An Open Reply
I recently got 2 comments from likely USC/Pac-10 fans pissing on my SEC.
Dave said that the SEC teams never play any hard out of conference teams, and James had this to say;
let's take a look at what 'SC has done when they've played the SEC in the past two years: pasted the SEC West Champion Arkansas 50-14, then 55-19 AT RAZORBACK STADIUM. Auburn in '03? Oklahoma (granted, not in the SEC) in '04? USC has consistently beaten the tar out of the best teams from the SEC, ACC, and the Big 12, and you can ask them to do no better.
OK, first Dave, here's a look at out of conference teams that the SEC is playing this year alone;
Alabama vs Florida State
Auburn vs #2 USF, AND #25 Kansas State
Florida Gators vs Florida State
Georgia vs Georgia Tech
Kentucky vs Louisville
LSU vs #11 Virginia Tech
Ole Miss vs #16 Missouri
Mississippi State vs #9 West Virginia
Tennessee vs #10 Cal
That is 2007 alone. Let's see 2006 shall we?
Arkansas vs. #4 Southern Cal
Auburn vs. Washington State
Florida vs. Florida State
Georgia vs. Georgia Tech
Kentucky vs. #6 Louisville
LSU vs. Arizona
Miss. State vs. #10 West Virginia
Ole Miss vs #18 Wake Forrest
Tennessee vs. #14 Cal
Vanderbilt vs. #8 Michigan
Wow! Another 10 of 12 SEC teams step up to play hard teams.
The SEC requires 8 conference games out of 12 regular season games, plus you want one easy game for homecoming, and theoretically you want an easy game for week 1. That leaves 2 weeks to play a non conference team, if you don't include in-state rivals. Out of 12 SEC teams, at least 9 teams are playing a team that is ranked in the top 25, or was ranked in the top 25 in 2006. The only exceptions to that are Florida State and Georgia Tech. Florida State just dropped from being ranked #21 last week, and GT is Georgia's in state rivalry.
Second James, USC beat the then 4-7, 10-4, and now 3-3 Arkansas Razorbacks. They have NEVER been the best SEC team. And yes they beat the then 8-5 Auburn Tigers in 2003. I'll give USC their title in 2004 but then again, as you said that was against Oklahoma, a non-SEC team who fell to 8-4 the following year.
Just for comparison, here is USC's regular season out of conference schedule for the past few years;
Idaho (1-6) WAC
Nebraska (4-3) Big 12
Notre Dame (1-6) IA
#12 Arkansas (10-4) SEC
Nebraska (9-5) Big 12
#11 Notre Dame (10-3) IA
Hawaii (5-7) WAC
Arkansas (4-7) SEC
#9 Notre Dame (9-3) IA
Fresno State (8-5) WAC
USC had one year where they played truly tough out of conference teams, but in the past 3 years they have NOT played the BEST of the ACC, the Big 12, or the SEC. The last conference champ they beat was Virginia Tech in 2004. Before that it was Colorado in 2002. The SEC played 3 conference champs in 2006 regular season; USC, (PAC 10), Louisville (Big East), and Georgia Tech (ACC)
And yes, I can ask USC to do better. How about not losing to UNRANKED teams in their own conference. USC has had 3 strait games against unranked teams be decided by 7 or less points. I'm predicting that USC will stomp Notre Dame (as has everyone else), get pounded by the Ducks, beat O State and Cal, then lose to Arizona State to finish 9-3.