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Blog Entry

The SEC is hurting my soul

Posted on: December 27, 2010 7:22 pm
Edited on: March 6, 2011 7:05 pm
 


Posted by Matt Jones

It has not been a stellar year for the SEC on the basketball court.  While their football brethren are basking in the glow of a potential fifth straight national champion from the conference, the basketball teams have taken a decidedly different direction in the start of their 2010-2011 campaigns.  In fact, to say that SEC basketball has performed “poorly” thus far this season is an understatement as large as saying that the NCAA is “inconsistent” in the way it hands out punishments for rules violations.  The SEC has been downright pathetic and an embarrassment to the good names of Wimp Sanderson, Sonny Smith, Hugh Durham, Dale Brown and even Don Devoe.  Take a look at a partial list of teams that have notched a victory over an SEC opponent thus far this season:

UNC Asheville
Samford
Campbell
Presbyterian
St. Peter
Nicholls State
Coastal Carolina
North Texas
Florida Atlantic
East Tennessee State
Furman

That is a list of teams so bad that ESPN wouldn’t even package them together, stick them on a random Caribbean island and try to sell them as a viable “holiday tournament.”  It is a group so poor that only one has even been invited to participate in "Bracket Buster" weekend.  Yet they all were invited into an SEC team's home arena and came away with a victory.  As bad as the losses have been however, the wins have not been much better.  As of now, the conference as a whole only has three wins against teams that are currently ranked in the Top 25, and the two biggest marquee victories (Tennessee’s upsets of Villanova and Pittsburgh) are muted a bit by later losses to Oakland and Charlotte.

The SEC East has been awful, with the Vols losing three of their last four, Florida falling at home to an Artis Gilmore-less Jacksonville squad and South Carolina taking a 16 point stoning at home to Furman that caused South Carolina fans to yearn for the return of Devan Downey.  But the SEC East has looked like the 1985 Big East in comparison to the SEC West, which may have the most miserable collection of BCS teams in a division in the history of major college basketball.  The best team in the division is likely Arkansas, whose most distinguishing quality is that they are the only team in the division not to have lost to a team outside the RPI Top 100.  While at the bottom, Auburn has celebrated the christening of its new arena by insulting the good name of Chris Porter and taking the early lead over Oregon State and Depaul for worst BCS program in the land.

How did it get this bad?  In theory, the SEC should have some real potential.  One could make the argument that it has its best assortment of coaches in the last 15 years, with three of the top 15 in the game (Calipari, Pearl and Donovan), four rising up and comers that were coveted by a number of programs (Anthony Grant, John Pelphrey, Darrin Horn and Andy Kennedy) and four solid X and O guys who have had sustained success in the past (Kevin Stallings, Mark Fox, Rick Stansbury and Trent Johnson).    Over the last few years, many of these programs have kept good Southern talent in-state and the rise in national exposure that has come with Florida’s national championships, Bruce Pearl’s emergence as a media darling and John Calipari’s explosion of talent at Kentucky would seem to have benefited the conference to such a degree that it should be contending for top spot in all of America.  Instead, the conference is at best eighth in the country and an argument can be made that if the NCAA Tournament were held today, only three teams (Kentucky, Tennessee and Vanderbilt) would be a lock to be a part of the festivities.

To be fair, it isn’t all bad.  Kentucky will be one of the ten best teams in the nation come NCAA Tournament time.  Vanderbilt and Georgia have played a bit above their preseason rankings and could make some noise in conference play.  And one has to assume that Tennessee and Florida will get out of their December funks to create a solid SEC East.  But with the Western Division giving the conference more dead weight than “Blades of Glory” in a Will Ferrell movie marathon, the prognosis for the SEC does not look bright.  We all know that with the exception of Kentucky and occasionally Vandy, none of these schools care one bit about basketball and would rather obsess over the inseam measurement of a Defensive Line prospect out of Alabama than celebrate the talent of Trey Thompkins or Chris Warren.  But for those of us who do care about basketball in the SEC (meaning Kentucky fans and random old men in stuffy gyms watching high school games throughout the South), couldn’t they fake it just a little bit better?

Photo: AP
Comments

Since: Oct 7, 2011
Posted on: October 14, 2011 3:46 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

I identified your weblog on google and have a glance at a good deal of on the early posts. Retain up the great operate. I just additionally up your RSS feed to my MSN Information and facts Reader.



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 4:18 pm
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Hey Matt, whats up!
 
I could not agree more with you, just a few weeks ago I thought the SEC East would be a meat grinder, now it is starting to look like Swill cheese(I guess that makes the SEC West Limburger cheese, PEEEEE UUUUUU!).

I think the East will come back around Tennessee has to much talent, Vandy is always solid, Georgia might be the dark horse of the year with the bigs. The west............well, I just think it is a good rec league.

Before I go, just want to you to know I live in Louisville. I'm a HUGE CAT FAN and have listened to your show since day one! Will try to call in but with my job sometimes it is hard to. The Big "E" and You are a huge hit, look forward for you guys to take over the hour that used to go to the red and BLUE Review! Tell Dwight Witten Hi, next time you see him(DOSS HIGH Class of 1986!). My name is Jerry Cottner or should I say Office Pool Jerry!

So everyone out there should tune in to Matt at Kentuckysportsradio.com



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 10:02 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Not bad but could you have picked lower hanging fruit to write about?  Come on.  Plus, I bet KSR still gets more hits than this blog.



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:58 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Auburn is by far the worst team in any BCS Conference. I think several of these top prep school teams could beat them easily. And yes, I am serious. Findlay Prep, for instance, would destroy Auburn.  But hey, at least they have a fairly decent bowl game coming up.



Since: Dec 31, 2008
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:53 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

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Yes the SEC as a whole is becoming sad to watch outside of the SEC East. And you are correct; most schools in the SEC obsess over football, even the schools that are not that good at it. But last season the SEC had two teams in the elite eight. Meaning ¼   of the elite eight was made up of SEC teams. Over the last 20 years the SEC has 5 national championships in basketball. That is second only to the ACC. So what say you about that Jones?





Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:44 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Matt, you're stiff right out of the box. Plus you're Tiptoning right out of the box. Your lawyering side is telling you to lick on things and schmooze up by taking a swipe at the SEC. That's the Dookie in you and it will lead you to utter complete failure and you'll be tail-tucked and groveling for Beisner to take you back faster than Turkey Hunter rolling his cart up next to the fattest girl in Walmart. You're not here to write slop like this, you're here to give the joint an edge. If they wanted bland they'd have snatched up BTI and that hairy browed kid that irritates the ish out of me... Frankie or whatever his name is.  A little more zip on the fastball and a little less stock tripe in the pond, my friend. Throw it at their heads and sit them down as they're crowding the plate because you might not have what it takes and they mean to find out.



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:42 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

FREE ENES!



Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 9:13 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Tell Beisner to start posting some Fan of the Day pictures with some females.



Since: Feb 24, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 8:36 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

C'mon Matt. I'm expecting better things from you. I agree with you 99.9% of the time. However, you are starting out on CBS as a Tipton Jr. Your first post on CBS is ripping the SEC. Go rip on the ACC. The SEC is not quite as bad as you're making it out to be. That is pretty sad coming from a UK fan and an SEC fan. Vandy beat North Carolina and took Missouri to OT on the road. Florida beat Kansas St and also Florida St on the road. Kentucky is well KENTUCKY. Tennesse has proved how talented they are with wins over Pitt ( not a close contest) and Villanova. Georgia has a solid team. Arkansas has looked good. Even Miss. State may end up being pretty tough when Dee Bost gets back and Renardo Sidney quits beating the hell out of his own teamates.
Bottom line, the SEC East is strong and the SEC West is down this year. It was the opposite in Football this year.
The SEC has 6 quality teams and could end up with 7 quality teams. You can find some subpar teams and some terrible losses in any Super conference.




Since: Dec 28, 2010
Posted on: December 28, 2010 7:40 am
 

The SEC is hurting my soul

Not to be a stickler and not that it makes it any better, but USC, no wait, that's Southern Cal... Carolina, no that's North Carolina, I mean South Carolina lost at Furman.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com