas over Baylor (Toss-up, Baylor could pull it out)

    So let’s look at that head-to-head matchup:

    I count at least 6 if not 7 wins for the Big 12.

  • Kyle Barrett

    So all the talking heads are wrong over the past 5 years when they say that the SEC is HANDS DOWN the toughest conference?

  • Kyle Barrett

    Having 8 of the top 15 qb’s means that you have 8 individually gifted players. Not necessarily great teams.

    Talent-wise you could make a case that the top 3 (OU, TEX, Mizz) big 12 teams are on par with the top 3 SEC teams. Coaching is what separates the two leagues though. Stoops is great but Mack Brown lucked out in getting Vince Young. Other than that his teams have underacheived. He’s done less with arguably the most talent in the league. Saban, Richt, Miles, Meyer are all studs. And that is why I would take the SEC in each of the higher profile match up’s you listed Darius. OU would not do to UGA what Bama did to them. Sorry. Not a chance. The only game I think it’s actually a game is the UF-Mizz game because our secondary is questionable and Chase Daniels is great.

  • Nathan


    We only thought it was over because it was determined that, at best, the Big 12 and SEC can be seen as equals; at worst the arguments will never end.

    However, since you asked. Do you really want us (Big 12 guys) to believe that you actually believe the “talking heads”? And do you really thnk Midwest guys believe there is not a bias amongst the “talking heads”?

    As far as coaching, you can take your SEC guys and we will take our Big 12 guys. That is a “he said” “she said.”

    As for your matchups.

    Othan LSU, there isn’t a team in the SEC that could keep within 20 of either OU or Mizzou.

    As for the QBs, if you are going to have elite players at any position, what other position would you want them at. Florida doesn’t win squat without Teabow? Texas doesn’t win the title a few years ago without Young, etc. The QB position is the one in College Football that can deliver you a title above the rest. And the Big 12 rules at QB.

    So the question is this: Which defense in the SEC can effectively shut down the Big 12’s QBs. Answer – none.

    Alabama – Pretender of the year
    Georgia – Overrated this year living off previous years
    Auburn – No offense whatsoever
    Florida – Only as good as Teabow; not good at the moment
    Kentucky – Enough said
    Arkansas – They wished it was last year

    Vandy – Nice Surprise

    And by the way! The Talking Heads are all talking about OU-Texas and Mizzou-OK St this week; not the SEC…

    But for us Big 12 guys, we couldn’t care less.

  • Ryan


    You are right, at the moment, the Big 12 looks good, but we will see who is standing at the end of the year. When an SEC team makes it through the gauntlet to the BCS championship game, they win, period. In an attempt to end this, here is record by conference in the BCS era.

    SEC 4-0
    Pac-10 1-1
    Big 12 2-3
    Big Ten 1-2
    ACC 1-2

    Flat out, when it matters, SEC wins big games, enjoy the powder puff Big 12 games while you can, when the BCS games come around and the real teams have to stand up, SEC will again prove why they are the best.

  • Nathan


    Your speaking about National Championships which was settled way back in post #9. As was noted, in the last 10 years the SEC leads 4-2 over the Big 12. In the Last 20, it is 6-6. So, that argument has already come and gone.

    So, are all Championships prior to the BCS impotent?

    “Flat out, when it matters, SEC wins big games, enjoy the powder puff Big 12 games while you can, when the BCS games come around and the real teams have to stand up, SEC will again prove why they are the best.”

    One final history lesson:

    1936 – Present Consensus AP National Champions

    Big 12 18 – Oklahoma (7), Nebraska (5), Texas (4), Colorado (1), Texas A&M (1)

    SEC 16 – Alabama (7), LSU (3), Florida (2), Tennessee (2), Georgia (1), Auburn (1)

    Big 10 15 – Ohio State (5), Minnesota (4), Michigan (2), Michigan State (2), Penn State (2)

    Independents 10 – Notre Dame (8), Army (2)

    ACC 10 – Miami (5), Florida State (2), Georgia Tech (1), Clemson (1), Maryland (1)

    Pac 10 – 9 USC (7), Washington (1), UCLA (1)

    Big East – 3 Pittsburgh (2), Syracuse (1)

    Mountain West 2 – BYU (1), TCU (1)

    National Championships By Decade dating back to the 1950s

    1950 – Big 12 (3), SEC (2)
    1960 – Big 12 (2), SEC (3)
    1970 – Big 12 (4), SEC (2)
    1980 – Big 12 (1), SEC (0)
    1990 – Big 12 (3), SEC (3)
    2000 – Big 12 (2), SEC (3)

    That’s Big 12 (15) SEC (13)

    So, as I have stated in previous posts, these are the two best conferences.

    The problem is that you SEC guys seem to think that the Big 12, as you call “powder puff,” can’t carry your jocks.

    And you do have recent history in your favor, but remarks like “The SEC can’t be the best conference every year. Just more years than any other.” and “Let’s let the numbers truly speak for themselves, SEC leads the way, followed by the BIG TEN, sorry Big 12 fans, you are third.”

    Well, the numbers do speak and in every category, whether it be total championships by conference or individual championships by a team in the conference, the Big 12 has the edge.

    Not the recent edge, but the “bling” edge.

    So, as you said, “Flat out, when it matters, the Big 12 has proven it is the best conference in the history of the game.”

  • Ryan

    National Championships in the Big 12 are easier because the conference is weaker. You almost have to go undefeated to win the NC. That is a easier task in the Big 12, than the SEC.
    This has been fun,
    I vote for a playoff…
    Unless the Big 12 is worried they will never get another NC..

  • Darius

    After yesterday, let’s relook at those predictions…

    -Oklahoma over Georgia (pretty easily)
    -Florida over Missouri (close one, but Florida just has too much speed)
    -Texas over LSU (LSU is pretty overrated on both sides of the ball, they wouldn’t be able to stop McCoy)
    -Alabama over Texas Tech (Toss up still since Alabama has yet to prove anything)
    -Kansas over Auburn (this would be a laugher)
    -Nebraska over Vandy (close game, Huskers probably win)
    -OSU over Kentucky (by a mile)
    -Colorado over South Carolina (yep)
    -K-St. over Ole Miss (close game)
    -Tennessee over Iowa St. (okay)
    -Texas A&M over Miss St. (close game)
    -Arkansas over Baylor (Baylor whooped ISU yesterday, they could probably stay with Arky)

    I count 8 Big 12 and 4 SEC wins, including three easy ones for the Big 12. It’s not even close between these conferences and you have to be pretty blind or biased to not admit it.

    So what two things have we learned class? One, in college football history, at BEST the SEC is the equal of the Big 12/Big 8/SWC. It’s more accurate though to call the SEC slightly below the Big 12 historically. Two, THIS year the Big 12 is easily the best conference in the country.

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