I blame Mike Hamilton.

Pat Forde describes the power shift from the SEC East to the SEC West took place in a dizzying 41-day stretch that ended with this turn of events:

On Jan. 12, Lane Kiffin abruptly left Tennessee after a single season, and within three days the Volunteers catastrophically closed in on Derek Dooley as his replacement.

From that point on, the SEC West was in charge of America’s strongest football conference. The East has been squashed ever since.

Damn it, Tennessee.

Eh, who am I kidding here?  It’s been totally worth it.

24 Comments

Filed under Because Nothing Sucks Like A Big Orange, SEC Football

24 responses to “I blame Mike Hamilton.

  1. So…..oversigning doesn’t mean anything–right?

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  2. James Stephenson

    Except since then, Doesn’t UGA have a winning record vs the West.

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  3. Brandon

    I would argue that power shift happened as soon as little Nicky stepped foot in Tuscaloosa, and all the other teams finally realized they were about to have to step their game up to become relevant over there.

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    • Bulldog Joe

      Coach Saban inherited a depleted roster due to the reduced number of scholarships available during Alabama’s five-year probation.

      Out of necessity, he recruited beyond these scholarship limits, created the greyshirt program, and expanded roster management procedures beyond the selective academic disqualifications popular at the time.

      Medical redshirts, pressured transfers, and selective discipilinary action were deployed in situations where academic disqualification was not an option.

      When Alabama’s scholarship reductions had passed, these procedures continued, resulting in a very large competitive advantage. The coaching staff could immediately eliminate recruiting mistakes with a pool of queued recruited talent ready to step in to fill the gaps. Walk-ons became fewer and recruited players filled special teams and scout team roles, making practice more competitive.

      Once it this advantage became clear, the SEC West schools and South Carolina adopted the same procedures. Also upon Butch Jones’ arrival Tennessee has done the same.

      The pool of stockpiled talent is somewhat tempered by the SEC’s scholarship restrictions in 2012, but these competitive advantages are still in place.

      It sucks for the student-athlete, but there is no denying the competitive advantage these procedures bring.

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  4. Macallanlover

    Why do we allow the media to split the SEC? We are one conference but the SEC haters love to use the divide and conquer. And the nut cases in the West are joining in. Biggest difference is Vandy and KY in the East for football comparisons. UGA has been the 3rd best team in the SEC for several years, regardless of which division we are in.

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  5. UGA85

    I would argue that the imbalance began when Urban Meyer left Florida. The level of coaching now definitely favors the West, and this is not healthy for the SEC. The East needs a dominant, well-coached football team to actually win the SEC championship. I see no reason why this team should not be UGA this year.

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    • JCDAWG83

      That team SHOULD have been Georgia for a few years now but we refuse to give up the tradition of face plant games against teams we are favored against.

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      • “the tradition of face plant games against teams we are favored against.” You have a quick key now for that comment? 😉

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        • AthensHomerDawg

          +1
          Hah.

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        • AthensHomerDawg

          I’ll be a Chastain Park the day of the Georgia vs ut. I hate that stadium and am none too crazy about the fans or Knoxvegas.
          Now get off my lawn. 😉

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        • JCDAWG83

          Sadly, it’s become part of my hands’ muscle memory because it has to be typed so many times. I really wish we would stop doing it and I wouldn’t have to reference it so many times.

          Would you prefer?…

          Bed crapping game
          Shit the bed game
          Fail to show up
          Play like we’re surprised to learn there’s a game that day
          Piss ourselves
          Forget we have a game
          coach ourselves out of a win

          All are applicable, feel free to pick the one you like best, or add one of your own.

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          • Well, I’m glad you posted this, because I thought I saw someone post the other day about Richt’s tenure and they didn’t have the decency to reference the annual faceplant(s). Stay on point JC!!

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  6. Squashed? What’s OUR record against the west since then?

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  7. Eh, this stuff is cyclical. the East was dominate from ’93-’98 before things evened out for a bit. It will swing back around at some point.

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  8. JCDAWG83

    One big difference is; the West has 7 teams with legit football programs, we have 5. Vandy and Kentucky will never be SEC football powers. If 2 of our 5 are down, that only leaves 3. If 2 of the West teams are down, they still have as many legit teams as we do in a year where all of our power teams are strong.

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    • Ghost of Bear Bryant

      I disagree about UK, JC. If the Wildcats ever get their act together they can win the SEC and maybe even the NC.

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      • Fran Curci

        Amen.

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      • JCDAWG83

        I haven’t seen anything to make me think that might happen in my lifetime. Basketball is still king in KY, not only the school but the state. The state of KY only has about 4 million people and high school football is not a very big deal. UK has no real football history or tradition. The fact that UT and Ohio State and Notre Dame and West Virginia are fairly close doesn’t help either. The top Kentucky players get recruited by a lot of teams with more football pedigree than UK.

        I’m not bashing them, they simply are what they are.

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    • Tradition would not call the Mississippi schools legit football programs. Over time, they have been comparable to Vandy & UK. Are they both good right now? Yes, but Ole Miss & MSU were both embarrassments in their bowl games.

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  9. Mayor

    Actually, the turning point within the SEC came when Cam Newton stole a laptop and got kicked out of FU. If Newton stays at FU, the Gators likely win 2 more SEC Championships and 2 more BCSNCs, Bama wins 2 fewer of each, Auburn doesn’t win either and nobody is talking about how shitty the SEC East is.

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  10. kckd

    That’s not the whole reason. South Carolina from 2011-2013 played every bit as well as UTK did in the 2000’s in Fulmer’s best years. It’s the fact that both UTK and UF have been down the past two and UK nor Vandy are anything more than teams that celebrate bowl eligibility. On the other side, their weaker teams actually expect to compete for conference championships and all have come close at one time or another.

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  11. Nacodawg

    As much as I love blaming Tennessee for stuff I feel as though there was a little more to the West’s rise.

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