It’s time to check in on our friends from the South. Surely, the SEC hasn’t been dominating your news feeds or been fawned over by ESPN enough this offseason, right? So, I thought it fitting to put together a little something to give some much needed love and attention to the most underappreciated conference in the land. The following is a completely original and 100 percent accurate representation of the very best that our beloved sport has to offer.
(Play to the tune of “Over There”)
We don’t care/We don’t care
If it ain’t an SEC game/We just don’t care.
We never lose/We simply snooze
If y’all beat us/It’s ’cause we don’t care
We play eight games/We play eight games
To play more against giants/Would simply be insane
We won’t be over/We won’t be over
Cause we don’t leave here/To go over there
CBS , ESPN, Paul Finebaum/We all could care less
‘Cause down here it means more/It just means more
Than it does to you/Suckers way out west
Fasten seatbelts/Lift tray tables?
Are words that we simply do not need to hear
We won’t be over/We won’t be over
And we’ll only play you suckers/In our southern Dixie lair!
The college football (CFB) media cartel, ESPN, has released its 2019 Football Power Index (FPI) rankings. That the owner of the SEC Network projects that 10 SEC teams will finish in CFB’s top 20 is about about as bold as predicting that you will see snow on Mount Hood. The World Wide Leader wants you to know that the SEC West is the toughest division in CFB, followed closely by the SEC East. As southern man Gomer Pyle used to say … surprise, surprise!
Forget about the SEC barely going over .500 in its 2017 and 2018 bowl games. Forget about the Big 12 and its paper maché defenses going 3-1 against the SEC in its 2018 bowl games.
Nothing to see here, folks. Move right along.
The all-knowing FPI has the Ducks’ inaugural 2019 opponent, Auburn — which was last seen turning Purdue into Pur-don’t –, ranked ninth. I note that in addition to a newbie at QB, the Tigers bring back Gus Malzahn, who, according to many the Auburn fans, should be on the endangered species list. Oregon, which features a first-round NFL draft prospect at QB, comes in at number 10.
The big opener in 2019, as Duck fans well know, is being played in Dixie. The Advocare Classic will take place in Arlington, a city that happens to be far closer to Auburn’s campus than Oregon’s. Who’d have guessed? But this location is a pimple on a pachyderm’s posterior compared to the Ducks’ season opener in 2022 season, when they’ll go up against Georgia in Atlanta for another “neutral site” game.
In my humble opinion, scheduling like this is worthy of but two words: “sense” and “less.”
The last Pac-12 team that tripped to the the Playoff, the Hucking Fuskies, made it by playing in the Black Hole of CFB, Rutgers, New Jersey, where Soprano Family victims and CFB wins go to die. The team up north then swallowed two bear-claw-sized cupcakes. All good with the strength-of-schedule-challenged College Football Playoff committee.
And let’s not forget how the Ducks have been treated by SEC teams sans Tennessee as of late. Texas A(in’t) & M(eeting) you in Eugene gave the Ducks the same treatment as do many the Texan firing from behind a duck blind. Enter Portland State.
But based upon the fact that the committee has yet to send a two-loss team to the “Roy Kramer Invitational,” would the Aggies’ slight have been so detrimental if Oregon had pulled victory from the jaws of defeat against Stanford, or showed up and balled out at Wazzu, Arizona and Utah, and won the Pac-12 Conference with just a single loss?
Undefeated Alabama, Clemson and Notre Dame were all 2018 playoff locks. But would Oregon, if it had gone 12-1 with a win over UCLA, as did Oklahoma, a team that’s best OOC win turned out to be an OT defeat of Army, have had an argument? Heck yes! I realize that this is a complete hypothetical. I realize the Pac-12 conference is way down. But I again note that this committee to date has parsed nothing, including strength of schedule, beyond wins and losses when deciding the CFP teams.
So should the Ducks be putting it all on Pass Line in the opening game? Is the game worth the candle? Because even if the Ducks win in Arlington this year and win in Atlanta in 2022, unlike its SEC foes, they still must navigate nine conference games and a conference championship game.
At the very least, shouldn’t Oregon, as the above mentioned A&M is doing by playing Texas State at home before tripping to Clemson, get a game under its belt by opening at home against Nevada?
Tennessee gave the Ducks a home-and-home series. Michigan State gave the Ducks a home-and-home series. Oregon has an upcoming home-and-home scheduled with Ohio State. So why the need to travel to Dixie to play SEC teams? I get the Beavers groveling for money, but why the Ducks?
If you aren’t willing to fly into Eugene, then the Ducks should not be flying into your den. But I guess that’s just wishful thinking in a sport that’s driven by the talking heads south of the Mason Dixon Line.
Georgetown, Texas Top Photo From Video
Andrew Mueller, the FishDuck.com Volunteer Editor for this article, works in digital marketing in Chicago, Illinois.
Jon Joseph grew up in Boston, Massachusetts but has been blessed to have lived long enough in the west to have exorcised all east coast bias. He played football in college and has passionately followed the game for seven decades. A retired corporate attorney Jon has lectured across the country and published numerous articles on banking and gaming law. Now resident in central Oregon Jon follows college football across the nation with a focus on the Conference of Champions and the Ducks.
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