Sprints Looks at Those Who Don't Take the Doctor's Word For It // 05.07.10

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The second opinions
Dr. Saturday's post questioning the competitive depth of the SEC drew some responses -- not surprisingly -- from some of the better conference bloggers out there. Over at Garnet And Black Attack, Gamecock Man questions one of the assumptions of the post: that Alabama and Florida being better than the rest of the conference proves that the SEC isn't as deep as it once was.

The conference continues to be quite competitive in its middle section, as witnessed last year, when several teams finished 7-5. Moreover, based on the SEC's continued success in OOC and bowl games, it would seem that the conference's lower tiers, while unable to compete with Alabama and Florida, remain capable of beating the rest of the country. The SEC went 7-2 in bowl games in 2008-09, clearly the best out of the major conferences, and a more pedestrian but still comparatively commanding 6-4 in 2009-10.

The only disagreement I would have is that there's a difference between simply saying "Florida and Alabama are better than the rest of the SEC" and pointing out that the rest of the league has one win against the two over the last two seasons. If a 10-2 Alabama plays an 11-1 Florida in the 2010 SEC Championship Game, no one will be able to say the rest of the conference can't keep up.

And The Valley Shook reminds us that such dynasties don't last forever.

It wasn't all that long ago that it seemed we were dawning a new era of dominance of the SEC by LSU in Georgia.  From 2001-2005, LSU and Georgia each appeared in three SEC title games and won two.  LSU and UGA faced off twice in that five year span.  The power had shifted to Baton Rouge and Athens, right?  Well, not really.  Since 2005, LSU has one SEC title and Georgia has not even made it to Atlanta.

That's exactly true, but the question is whether the balance of power will remain so skewed to Florida and Alabama again in 2010 or if it will be a little bit closer.

The Mayor decides the best way to handle the situation is to pretend that Jim Donnan is leading Georgia again. (Sentences I never thought I would write ... )

It’s about to be the 1990s all over again.

The signs are there. The Crimson Tide and the Gators dominate their respective divisions. Auburn recently made a hire from a smaller school that left many observers scratching their heads, yet the new coach outperformed expectations in his first season. Steve Spurrier is grousing about his quarterbacks and threatening to bench his starter. There’s a Democrat in the White House who succeeded George Bush as president and placed Hillary Clinton in a position of responsibility. American soldiers are in Baghdad. If that doesn’t let you know we’re trapped in a recursive loop that’s re-running the ‘90s, just take a look at what’s happening in Athens.

But Mark Richt is not on the hot seat at all. (I know, the post is most facetious, but it's an interesting contrast.) I believe the point here is reverse psychology or reverse jinxing or some such thing -- but what if it's true? That will make it a long decade for the rest of us, particularly if the new 1990s begin in 2010 and not 2000.

National Championship No. 87!
Alabama wins the prestigious "more people gathered to watch a pointless football game" trophy.

Mississippi State promotes former flack to athletics director position
Scott Stricklin will lead State's department after having been in Starkville since 2008.

This is why the phrase 'free market' makes some people twitch
The Justice Department is investigating scholarship practices. Just something to keep an eye on for now.

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