The Role of Scheduling in the Great SEC Supremacy Caper

SECCupcakes2

Our previous articles have pointed out the multiple manipulative ways that the SEC supremacy façade has been parlayed over the past decade. From numerous favorable overmatched bowl pairings during the BCS years to annual preseason rankings that stacked the deck full of overrated SEC teams to ESPN incessantly pumping up the conference throughout the season while passively dismissing numerous SEC player criminal arrests to the NCAA turning a blind eye to several credible reports of flagrant violations… the ingredients have blended quite well together to create a infantile chanting fanbase of obnoxious sheep and the subsequent creation of an intricately woven myth that football in the SEC was just simply better than everywhere else. However there has been yet another more subtle, although just as powerful, ingredient all along that has played a part in the creation of the SEC Supremacy fantasy and it continues to flourish into the upcoming 2015 season… the role of scheduling.

SEC chanters would like you to believe that SEC teams have the toughest schedules. Sadly they have no data to back that up. However WE have the data to debunk that myth. For starters, teams in the SEC play fewer out of conference games against Power 5 opponents than any of the other Power 5 teams.

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So what makes the SEC schedules harder than any other conference if their teams play FEWER out of conference football powers? Is it because they play each other? That circular logic just isn’t going to fly anymore. Especially not after a 2014 football season in which the SEC East went 0-4 against the lowly ACC in the final week and the vaunted SEC West (whose teams ESPN pundits were campaigning to get 3 or more into the playoffs all the way up until the final week) went 2-5 in the Bowls!

Last season, Ole Miss and Mississippi State collectively beat Boise State, UL Lafayette, Memphis, Presbysterian, Southern Miss, UAB, South Alabama and UT Martin out of conference. Yet by mid-season, ESPN and the rest of the moronic sports media world was ready to portray these two overnight SEC powers as the best two teams in the nation. (Our blog was the ONLY site at the time reporting these two as overhyped frauds… feel free to go back to our October-November articles to see.) Because they beat Alabama and Auburn respectively early in the season, the ESPN hype machine was in full gear to make sure these teams got into the college football playoff come hell or high water. Well, it just so turned out that both hell and high water came. And Mississippi State lost by 15 to ACC’s Georgia Tech while Ole Miss got throttled by Big 12’s TCU to the tune of 42-3. So tell us again how good these teams were just because they could beat most of the rest of the SEC… I suppose that 48-0 win over Presbyterian should be enough for us, eh?

As damning as the above graphic is in displaying how few out of conference Power 5 teams the SEC plays as compared to the other conferences, even that stat doesn’t give justice to the whole picture. In fact, of the 11 out of conference P5 teams that the SEC will play this year, 7 of these are from the ACC. Earlier articles of ours from 2013 chronicled how the SEC historically has picked on the ACC (traditionally considered the weakest of the Power 5) to pad their out of conference stats. However in 2014 the ACC hit back and left an indelible black eye on the SEC that may take a while to fade away. Despite all that, it speaks volumes that the SEC once again manages to dodge the PAC 12, Big Ten and Big 12 so well in the regular season. Perhaps geographic issues play a part in that, but if your teams are rarely willing to travel up north or out west to beat other conferences’ football powerhouses, then you probably should stop claiming to be the best just because you know how to effectively whip SunBelt and Conference USA teams throughout the season.

One of our @SEC_Exposed Twitter followers pointed out another problem with the statistical graphic above that needs to be also taken into consideration. Both the Big 12 and PAC-12 play 9 game conference schedules. The other three Power 5 conferences play 8. This lessens the sample size of those Big 12 and PAC-12 out of conference opportunities from 4 to 3. However it also fails to give credit to the fact that teams in those conferences are, after all, playing MORE Power 5 opponents over all because they are playing one more conference game than the others. Taking this into account widens the above gap even more between the SEC and the rest of college football’s Power 5 in scheduling intensity:

P5 Scheduling Graph 2015

Compounding the pathetic scheduling of the SEC is the fact that such a vast majority of their out of conference games come from Conference USA, Sun Belt and FCS. What’s more, so few of those games are played away from home. As a recent article by ElevenWarriors.com pointed out, most of these are also played the weekend before rivalry games creating the ever popular SEC tradition known as “ChickenShit Saturday”:

“The penultimate Saturday on the schedule is arguably the most stressful of the entire season: division titles hang in the balance, style point currency fluctuations are at their most volatile and every contender is ripe for an upset ahead of facing their designated arch-rivals.

Title contenders know this too well. That Saturday is dark, terrifying, full of spiders and littered with land mines. It’s virtually impossible to recover from a loss that late in the season.

Anyway, here are some of the schools SEC teams have scheduled for that Saturday since 2012: Samford, Chattanooga, Coastal Carolina, Western Carolina, Eastern Kentucky and South Alabama. Georgia Southern, Idaho, FAU, Charlotte and Citadel all twice. Charleston Southern three times…

Chickenshit Saturday is indefensible, and there isn’t a wanking motion theatrical enough to accommodate the circular logic of the conference strength argument because you can always schedule Samford in September. The best football player in Charleston Southern football history isn’t even good enough to get unexpectedly cut by Nick Saban in August to make room for a new recruit.

November schedules should contain conference opponents or designated rivals only. This improves the sport, enhances the most captivating month on the schedule and levels the playing field without any controversy.

[Source: http://www.elevenwarriors.com/college-football/the-situational/2015/05/54013/room-for-improvement-ohio-state-buckeyes-alabama-crimson-tide]

It’s fascinating that despite all the above facts, the media continues to keep its head buried firmly in the sandbox and insistent that the SEC plays the toughest schedules in all the land. Even some of the most respected gurus in the business like Phil Steele (who continues to boast 17 straight years of the “most accurate preseason football magazine”) appears to be totally duped. His most recent 2015 publication (much like his 2014 publication before it) has 3 SEC West teams in the Top 6 of “toughest schedules” in the nation. Which means he has totally bought into the notion that the SEC West is just that much better than anyone else, so playing each other makes their schedules the strongest. And their scheduling is strongest because, well, they are in each others’ schedules. Makes a lot of sense. Except the part where the SEC West went 2-5 against the rest of the Power 5 in the bowl games last season, giving this presumption no basis whatsoever. Meanwhile the PAC-12 went 5-2 against out-of-conference Power 5 teams in the bowls. 11-4 against out-of-conference Power 5 teams in the regular season. But that stat is actually irrelevant since the SEC as a whole is the best conference. Sure it is.

Hey media shills, save us some of that Bullshit Kool Aid you’re drinking so maybe we can all share it while watching those great games on SEC Network together during ChickenShit Saturday.

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33 thoughts on “The Role of Scheduling in the Great SEC Supremacy Caper

  1. Actually, the SEC is the best conference and we all know it.

    I mean, if we wanna pretend ESPN is biased to the SEC to make each other feel good, we can. But the SEC still has the most contenders, and the best recruiting classes.

  2. Yeah, we got a new “Joey” this year, same as the old “Joey”. Stick around fan boy, we will be having some fun come fall. Talk some shit now and then disappear on the 1st.

      • I. Can’t. Wait. Until. Sept. Goodnight, Blacksburg.
        As for Alabama? Say hello to our little friend aka Wisconsin.

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  4. The committee is watching.
    Everyone else is going to a 9 game conference schedule.

    The SEC never leaves the house.
    They argued against the playoff system.
    They argued against a 9 game conference schedule, mostly because it would put those southernmost teams in a position that would force them too far north too late in the season.
    The SEC refuses to stop scheduling FCS in November.
    The playoff format and their inability to perform has gotten everyone’s attention.

    Once Disney starts bleeding money from that crap schedule and network, its going down like the Titanic.

    • @urban meyer, yeah, Wisconsin was definitely “little” this week, and the score doesn’t indicate in any way how onesided it was and how a quarter basically turned into an Alabama practice session. 25 of the 37 rushing yds came against the second team on one run late in the fourth.

      • So this is considered a great “road victory” for the SEC, or are you telling me Alabama is better than Wisconsin in week 1?

      • Mick..
        You’re all about that game control..

        Henry is a non pass protecting scrub. Alabama won’t make the playoffs with that loser bowl of a schedule, or the one-legged quarterback from jimbo Fischer’s basement.
        Amari Cooper is in San Francisco,
        Trey depriest got cut from the Ravens, and Joel Stave carved up your secondary like Joe Montana in the 2nd quarter.
        Alabama has such a pitiful defensive backfield, that their ankles will break just watching tape of Braxton Miller.
        Don’t get me started on 12-gauge.
        Alabama doesn’t deserve a top 10 ranking. Period!!

    • I take it from the eleven warriors reference and the general audience that you are an osu fan. Why don’t you do a piece on their sos and their conference?

      • We stand on our performance. Do you think you can explain why northwestern university didn’t make the top 15 after beating Stanford, while Alabama jumps TCU, which has an actual road victory over Minnesota? I’ll wait…

      • Excuse me,
        How can any fool question a strength of schedule on or before week 1? How the hell do you know which team is good enough to be ranked before the season starts? Last year fools like you ranked Ohio state #12 until after the MSU game.
        How’d that work out for the shit eating conference?

  5. Well, Vanderbilt lost this week, so you have that going for you. Also, can you please explain unranked Texas A&M beating Arizona State? You seem to be so good at analyzing the numbers and reading between the lines, I would really like your take on it. What about Alabama and Wisconsin? Any other SEC teams you’d like to pass judgment on? Are you really serious when you say that the SEC as a conference isn’t that good? So just for fun, how many teams in America would you say there are that would go undefeated in the Sec West-and also have to play Georgia and Tennessee? If you could take one team out and put a team in, how many? Now do the same for every other conference in America. I would like a serious answer to that question. Do you actually watch the SEC West teams play? Or did you come to a conclusion and now are willing to use anything you can find to prove it? Did you miss all the bcs years when teams from other conferences had a chance against an SEC team and failed? Do you follow college recruiting? Maybe you should do a piece on that. Can you please pass judgment on every other conference in America with the same level of scrutiny? If you need a good place to start, I can give you some.

    • I’m still waiting for someone to explain how Alabama jumps TCU, when Bama played in SEC territory, while TCU actually has a road victory against Minnesota.
      I’m still waiting…

      Ok. Where did tamu play Arizona state?
      Where did Alabama play Wisconsin?
      Where did Stanford lose to northwestern? Why is northwestern not ranked?
      You have nothing to say.

  6. It’s ridiculous! They have 10 teams ranked in the top 25 after playing mostly FCS teams in their own house. They never ever leave the south and for some reason they start every single season ranked so high that when they play each other it’s impossible to miss the playoffs bc they don’t drop many spots for losing games. This is something I say every single year when the first rankings come out that it looks like the SEC has been given the championship game already. This whole system makes me sick these SEC teams haven’t proven anything yet but the whole west is ranked??? GTFO!!!

    • Ok Boggs, what is your top 25 list? How many of the teams on that list deserve their ranking (i.e., they have earned it)? Has any team earned its ranking this year? Tell me something. If msu and oregon have a close game this week, how far should the loser fall? The other hasn’t earned its high ranking yet, right? Why isn’t Temple ranked in the top 10? Wisconsin is still ranked. Do they deserve it? If all else is equal, how many wins in division alone would Wisconsin get if they played in the SEC west? If they were a four-loss team, which, frankly, is realistic, would you be jumping up and down and throwing a fit if they were still ranked? They’re still the same team, right?

  7. Here we go again-
    Same old shit again-

    Have the SEC champion washed and brought to Pasadena.
    Signed,
    The Ohio state buckeyes.

    • Mick- As he said, 10 SEC teams in the preseason poll. And as of Thanksgiving….3 remain. You don’t need to see someone else’s top 25 to understand how ridiculous that is.

    • Urbs Ticker….I could really care less about comments referring to osu’s quality. They are a good team. This is a website called “SEC exposed,” advancing arguments that the SEC is really no better than any other conference. However, I must admit that I am wondering if it would’nt be aptly named, with the proper perspective in mind, “OSU fans proving the SEC sucks.” Yeah, maybe Northwestern should be ranked. As for TCU, I don’t see how you don’t see the Alabama jump as something anywhere close to somewhat reasonable. With that in mind, I probably won’t convince you of anything. So, here is a TCU writer explaining why a six point win against Minnesota, albeit on the road, isn’t that impressive: http://www.frogsowar.com/2015/9/8/9277455/tcu-falls-to-no-3-in-latest-coaches-poll

      As for playing on the road, the better team usually wins in spite of it, but I see your point. As for the TAMU game in particular though, it didnt sound like ASU’s fans didnt travel.

      • I’m sorry I couldn’t read past “how the Alabama jump was somewhat reasonable”.
        It’s not. Not at all. Not sure why Wisconsin was even ranked. I’m still confused about why Northwestern isn’t.
        Nonetheless, there won’t be any room for 2 SEC scrub teams in the playoffs, and for that, we are thankful.
        Just please stop over inflating their rankings in the meantime, ESecPN.

      • And Mick, I’m not interested in what some writer thinks. Writers, so-called analysts, etc are the ones responsible for this rankings issue, coaches in conferences that have their teams underachieve every year shouldn’t be throwing bricks at glass houses if you know what I mean.
        This transitive property scheme the SEC tries hard to perpetuate on itself with its own overrated teams, is exactly why we have a playoff- and the SEC is the only conference that argued vehemently against it. It’s also the only conference that goes to such great lengths to protect its perceived “strength of schedule” argument, that they think nothing of cancelling games with other P5 schools at the last minute, leaving them to scramble for a replacement, and the first to point the finger at aforementioned replacement as a “cupcake”.
        The SEC also refuses to go to a 9- game conference schedule, and if you pay attention to the geographics, time of season, and especially the ” chickenshit November” schedule, you can connect the dots.
        That’s not what I would call a level playing field.
        Urban said it best when he said “I remember we (Florida) had a game against Vanderbilt- it was like 30 degrees, and I had to beat them with a stick just to get them out of the locker room”.
        Can’t have an SEC team losing to a lesser opponent that late in the season without ruining it for the rest of the league.
        Smoke, mirrors and over inflated rankings. That’s how the ‘2 SEC teams in the playoffs” discussion is manufactured every year.
        It’s not a level playing field as long as this goes on.
        That’s why I’m here.

      • One more thing Mick-
        For someone not interested in answers you certainly ask a lot of pointless fucking questions…

  8. ….because the college football playoff national championship wasn’t an “opinion”. Alabama was practically crowned before the season even began, and if not for a committee that understood that it’s impossible to be a national champion without winning your division, let alone conference, that bullshit would have went on forever.
    Just so happens that a QB that was 3rd on the depth chart for the Ohio state university proved how flawed the system was.. Deal with it.

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  10. Sun Easy – nah, no coward, came back because I knew someone would have something smart to say–turns out it’s you. I don’t want to come back because I don’t want to give attention to a feel-good website created by wishful thinkers. So keep being an SEC hater “shill” as an OSU fan. Oh, you’ll appreciate this. Don’t forget that not so long ago Michigan lost to an FCS opponent–you know, one of those terrible OOC teams so utterly beneath them. And, for your sake, at least OSU has mighty Maryland coming up next (not to mention the next four after that), so whether they show up or not, no problem there. Somehow Bowling Green beat Maryland 48-27 and Purdue 35-28 (you know, those P5 opponents that are just so good–like this article implies), but lost to a struggling SEC Tennessee 59-30. I don’t know why the authors and supporters of this article (who are apparently Big 10 fans? more like OSU fans) make such a big deal about OOC scheduling when the relevant comparison for the Big 10 is to teams like Hawaii, Northern Illinois, Western Michigan, Central Michigan, Southern Illinois, FIU, Western Kentucky (who squeaked out a win against intimidating Vanderbilt 14-12 but lost to awesome Indiana, with all their players, 38-35), Wake Forest, Norfolk State, Army, Kansas, Washington State, Miami (OH), Troy, Kent State, Western Illinois, Middle Tennessee, Temple (who beat PSU no less), Buffalo, San Diego State, Indiana State, and yes, Bowling freakin Green…and more! I don’t want to hear about Oregon, TCU, Virginia Tech, Alabama (which had to be played by an SEC as well), none of them, or really any other one OOC game for any team that poses a challenge to a Big 10 team. None of you would give any SEC team any credit for playing any OOC opponent in one game, not to mention that every year, South Carolina has to play Clemson, Georgia plays Georgia Tech, and Florida plays FSU–would you want these teams to also schedule in OSU and MSU (frankly, the latter might lose in all three–probably not South Carolina though); would that make you happy? I’m not an “SEC fan.” I don’t pledge allegiance to any team other than my own, but this website is ridiculous. Can’t wait for “Sun Easy” to respond again–will be looking for it.

    • I’ll respond.
      When you start your season 4-0 against Group of 5/FCS teams, it inflates your record. As you enter conference play, you play 8 games, which makes every game basically a Top 25 match up. However, the SEC hasn’t played anyone worthy of that.

      Imagine if your conference played 9 conference games, instead of the current 8. That would add 9 more losses to your schedule. Well, guess what? Every other conference is doing that. (The ACC isn’t, but they set up a deal with ND and play the highest amount of Power 5 OOC games). The SEC also plays the least amount of Power 5 games. Now with their 2016 Power 5 1 game min requirement, the SEC is getting closer to a fair schedule. However, they will still have played on average 1 Power 5 game less per year.

      The SEC has a scheduling advantage by playing a weak OOC and 8 game conference. So after getting a bloated, overrated record, which one just can’t say with fact, because the SEC hasn’t played anyone other than the SEC (and group of 5/FCS) opponents, the 1 (sometimes 2 loss) SEC division champion has more than a great opportunity to enter the CFP, as the SEC champion will have played on average 10 Power 5 opponents, with the last one being a legitimate opponent.

      Truthfully, the B12 has the most difficult road because the lack of a championship game prevents them from having that last SOS boost. If the B12 wanted to compete and not play a conference champ, then the entire conference would need to play MINIMUM 1 Power 5 OOC, possibly 2.

      The most power 5 opponents in each schedule by conference for 2016 are 1a.) Pac 12; 1b.) Big 10; 2.) Big 12; 3.) ACC; 4.) SEC; 5.) AAC — As such, it’s most difficult to get through Pac 12 this year, and Pac/B10 in 2016.
      If you judge by difficultly of schedule, then sure the SEC is one of the hardest conferences. But to say they are the best because “SEC” is naive.

      • Ahh Mick, I did not see your post until common sense responded. Stick around tho, we love playing with you SEC shills. Hows ur “team” doing so far?!? Which SEC team u routing for this week? Bama, I assume. Well, hope u don’t get torn up by state. I need more cowbell!!!!

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