I heard from some readers out there who like the Sunday Blog and wanted it for more than just football season. So here it is. We’ll go through the end of basketball season at least. Thanks for reading.
1. So the SEC is 7-2 in bowl games with one to go and still the haters keep hating. I’m not talking about just fans of other leagues but national writers and broadcasters. I’ve never been a big believer that a conference’s bowl record is an indication of its power. So much of it is just matchups. Bowl games are one-game seasons and completely different animals than the rest of the season. But apparently, Oklahoma handling Alabama was all that some people needed to affirm that SEC dominance has come to an end. Forget that the only other league loss was by a team with a back-up quarterback because the all-time SEC passing leader was sidelined with a torn ACL. I’d rather be 7-2 than 2-5 like the Big 10ish.
2. When Steve Spurrier called on Saturday I knew it had to be a salvo being launched back at Clemson coach Dabo Swinney after Swinney gleefully pointed out after the Orange Bowl that the Tigers are the first team from South Carolina to win a BCS bowl game. Spurrier pointed out that the Gamecocks beat six teams that won their bowl games this year and also won their bowl game. “So we’re declaring ourselves the king of the bowl season,” he said. I pointed out that in 1996, his national champs beat six teams that won bowl games. And that Swinney could also say Clemson was the first team from South Carolina to give up 70 points in a bowl game (two years ago). He liked that.
3. Coaches with ties to UF had a pretty good bowl season with seven (Doc Holliday, Charlie Strong, Larry Fedora, Dan Mullen, Dan McCarney, Spurrier and Bobby Stoops) picking up wins. The only losers were Urban Meyer and Steve Addazio. That fumbled punt killed Ohio State. Boston College just had a bad match-up, which happens in bowl games.
4. One thing that came up during my New Year’s Day football buffet was that the SEC has another streak going — it hasn’t had officials in the championship game for eight years. the reason is that the officials can’t do a game in a bowl where one of its teams are playing. I’m a big critic of poor officiating but I think the SEC does a really good job overall. I could do without four-yard and six-yard illegal procedure mark-offs, but they usually solid.
Next week, the Sunday Blog will return with some hoops talk. It’s that time of the year.