In this article we look at how Home Bowl games will help the SEC to another great bowl record and how we can take advantage of this with our college football picks.
We hear the refrain, usually a couple times a year, but it starts echoing again when we hit bowl season: the SEC is the best conference in college football.
I know, this year wasn’t so great. In fact, even SEC mouthpiece Paul Finebaum said the B1G (Big 10) was the best conference.
With all due respect to the renowned Mr. Finebaum, I believe he is looking at the top of the conference where Michigan State is in the college football playoff and Iowa and Ohio State were being discussed as possibilities until the end. The SEC had only one team, Alabama, that was even remotely eligible and of course they are in and the favorite to walk away with another national championship.
If Finebaum made it down to Purdue and Illinois, they B1G might not have looked so good.
While that one not so little item that Finebaum based his criteria upon is valid, it goes far from telling the whole story. In fact, the SEC is still the best conference and once the dust settles, southern football fans are sure to begin reminding us of that fact once again.
I have knocked the SEC as much as anyone, but I also know that you are entitled to your own opinions, but you aren’t entitled to your own facts before placing your college football picks.
There are some interpretations of some facts that will be in order, however.
One fact SEC fans will churn in their defense is the conference’s bowl record. And make no mistake, it is good. It has been good. And it figures to be good again this year.
You can’t count Alabama, because they are in the playoff. But, (you knew there was a ‘but’ coming) of the other eight SEC teams that playing in bowl games, 6 play within a 5 hour drive of their campus.
Auburn and Florida play in their home states. Georgia plays at a stadium in Jacksonville where they have a neutral site game every year. Arkansas plays in Memphis, which is the length of a bridge away from its home state. Mississippi plays in New Orleans, only miles from its state border.
LSU plays Texas Tech in Houston, which you might think give the Red Raiders the advantage. Wrong. Lubbock is 7½ hours from Houston while Baton Rouge is only 4 hours away.
Only Texas A&M, who plays Louisville in Nashville, plays an opponent whose fans don’t have a much greater travel issue than their own supporters.
Don’t think this is some scheduling quirk. The SEC has been doing this for years. Between their late season cupcakes and home bowl games, they have schedule manipulations down to a science.
If they ever expand the college football playoff system to eight teams, which I think they will, I would love to see the first round games be played at the home site of the higher ranked team. Let's see the occasional year when an SEC team has to play a game at Ohio State, Michigan, Notre Dame or some other northern venue. I would love it.
I’m just waiting for a conference to pull a Henry Gondorff and beat their Doyle Lonnegan four nines by cheating better than they do and drawing four jacks.
The SEC’s only defense will be claiming the other conference cheated better than they did.
That might shut them up.
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