I voted option 3. Which may mean I have to root for *gasp* U$C. I feel dirty already....
There are a few things that have happened over the last 6 years that have enabled the SEC champion to make the national title. First, and most obvious, has been the SEC's status in the preseason polls. That gives the conference an inherent advantage over all other conference champions when there are W-L ties. This might be fair or unfair depending on what stats you choose to use. Secondly, with the obvious exception to those Florida-Alabama SEC title games, the team in position to go to the national title has not lost that game. There has been no real upset in the SEC title! When are we going to see that 9-3 South Carolina team knock off an undefeated Alabama or LSU? The last time this happened was in 2005 when #13 Georgia knocked off #3 LSU. The SEC champion Georgia went on to get outshined by WVU in the Sugar Bowl.
That could happen this year since we're working on the better part of a decade since we've seen it.
But I voted Yes anyway. I have a feeling that even if the SEC #1 is upset in their own title game, the voters will find a rationale why they should be in the national title game. Better start rooting for Oklahoma/Texas AND USC to go undefeated while the SEC champion suffers a loss somewhere.
I voted yes because I don't think there is anyone that we know can take them down. Florida State is all hype, USC isn't deep enough on defense, I think Oklahoma or Oregon has a legit shot as long as OU's defense improves, and Oregon could surprise if they get good QB play out of Mariotta or Bennett. They have the best defense they've ever had, and they can score points. Wisconsin I see losing 2 games for sure.
I think the ACC is to blame for the SEC dominance. If FSU and Miami never fizzle out, things would be much different in recruiting. You can't help but wonder what impact Urban had as well. He landed a ton of top talent that would have ended up at either The U or FSU if Zook was there.
Dustin Fox was our leading tackler as a corner.... because his guy always caught the ball.
God I am tired of the U of SEC fans claiming the accomplishments of 14 teams.
question 1 is tricky...
I only voted yes because the polls tend to favor SEC teams right now. Mainly because so many people in Bristol have a say in that voting process which of course is a conflict of interest but I digress...just look at it:
AP: 5 SEC teams in the top ten (Bama, LSU, UGA, SC, and Arky)
Shouldn't, at the very least, Arkansas be ranked lower? Won't this team be lucky to have 8 wins without their head coach or did he not really do much?
eSECpn keeps them all ranked high so when they lose they won't fall far... Then when they beat teams like Troy, Louisiana Monroe, Vandy, KY, Ole Miss...... they can jump back into contention because the SEC is so tough from top to bottom.
I feel this same way, but know that ESPN isn't in charge of the Coaches or AP poll. Just in general, the SEC having 6 teams in the top 25 to start the season kind of is a self fullfilling prophecy when they have losses to preseason ranked teams they don't fall far.
I don't think South Carolina deserves a top 10 spot. Georgia is the only legit contender in the East. Arkansas will be good, hopefully good enough to knock off Bama if Michigan can't get it done early in the season. What amazes me is how Virginia Tech hasn't capitalized on the downfall of Miami and FSU. They should OWN the ACC.
There are only a few teams I can see beating an SEC team in the title game:
USC- Lack depth on D, but play balanced, and with Barkley, Woods, Lee, and Redd will be one of the top offenses in the nation
Oregon- Best defense they've had, Can score points no matter who is out there.
Oklahoma- veteran QB, Defense should be much improved.
Florida State- .... because they have had top 5 recruiting classes since recruiting rankings have been available.
Michigan- if they upset Bama, they should roll until they get outcoached and outplayed by us. They can get in with one loss, ESP if it's to tOSU.
Darkhorses would be Clemson with Venables defense, Texas, Va Tech, Wisconsin, and West Virginia IMO.
The problem is, how many teams can you name that we know can beat any of the top 3 teams in the SEC?
not sure I agree with Michigan analysis. I don't think their defense is good enough yet.
I'd put Michigan State ahead of Michigan. They may have the best defense in the country, and they return their entire offensive line and will be giving Le'Veon Bell the ball behind that veteran offensive line, which means they don't need a great QB, just a serviceable one. If Maxwell can prove competent, watch out for Sparty. I just don't see a weakness. Have to outcoach them, which will be tough with Dantonio, You're not going to run around them; this is the fastest defense in the Big Ten. You're not going to run through them; this is the best front seven in the Big Ten. You'll have to execute on special teams and exploit mismatches in the passing game.
and y'all might think I'm crazy, but I'm the one who said last year that Wisconsin would go 13-0 and play for the National Title.... many here said I was nuts... I was literally 30 seconds and two hail marys from being correct.
I think USC takes it all, but I do think either Bama or LSU plays them in the NC game.
USC vs. Bama or Florida State (FSU has a favorable schedule).... USC wins it all. If it's Bama, it's a close game until the fourth quarter. If it's FSU, USC blows them out.
LSU loses four games this year. Write that down. Four of these five: @Auburn, vs. South Carolina, @Florida, vs. Alabama, @Arkansas. Saban exposed their abysmal offense (86th in the country in YPG last year) and how to exploit their defense. They're starting a guy that's a redshirt junior who was unable to beat out Jarret Lee or Jordan Jefferson for the job last year, and those two were very, very bad, so therefore I'm just assuming he's gotta be worse (and I've read he's not nearly as mobile as Lee or Jefferson). And there's no Honey Badger or Claiborne to bail them out with turnovers or huge special teams plays.
Unfortunately I think Bama, LSU, or Georgia wins it all this year :\
No they won't. Michigan will beat 'Bama and this year will be thrown into a blender after that.
Undefeated Oklahoma and undefeated Southern Cal and a 1 loss SEC champ...who goes to the 'Ship?
I'll take some of what you're having. It must be good stuff :)
NO WAY I'm going all in on USC this year. I'm sincerely hoping one of the SEC teams comes out undefeated and with all the ESPN Hype in the world and that weasely Kiffin CRUSHES them like curb-stomping style. UGGGHHH it feels so good thinking about it. #schadenfreude TO THE MAX.
(Disclaimer: My sister is an USC alumnus and I could theoretically jump on that bandwagon citing family ties like how SOME fans do but HAILLL NO I WENT TO 35-3 I REMEMBER THEM TAUNTING MY BEANIE SHIRT WITH JOKES ABOUT HIS FOOT. I REMEMBER THE SHAME THE NEXT YEAR THANKS TRESSEL FOR KICKING THE FG AT OUR OWN 1. I never forgave him after that. )
Usc seems a lot more likeable than they ever have before, Matt Barkely is a very classy dude. With that being said I will be pulling fully for any team opposing the sec, it could be oregon as well. Maybe even a strong Oklahoma team could give them a run for there money, anybody but the sec is fine with me.
Florida State will have by far the best defense in the country and can defintely win the national championship. Watch out for Florida and Georgia in the SEC, I wouldn't be shocked if a 1 loss UGA team or 2 loss Gator team won the SEC. Michigan will be 8-4, not a threat to win the title, neither is anyone else in the Big Ten. USC and Oregon should split their two matchups so I don't see either of them in the title. I don't see Oklahoma running the table, small game Bob will drop one for sure. Big East, forget about it.
So I'm going FSU over UGA, FSU 14-0 National Champions. SEC dethroned.
"You'll be proud of our young people in the classroom, in the community, and most especially in 310 days in Ann Arbor, Michigan on the football field."