The post "SEC Sucks" told you all you needed to know about the mentality of ACC fans Saturday. Sour grapes? Maybe. I didn’t discover this on another sports blog, but rather on a popular social networking site. Considering the venue, maybe the author just lacked the proper background knowledge for making such a preposterous claim. Whatever the case, I couldn't let it go unchecked.
"They suck to the tune of having the #1 and #2 teams in the country," I stated factually.
I've never been a "conference integrity" guy, but watching ACC teams topple like Georgia Tech D-lineman Saturday proved satisfying even to me. Specifically, Georgia's victory over Tech went beyond the point of being a season-salvaging victory over its in-state rival; it underscored what many of us have long professed: even in a down year for your team, you can take heart knowing average teams in the SEC can beat the cream of the ACC crop on any given day.
Watching Superman and the Gators mop the floor with FSU came as no surprise to anyone, including the Seminoles. But South Carolina’s handling of #18 Clemson and Georgia’s upset of 7th ranked Tech proved particularly disturbing for ACC faithful because it featured both participants in the upcoming ACC Championship Game getting waxed by run-of-the mill SEC teams. Meanwhile, the SEC boasts having its eventual conference champ play for the national title.
Given facts of this nature, Georgia fans might want to ponder awhile before assessing a final grade to a season marked by the “Fire Martinez ” campaign.
Three of the Dawg’s five losses to date have come at the hands of top-10 teams. UGA fell to #9 Oklahoma State as well as then-number 4 LSU and ultimately, the top-ranked Gators.
Plus, even though Georgia lost to 3 of its 5 SEC East foes (Florida, Tennessee, Kentucky), the Dawgs still managed to tie for 2nd in the East with a 4-4 conference ledger, with the Vols getting the nod due to their head-to-head victory. Not bad for a team that graduated the #1 and #12 picks in the ’09 NFL Draft. Throw in the teams from the West, and you find only three teams that fared better than the .500 in conference play: Alabama and Florida, both of whom went undefeated, and LSU, which went 5-3.
Conference parity? Ole Miss was the only team from the West to go at least 4-4 in the conference this year. South Carolina, Kentucky, Arkansas, Auburn and Mississippi State all went 3-5 versus the league. Still, 10 of the SEC’s 12 teams finished as bowl eligible. In fact, all of those bowl candidates have at least SEVEN wins; one more than required for post-season. Comparatively, the ACC has just seven bowl eligible teams, only six of which have winning records.
By next Sunday, we’ll know the Dawgs’ bowl destiny. With some Georgia fans conceding a win to Tech, there was mass hysteria going in about drawing a December 28 date in Shreveport for the Independence Bowl, which ranks near the bottom in terms of payout. But the upset victory, coupled with the inspired manner in which the Dawgs played, lends hope that they’ll land in one of the mid-tier bowls, like the Music City Bowl in Nashville. I’d settle for that, considering just a week ago, it seemed like the Dawgs would be lucky to wind up in the Classic City Bowl.
And, for added satisfaction, it’s another opportunity to square off against the ACC.
Jimmycrackedcorndawg is a proud graduate of the University of Georgia. He is my long time radio broadcast partner in Georgia from my days there.