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Posts Tagged ‘SEC’

How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 4

As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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    SEC: “Dangerous Act” Earned Suspension

    Watch the above video. UTEP is in white, Mississippi in red. The Miners’ quarterback, Nick Lamaison, throws a deep post to Jordan Leslie, the team’s second-leading receiver. The throw is high and outside – a receiver’s worst nightmare. Based on the video, Leslie knows the hit is coming: he tenses, pulling his arms back into his body, growing smaller as he peeks up towards Mississippi’s Trae Elston, covering the deep middle of the field. While the hit did not draw a flag, it did draw a response from the SEC: Elston has been suspended for the Rebels’ game against Texas on Saturday.

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      How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 3

      As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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        U.L.M. Shocks, Rewrites Arkansas’ Season

        Louisiana-Monroe owns the SEC. Not really. No, really: U.L.M. owns the SEC – with a slight caveat. The Warhawks are as good against the SEC as any non-B.C.S. conference program in the country, I should say. Last night, the Warhawks beat Arkansas, 34-31, in overtime, to notch the program’s second win against the nation’s premier conference since 2007. The victory joins that earlier win against Alabama in Nick Saban’s first year; the two wins sandwich seven losses, but that’s neither here nor there.

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          ‘Toppers Can Win, Even in (Lopsided) Defeat

          I love what Willie Taggart has achieved over two-plus years at Western Kentucky, but I don’t love it that much – you know, enough to pick Taggart and the Hilltoppers to give Alabama much of a challenge on Saturday afternoon. But could it happen? Could Western Kentucky come up and bite the Crimson Tide in the same way it roughhoused with Kentucky for 60 minutes last September, eventually losing, 14-3, but raising the question of whether or not the Wildcats were actually part of the SEC? There’s a chance, seeing that the Hilltoppers did hang with L.S.U. for a half last November.

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            How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 2

            As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:

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              No. 1: L.S.U.

              History isn’t on L.S.U.’s side. Since the advent of the B.C.S. in 1998, only one runner-up has bounced back to win the national championship in the following season: Florida State, after losing to Tennessee in the inaugural B.C.S. title game, topped Virginia Tech a year later to cap its second – and last – national title. Since then, only Oklahoma and Ohio State have returned to the title game; both lost, to U.S.C. and Florida, respectively. Other teams haven’t even come close, like Nebraska in 2002, the injury-ravaged Sooners in 2009 and, most famously, the Texas team that went from meeting Alabama in early 2010 to seven losses less than a year later. So L.S.U. has history to contend with, not to mention one other hurdle no other team to come before it could have ever anticipated: Alabama. So why will the Tigers be the first since F.S.U. to buck the trend? Because what happened yesterday – what happened a sentence ago – has never mattered to L.S.U. and Les Miles; this is a program that has never worried for one second about perception or history. Alabama might have beaten L.S.U. down, but the Tigers weren’t broken. They’ll bounce back – just you wait.

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                No. 4: Alabama

                My only surprise came when L.S.U. didn’t walk into the Sugar Dome wearing black – the Tigers were going to a funeral, after all. What transpired over the ensuing 60 minutes was the most physically dominating big-game performance of the B.C.S. era, in my mind. A question: After seeing how the 2009 SEC title game completely and utterly demoralized Urban Meyer and Florida, do Les Miles and L.S.U. have the mental fortitude to make another run at B.C.S. glory? Alabama and L.S.U. are tied together in more ways than one: Alabama’s quest for a repeat goes through the Tigers, just as the Tigers’ hopes roll through Nick Saban and the Crimson Tide. There are traditional, annual rivalries that tie teams together more closely than Alabama and L.S.U. – Alabama and Auburn – but is there another annual tussle in college football with such historic title implications? It’s time to put Alabama and L.S.U. in a very select class: Nebraska and Oklahoma, Michigan and Ohio State, Florida State and Miami, U.S.C. and Notre Dame – and that’s it. For Alabama and L.S.U. alike, this fact won’t change in 2012.

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                  The Countdown

                  A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.