SEC: do not love 022509
Posted by ESPN.com's Chris Low
OK, you know what I love about the SEC.
Now it's time for me to vent. Here's what I hate about the SEC:
No more Larry Munson: I'm sorry, but it almost doesn't feel like Georgia football anymore without the iconic Munson calling the action on the radio. Man, do I miss him. He made the game come to life over the airwaves, and you could feel his passion with every tackle, every first down and every time the Bulldogs kicked off. I miss seeing him in the press box when I go to Sanford Stadium, and I miss hearing the growl in his voice right before a key third-down play. Hunker down, Larry. You were a big part of everything that's right about SEC football.
The recruiting circus: If you don't recruit great players, you're not going to have a chance in the SEC. But the whole circus that surrounds recruiting and the way these prospects are made out to be stars before they ever get to campus is absurd. No wonder we have guys waiting until March to sign. They love the adulation. They love being told how great they are. They love being recruited. But as we've seen time and time again in the SEC, Mr. Five Star in the recruiting process doesn't always become the next Herschel Walker. And likewise, Mr. Recruiting Nobody often times becomes Mr. All-SEC.
Florida-Georgia game traffic: If you ever wanted to know about Union Avenue in downtown Jacksonville, and I mean really get to know the street block by block, try navigating your way to Jacksonville Municipal Stadium for the Florida-Georgia game. There is no worse traffic for any sporting event in America. And before NASCAR fans pipe up, yes, I've been in race traffic before. I've come to the conclusion that the only sure way to avoid a three-hour commute through downtown Jacksonville for one of the SEC's hottest rivalries is to sleep in the parking lot the night before. Anybody got any room in their motor home?
Soaring ticket prices: Sadly, it's the world we live in now, but attending SEC football games has become insanely expensive. It's to the point where the average family simply can't afford to attend games -- and certainly not on a regular basis. Look at some of the ticket prices around the league. In 2008, the average price of an SEC ticket (including the minimum donations required by the schools to buy that ticket) was more than $110, which is an 80 percent increase over what it was just a decade ago. Where does it stop? Well, that depends on where the arms race in college athletics stops.
Charlie Strong can't get a head job: What else does the guy have to do? He's had some interviews, including Vanderbilt when Bobby Johnson got the job, but nobody has been willing to pull the trigger. When you look around this conference over the last four or five years and see less qualified coaches getting head jobs, you can't help but think that race is indeed a factor. And that's shameful. For the record, Strong is one of the best defensive coordinators in the country. He's bright. He's an excellent recruiter. He's paid his dues (also working at Notre Dame and South Carolina), and he can coach. In Florida's two BCS National Championship Game wins, Strong held the opposition to a total of 21 offensive points. Sounds like head coaching material to me.
2:00 PM ET Washington State Colorado State 3:30 PM ET 20 Fresno State 25 USC 5:30 PM ET Buffalo San Diego State 9:00 PM ET Tulane Louisiana-Lafayette
6:00 PM ET Pittsburgh Bowling Green 9:30 PM ET Utah State 23 Northern Illinois
2:30 PM ET Marshall Maryland 6:00 PM ET Syracuse Minnesota 9:30 PM ET Brigham Young Washington
12:15 PM ET Rutgers Notre Dame 3:20 PM ET Cincinnati North Carolina 6:45 PM ET Miami (FL) 18 Louisville 10:15 PM ET Michigan Kansas State
11:45 AM ET Middle Tennessee Navy 3:15 PM ET Ole Miss Georgia Tech 6:45 PM ET 10 Oregon Texas 10:15 PM ET 14 Arizona State Texas Tech
12:30 PM ET Arizona Boston College 2:00 PM ET Virginia Tech 17 UCLA 4:00 PM ET Rice Mississippi State 8:00 PM ET 24 Duke 21 Texas A&M
12:00 PM ET Nebraska 22 Georgia 12:00 PM ET UNLV North Texas 1:00 PM ET Iowa 16 LSU 1:00 PM ET 19 Wisconsin 9 South Carolina 5:00 PM ET 5 Stanford 4 Michigan State 8:30 PM ET 15 UCF 6 Baylor
7:30 PM ET 13 Oklahoma State 8 Missouri 8:30 PM ET 12 Clemson 7 Ohio State