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Dufresne on the SEC

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By now we have heard enough about the comments of Les Miles and his thought s about the Pac 10 but Chris Dufresne of the L.A. Times has some interesting thoughts on the subject. Some of this we have heard before but Dufresne puts up a solid piece without going nuts over it and he lays out a decent argument. Before I get into his piece you see this Blog - BCS Busters, Hat Tip To Joel over at RTT. This is a GREAT site that is thorough in how it lays its argument out. There is some great background here so check it out.

Dufresne lays out his views by one simple thought: " You can argue all day the SEC is better than the Pac-10 but you can't argue one is cream sauce and one is crud."

I also got a kick out of his general impression the SEC and its bout with insecurity that that always seems to come to the forefront.

Why does the SEC do it?

Why can't it just shut up and play?

Answer: It can't help itself.

The SEC still can't get over Auburn going undefeated in 2004 and having to watch USC and Oklahoma play for the BCS title.

It still can't stand the fact LSU had to share the national title with USC in 2003.

The SEC's status as the nation's preeminent college football conference -- rarely argued by anyone -- is only demeaned by the league's seemingly insatiable need to tell everyone about it.

The debate will rage on forever about which conference is better but outside of its conference schedule the Pac 10 has gone out of its way to play top opponents while some SEC schools play the likes of Louisiana-Monroe. The conventional wisdom amongst some in the SEC about there being USC and everyone else is hollow at best as Dufresne states here.

The Pac-10 may never be as top-to-bottom strong as the SEC, but it definitely takes more giant leaps when it comes to scheduling.

Phil Steele, who produces one of the most-respected preseason football publications, ranks the toughest schedules from last year.

His top six were Stanford, USC, Washington, Arizona, UCLA and Oregon. Tennessee (hey, an SEC team!) was seventh. LSU, according to Steele, played the 50th toughest schedule.

And what are the eight toughest 2007 schedules, according to Steele?

All Pac-10 schools.

LSU checks at No. 52.

USC, the school that is supposed to tiptoe to the BCS title game, plays at Nebraska, Notre Dame and Cal.

Steele is considered a god in this business and is always on the up and up so any SEC homer that would criticize his strong work is either way misinformed or just plain nuts. Its all or nothing, you can't take some of Steele's work and preach it as gospel and take that which you don't agree with and call it blasphemy. Steele is just too credible so I would follow his lead on things like this.

USC's record against the SEC is well documented and I think Cal will do very well against the Vols on opening day. A win for the Bears will us all some good as it would another talented Pac 10 team beating an SEC "powerhouse"/ When you look around the Pac 10 there are some solid programs and they have more than made the effort to schedule game against some top talent. Yes, SC has been the frontrunner and their national exposure has taken away from some of the other programs good work, probably to a fault, but either way the Pac 10 is hardly as bad as Miles and some SEC honks out there would have you believe.

Of course my favorite part of the article was some of the comments that were made in regards to Miles thoughts.

A question was also posed: How would Miles and LSU fare playing a round-robin Pac-10 schedule?

"Jump in and try it one year," Washington State Bill Doba cheerfully proposed.

Hansen said he'd like to, just once, see an SEC team play in Pullman.

"In late November," Hansen said.

Erickson, though, may have summed up the overriding sentiment.

"Les Miles," he said. "Who cares?"

You gotta love Erickson, as much as I can't stand him he says the right thing at the right time in these types of situations.

Or as I have said before...Bring it on bitch!