Saturday, September 29, 2007

The Small Conferences

Connecticut. South Florida. Syracuse. Kansas State. Colorado. Oklahoma State.


These are the contenders in the Big (Small) East and the Big (Small) 12. The basement dwellers currently include Texas, Oklahoma, Louisville, and West Virginia. Oh have the mighty have fallen. The Sooners could have cruised throughout the rest of the season, but lost to Dan Hawkin's squad like they were playing intramurals. Texas lost to Kansas State, again. West Virginia lost to South Florida, again. Louisville lost to Syracuse - at home. In my best Jerry Seinfeld voice, I will ask, what is going on with these conferences?

The Week 1 AP polls had those schools ranked as follows: West Virginia (3), Oklahoma (5), Texas (7), Louisville (8). I kind of expected Texas to lose, since they have been unimpressive all season. West Virginia did play a ranked South Florida team, but had six turnovers in doing do. These two conferences are horrid. Even Nebraska had trouble beating Ball State at home. And then they have to play road games at Missouri, Texas, Kansas (who is 4-0) and Colorado, who just beat Oklahoma. Next week's Red River Rivalry between Oklahoma and Texas should be interesting, though I expect Oklahoma to win easily. Louisville still has to play West Virginia and South Florida, and could possibly lose both.

There is no reason to watch games that don't involve SEC or PAC-10 schools anymore. Those conferences, from top to bottom, are far superior than any others. Even the Big Ten is getting small in stature, with Michigan losing their first two games and Penn State losing their last two games. Notre Dame doesn't have a conference, and fittingly so. By Monday, the top four teams will be from the SEC and Pac-10.

Next weekend LSU visits Florida in what is easily going to be the most important game of the year. After that, we have to wait for the USC/Cal game on November 10. These are really the only two games that matter anymore, since the Small conferences have completely shot any excitement about a national title run. And this isn't really helping a push for playoffs in college football, because as of now, there's only going to be two teams left anyways.
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