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SEC is dominant and LSU is perfect (but USC rules)

Chris Dufresne takes time out (he gets three per half) each Friday during the season to answer questions on college football.

November 25, 2011|Chris Dufresne
  • LSU head coach Les Miles holds his team back before the start of a game against Arkansas on Nov. 25.
LSU head coach Les Miles holds his team back before the start of a game against… (AP Photo / Bill Haber )

Unbuckling the mailbag:

Question: The SEC isn't really that strong? Only five of the top 12 teams are SEC members. There would probably be more if they didn't beat up on each other. The SEC and Big 12 are the crème de la crème. The others can't hold a candle.

Barry A. Rose

Answer: You would think someone named "Rose" would have a little more respect for the conferences that play in the Granddaddy of All Bowl Games every year. I would expect this sort of stuff from Barry A. Sugar, or Barry A. Chick-fil-A.

I don't think the SEC is that strong this year, but that doesn't mean the league does not deserve to be 1-2-3 in the Bowl Championship Series standings. In fact, that's the way I had it this week in my rankings. I blame the schools — Stanford, Boise State, Oregon, Oklahoma State, Oklahoma, Clemson — that blew their chances to challenge SEC supremacy this year.

I am resigned now to seeing a rematch between SEC schools in the BCS title game, even though I'd rather go to the dentist.

Q: The first solution to the problem of SEC dominance: tell the Big 12 to quit being the spread conference and go back to playing real football. For everybody else (including your Pac-12) hiring SEC coordinators as head coaches might work. If you can't beat 'em, join 'em.

Tracy Rense

A: Missouri and Texas A&M obviously got your memo. Both schools are leaving the Big 12 to join the SEC in "America's Conference."

I'm sure Washington State out of the Pac-12 would love to join the SEC, but could you imagine the trip from Pullman to Starkville? It would take five days to get home and back.

The one Pac-12 school you wouldn't want to join the SEC is USC.

The Trojans played home-and-homes this century against Auburn and Arkansas and won those four games by the cumulative score of 167-48.

USC opened the 2003 season at Auburn and left with a 23-0 win. The first time Matt Leinart had ever taken a snap in a college game was in that game.

You say that's ancient history?

Well, I'm not sure any SEC team would want to play USC today, either.

Q: I was trying to figure out how many times since the BCS came out has a team had a perfect score?

Don Geller

A: I could go back through the week-to-week BCS standings dating back to 1998 but that would cut into my day-after Thanksgiving couch time.

It was a remarkable score. Louisiana State wasn't just No. 1 in the BCS last week, it was a perfect No. 1. The Tigers were No. 1 in all six BCS computers and were a unanimous No. 1 pick in both the USA Today and Harris polls.

The interesting thing is, LSU, before this year, had only been No. 1 for a total of two weeks despite winning national titles in 2003 and 2007.

Q: What do you expect from a region of the country that universally disdains education? They skate through classes and play ball. The Pac is crammed with top schools and still remains competitive every year. This is a much more significant achievement.

Philip Golden

A: Yeah. All the SEC cares about is winning championships. They do, however, give out prestigious "Road Scholarships" to future highway workers.

Q: Keep telling yourself that the SEC is not the top conference in the country. Currently, we have won the BCS championship five years in a row.

Currently, the top three teams all are from the SEC. The SEC will mostly likely have a loser in the BCS championship game this year. Too bad it will take two SEC teams to make this a reality.

Keep flailing.

Jerry Rowells

A: The SEC is 7-0 in BCS title games. It might be true that the only way an SEC team will lose a title game is if it plays another SEC team.

At least that's what I keep telling myself.

Q: The tenor of your piece on "SEC, 1,2,3", seems to be that the SEC doesn't deserve its status as the best football conference or the top three spots in the poll.

Doyle Martin

A: That's not true. The SEC, for sure, is superior to the Big Tenor.

Q: I was under the impression that to be eligible for the BCS title game a team must win its conference (and therefore its title game). That would, then, prevent two SEC teams from playing one another.

Greg Wagner

A: You need to get out from under that impression. Two schools from the same conference can play for the national title. And it might very well happen this year. The BCS rule on this is simple: The top two teams in the final standings will play for the national title.

Q: Your rankings this week make about as much sense as Chip Kelly's non-use of timeouts.

How do you rank USC ahead of Oregon and Stanford, which Oregon cruised just a week prior, at No. 4?

Are you telling me that Oregon cannot beat Houston or Boise State? Please.

Your credibility stock has plummeted.

Andrew Harrison

Eugene, Ore.

A: Your question makes as much sense as Chip Kelly's non-use of timeouts because, in my poll, I have USC at No. 9 and Oregon ranked No. 10.

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