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SEC Football Rules

October 3, 2013

Five weeks of the 2013 College Football season have come and gone. A high majority of the tilts were non-conference affairs. Conference play is taking over the schedule from here on out.

Now that most of the non-conference games are over, here is how I rank the conferences thus far. I have to stick with the SEC as the best. Teams in the SEC have a 32-7 record against schools from other conferences. Surprisingly, the ACC has a 2-2 record against the SEC. The SEC’s best win thus far was a dominating win over Texas by Mississippi.

And of course, the conference has top-ranked and defending national champion Alabama off to an undefeated start. 

I am going out west for my number two conference. Thanks to the likes of Oregon, Stanford, and UCLA, the PAC 12 is having a great season so far. I think the best win by the conference was UCLA overcoming a 18-point deficit to win on the road at Nebraska. Oregon, the second-ranked team in the nation, would love a shot at Alabama when the calendar turns to January 2014. 

I have the Big 12 as my next best conference. Oklahoma, again, the conference’s top program. The Sooners gave the conference its best win when they upended Notre Dame in South Bend. 

Next up for me is the Big 10. Basically, the Big 10 looks like Ohio State and then everyone else. The conference is 0-1 against the SEC and 2-3 against PAC 12 schools. Though Michigan gave the conference its best win when they took care of Notre Dame, the Wolverines have not looked good since and will likely not give Ohio State much of a game. 

The ACC rounds out my top five. The ACC has just a 3-6 record against the four conferences I previously noted. However, they are 2-2 against the SEC with the most impressive of the two wins was Clemson’s opening season win over Georgia.  

Program Killer? 

The most overrated head coach in college football is back in the news. Yes, Lane Kiffin finally got fired at Southern California. It seems like just yesterday he walked out on the Tennessee football program and left it in shambles. Kiffin inherited an abundance of talent when he moved to Los Angeles.

In the end, he did little with it and is now unemployed. Trojan Athletic Director Pat Hayden delivered the news to the controversial coach after an embarrassing 62-41 loss to Arizona State. 

Lane Kiffin, when he was at Tennessee

It is hard to believe that the USC program was the nation’s top-ranked team just 13 months ago. That did not last long and the Trojans have actually lost seven of their past 11 games. And they have not looked good in the four wins during that span. 

Tennessee has yet to recover from its brief period with Kiffin. Hayden named assistant coach Ed Orgeron as the program’s interim coach. Orgeron will attempt to bring respectability back to the program while Hayden starts is national search for a head coach immediately.  

Tar Heels Embarrassment 

I just spoke of how the Trojans of Southern California were embarrassed last weekend. A similar event took place in Chapel Hill as East Carolina came to town and pasted a 55-31 defeat on the Heels. 

The loss lowered UNC’s record to 1-3, somewhat of a surprise since many expected the Tar Heels to compete for the Coastal Division title. I did think North Carolina’s offense would take awhile to get going due to the losses of star running back Giovani Bernard and his lead blocker Jonathan Cooper to the NFL.

I did not think the Heels’ defense would rank as one of the worst in college football. East Carolina amassed 603 yards of offense last Saturday. The Tar Heels allowed ECU 36 first downs. The Pirates ran 101 plays, the most plays by an opponent against UNC. Ever.

And it was just a year ago that North Carolina beat the Pirates 27-6. For four consecutive games, North Carolina has allowed a 100-yard rusher and at least 400 total yards.

UNC enters Saturday’s game at Virginia Tech ranked No. 105 in the country in total defense, No. 112 in rushing defense, No. 108 in third-down conversion defense, No. 103 in first-down defense, and tied for No. 93 in scoring defense.

You have to know that the Hokies struggling offense is looking forward to this weekend. I cannot let the Heels offense off the hook. It looks like we have come to see just how valuable Bernard was to this team a year ago. North Carolina has gone from having the No. 1 rusher in the league to the worst rushing offense in the ACC, averaging just under 100 yards on the ground per game.

That, in turn, has caused one of the biggest offensive downfalls in the nation. North Carolina has tumbled from No. 14 in total offense to No. 75, averaging just 397 yards per game. Only two other schools have seen bigger drops. 

Bobcats Open Practice Next Week 

The regular season NHL hockey season started this week and NBA training camps open next week. Yes, fall is here. 

I read this week that the Rod Higgins, the Charlotte Bobcats General Manager, feels the Bobcats are a team on the rise. In retrospect, he is not really going out on a limb. It should not be too tough to rise from a 21-61 finish a year ago. 

But Higgins continually speaks with optimism due to the addition of free agent center Al Jefferson and the development of rookie draft pick Cody Zeller during the summer.

Charlotte Bobcats’ Rod Higgens

He also feels he has the right head coach in place with Steve Clifford, a longtime NBA assistant who is getting his first crack as a head coach. 

Along with Jefferson and Zeller, point guard Kemba Walker, recently re-signed Gerald Henderson and Michael Kidd-Gilchrist are expected to round out Charlotte’s starting five. How those five, with a more experienced bench, mesh when the team heads into the regular season begins, remains to be seen.


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