And I saw you in my nightmares, but I’ll see you in my dreams.

In case you didn’t know, Jim Delany has a fixation about the SEC.  Witness this latest example, as he muses about whether Ohio State and Michigan should share the same division in the soon-to-be reconfigured Big Ten:

“I would put Michigan-Ohio State among the top five events in all of sports for rivalry,” Delany said. “It’ll get played. Now the question is, how best to play it? Are they in the same divisions or are they not? Do they play in the last game, the second-to-last game, the third-to-last game? How to do that is still under discussion.”

Delany noted that Ohio State and Michigan often have played for the right to go to the Rose Bowl, which would be lost if the teams were placed in the same division.

“You could make a good argument that Michigan and Ohio State should never really be playing for a divisional crown,” Delany said. “If they’re going to play, play for the right to go to the Rose Bowl. When Tennessee and Florida play, when Auburn and Alabama play, only one of those teams is going to go to the championship game because they’re in the same division.”

Yeah, that ol’ Iron Bowl sure has faded into obscurity since the SEC adopted division play and tucked ‘Bama and Auburn into the West, hasn’t it?  It seems like nobody cares about that game anymore.

Isn’t Delany is setting his sights a little low with this talk about a Rose Bowl play-in game?  After all, as Andy Staples notes, the SEC aims higher and hasn’t missed lately.

… Naturally, this dominance chafes those who live in places where they don’t appreciate Dolly Parton as an artist and where they don’t understand that good grits require the perfect combination of salt, pepper and butter. After Florida steamrolled Ohio State 41-14 to win the 2006 BCS title, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany released a statement that essentially blamed the Buckeyes’ lack of swiftness on the Big Ten’s higher academic standards.

“The SEC has great speed, especially on the defensive line, but there are appropriate balances when mixing academics and athletics,” Delany wrote on Feb. 9, 2007. “Each school, as well as each conference, simply must do what fits their mission regardless of what a recruiting service recommends.”

Near the end of his letter Delany posited that, given the cyclical nature of college football, it was unlikely the SEC’s reign would last long. “Let’s see if the five- and 10-year trend lines hold,” Delany wrote, “or whether the recruiting services and talking heads are seeing a new day.”

Three seasons have passed since then, Commissioner. No other conference has won the national title. And when an SEC team beats a nonconference foe, SEC fans — even the ones who are bound by tradition to hate one another — rise to a full-throated roar to proclaim that superiority…


Filed under Big Ten Football, SEC Football

14 responses to “And I saw you in my nightmares, but I’ll see you in my dreams.

  1. Hogbody Spradlin

    Yes the Big Ten has better academics. Heck, I got my diploma thrown into my open car window when driving through Athens on a hot day.

    But, pray tell have they done a better job of wiping out poverty, sickness, and unhappiness in Ohio and Michigan? Don’t forget population growth.

    Jim Delaney is working a shrinking market and knows it.


  2. Dante

    Maybe Michigan should worry about being bowl eligible first. It’s going to be kinda hard to go to the Rose Bowl if you can’t even scrape together 6 wins. Maybe they should schedule a cupcake like a Div IAA school? Maybe someone like App State is available? Oh… nevermind.


  3. Academics

    Maybe the academics overall are lower for the conference but UGA and FL are on par with anyone these days. I doubt you could drive by and get your diploma now. The standards have been set much higher.


    • Hogbody Spradlin

      No offense Academics, but I’m a skeptic of most claims of academic elitism. Georgia is definitely harder to get into these days than the 70’s, but I view that as supply and demand (lottery scholarships). Academic rankings are mostly subjective PR things. Everybody likes to say their degree came from a top school, but as long as it gets you where you want to go in this world, it’s good enough.


      • Scott W.

        I’m pretty sure all these kids with high GPAs and SAT scores don’t just breeze through the Uni after they get there. It is a different school from when your diploma was chucked at you as you said in your former post.


        • Kevin

          It took a 1290 and 3.9 to get me accepted (after a deferral) in 2001, and by 2003, those same scores were being denied.

          By 04, if you didn’t have AP courses and a minimum of 4.0 + higher SAT scores than me, you weren’t getting in.

          By 06 I heard of ppl getting declined, not just deferred, from UGA and accepted to Tech.

          The HOPE has def changed things


        • Gen. Stoopnagle

          Oh, yes, there are folks skating at UGA.

          There are constant, public conversations on campus about academic rigor and, more than once, I’ve heard faculty wonder outloud if their standards have kept pace with the ability of the students.

          There are harder and less hard ways through UGA. Just like anywhere else.


  4. Brandon

    I think NOT being in the same division tends to hurt a rivalry more than being in the same division does. The Georgia-Auburn rivalry as great as it is, lacks some of the zip it had back in the 80’s and I think its largely because we’re in different divisions. On the flip side Georgia-Tennessee is a lot more vicious than it used to be, its now continuous, and we fight for the division. When I was a kid Nebraska-Oklahoma was every bit as big as Texas-Oklahoma probably bigger but sticking Nebraska and Oklahoma in different divisions and having them not play every year really sucked the life out of it.


    • The Realist

      I agree. If you split into divisions, the regular season matchup means even less. You are basically hoping for a rematch in the championship game to get anything meaningful out of the rivalry.


    • Gen. Stoopnagle

      Brandon, I believe you nailed it. Plus, the whole splitting them up thing could work out for the Big Integer like it has for the ACC.


  5. Macallanlover

    I am pretty sure UGA and Ohio State were tied in the current US News’ academic rankings, not that polls/rankings are that significant for students’ education. It only impacts the perception. Delany is a dinosaur who has held back the Big 10+, and all of CFB, with his mob-boss approach.

    The very fact he mentions the domination by OSU and Michigan is testament to the weakness of the conference. In the SEC, the six best programs (UGA, FL, TN, LSU, Bama, and Auburn) are guaranteed to play a minimum of 3 of the other 5 EVERY single year in the regular season, and guaranteed to meet the very best team once, or twice, in each of those “special” years. How can that not be good for fans? If you play only for the short-term money, and not for the well-being of those who are the source of the money, the golden goose will eventually die. It is working wonderfully for the SEC, how is it going for the Big 10+? Boy, their flag is certainly flying high these days.


  6. The General

    Is there any actual basis for Delaney’s academic arrogance? That is, does the Big Twelven truly impose stricter admission criteria for athletes than the NCAA eligibility guidelines? Please find me one single guy who says, “I wanted to play for Tressel, but I couldn’t get in, so I played for Meyer instead.” Total bullshit.


  7. Not to mention, he has managed to BS his conference into two BCS bowls with regularity over the years, whether or not it was deserved. I think his angle here is to keep the option open for one of the conference’s historically powerful programs (Michigan) to have a chance to garner that second bid with his beloved Buckeye’s garnering the first, of course.
    His thinking being that should they meet in the regular season, one of the teams is automatically out of the running, but should they meet in the title game both teams still would deserve a BCS bid.
    Of course, we in the SEC know that the loser of the title game is most often passed over in favor of the third-best team for a second BCS bid.
    However, when one plays in a top-heavy conference, there may not be a third-best team that merits such consideration.
    It seems to be a hedge towards remaining a top-heavy conference and keeping the balance of power between OSU and UM with an occasional nod to PSU.
    A Big XII redux, if you will.


  8. Gen. Stoopnagle

    Oh, Jimmy. Yeah, you have a higher entrance standard for athletes and you don’t oversign. Kudos to you!

    But your institutions still funnel athletes into less rigorous majors, realize huge incomes earned on the backs of their amateur status, and experience your own academic casualties (Minnesota hoops scandal, pointshaving at N’western, Mo Clarett). Spare the SEC your hypocrisy.