I originally posted this at Track'Em Tigers (Auburn), but have since decided to broaden my horizons. The following are some general Pac-10 questions, I'd love to hear your opinion. Please, forgive the constant references to the SEC, as I said, this was originally posted in SEC territory and I don't feel like editing it, th eso please ignore those references.
I come to Tiger Territory because I am curious. Spending much of my time at www.californiagoldenblogs.com I feel I have become overwhelmed with certain left coast viewpoints. I thought I’d move east for some outside opinions. I am not here to talk trash, and I’m hoping for responses with more depth than S-E-C … S-E-C… Rah-rah-rah! After reviewing some of the SEC websites, I chose Auburn because you seem like a good bunch and are fairly level-headed. The following are some general questions I have about Pac-10 football, if you have an opinion or response, I’d love to hear it. Again, I’m not here to plug the Pac-10, or get into an internet fight, but rather to obtain an outside opinion. I just want to gauge the general sentiment of the public over yonder, and don’t need thorough arguments supported by a series of statistics. If you are curious, my loyalties are with Cal. Also, if have questions you want to ask a left coaster feel free to ask. Oddly enough, I just read your new front page material and you already covered some of my questions.
East Coast Bias – I’d guess about a quarter of the regulars at Cal’s site fully believe in East Coast bias, particularly when it comes to recruiting rankings. The basic premise claims simple demographics (78% of the country’s population living in the eastern and central time zones) and geography (west coast time delay) leads to greater coverage and publicity for schools in the eastern and central time zones. The greater publicity and coverage leads to better preseason rankings, which contributes to a season long trend of higher than earned rankings, as the teams are more likely to face other ranks teams benefitting from the same east coast bias. Basically, extra coverage leads to higher ranking which leads to higher rankings throughout the conference, at the end of the season it becomes self-fulfilling prophecy. Do you believe there is some truth to the idea of East Coast bias, or do we just complain a lot?
Scheduling – I believe one of the strengths of the Pac-10 is their aggression in scheduling. I acknowledge that a school’s strength of schedule is a bit based on luck. The OOC games are generally set up a few years in advance, and team strength varies from year to year. For example, Cal played Michigan St. in 2002 and 2008, in 2002 Michigan St. was ranked #15, in 2008 they finished in the top 25, every year in between Mich. St. was a nobody and finished in the lower half of the Big-10, the fact they were a quality opponent the years we played them was luck. Generally, with exception to Notre Dame USCum only plays BCS conference teams. Cal has played Tennessee twice, Maryland, and Michigan St. with Colorado and Ohio St. on the schedule in the coming years. Oregon, Oregon St. UCLA, all have marquee OOC games this season, even Washington which stupidly scheduled LSU ensuring at least one Pac-10 embarrassment, schedules tough opponents. What does the SEC think of Pac-10 scheduling? Do we schedule big games because we have something to prove? Do you not really care what we do, unless it involves the SEC? Is it admirable, and more teams should play tougher games?
Perception of Pac-10 Teams - Without doing research, which Pac-10 schools would you rate as the 5 best over the past 5 years? Yes, I fully realize U$C has been the best.
Jahvid Best – I was recently youtubing while my girlfriend was packing for the airport, and someone made a video where they rank the Top 15 fastest players in college football. Jahvid Best was not on the list http://vimeo.com/2744979 (his 2008 highlight reel) I declared some serious shenanigans, I fully believe Best is the fastest player in college football, and I would think anyone that has seen him in space would acknowledge his speed as well. I also think that Best has the greatest chance to unseat the big 3 of Tebow, McCoy, and Bradford for the Heisman this year, however, I am a Cal homer with a tainted perception. My question, have you heard of Jahvid Best? Do you think if by some fluke Tebow, McCoy, and Bradford all went down with injury early, that he’d be the frontrunner for the Heisman? Doesn’t Best deserve to be on the list of fastest players in college football?
The Mountain West – Much was made of the Mountain West’s 5-2 record against the Pac-10, and deservedly so. Last year the Mountain West had some very good teams (Utah, TCU, BYU), the Pac-10 also had a down year, particularly the bottom half of the conference. The Pac-10 consistently plays the Mountain West because of simple geography, we are very much isolated on the West Coast. Unlike the SEC which has some overlap with the ACC, and Big-10 & 12 schools a modest distance away, our closest BCS conference team is Colorado, which is a two hour flight from the nearest Pac-10 school. My question is, what do you think of the Mountain West? I believe that the football conference hierarchy breaks down as follows Group 1: SEC, ACC, Pac-10, Big-12, Big-10 Group 2: Mountain West, Big East Group 3: Everyone else. Are they a flash in the pan? Are they a legitimate threat to overtake the Big East’s BCS bowl bid? Do the top teams in the league hide the fact that the league lacks depth?
Anyway, that’s all, as I said many times before, I’m just searching for a little outside perspective. Please, indulge me in your viewpoint.