Gosh, Paul Johnson’s right – if you don’t count the top of the SEC (which holds down the first three slots in the BCS standings, last time I looked), compared to the ACC, the conference is nothing special.
“Personally, I think the conference thing is way overblown. How are you going to evaluate? Are you looking at the top two teams in the conference or are you going to take the conference as a whole? There’s four SEC-ACC games Saturday. Let’s see what happens. Who’s favored in the Clemson-South Carolina game? Who’s favored in the Florida-Florida State game? Wake-Vandy? I don’t know. But you see what I mean? Now, if we’re just talking about Alabama and LSU, that’s different.”
Johnson makes a point. While you can make a case that the SEC is the nation’s superior conference, the strength at the top – and certainly five consecutive BCS titles – exaggerates the differences between conferences from top to bottom…
This is truly silly stuff coming from both Johnson and Schultz (who should know better). Like it or not, Alabama, Arkansas and LSU all get to cash the checks they receive from the SEC office, just like Ole Miss does. Do either of the two really want to make a case that any of those three programs wouldn’t rip the ACC a new one, if that’s where any of ‘em played for a season? And does it occur to Johnson or Schultz that a reason the bottom of the SEC looks weaker this year might be because of the havoc the top three have wreaked against it?
Now I get what this really boils down to is Johnson’s insistence that Georgia doesn’t present a special challenge because Tech’s seen other good programs and other good players this season. But here’s the thing: if it’s not about the toughness of the two conferences, if it’s not about overall talent or special players and if it’s not about annual distractions (there was only one NCAA inquiry, right?), then how has Tech lost two games to the weakest teams Mark Richt has fielded in his tenure at Georgia? It couldn’t be coaching, could it?