Don't mess with the Sun Belt.
I have started and deleted around fourteen different articles since Saturday. The first four were antagonistic rants about how Savannah State would tackle better than Nebraska did against UCLA and contained enough vitriol, angst, and bitterness that I decided it might not be good for whatever interweb reputation I have to delete that piece. That was followed up very quickly by four or five more drafts about Iowa and Wisconsin and how Nebraska capped off a trifecta of ineptitude that basically ended with me hitting my head against a wall for about an hour. The final pieces were all defenses of the Big Ten with praise being heaped on Northwestern, but their penchant for moral victories made me a bit queasy (Hey guys! We're 2-0 and even though Vandy and Syracuse are a combined 0-4 and have not really looked good in years, we beat two BCS Schools. Look at us! We're smarter AND better than your team. Also you won a bowl game in the last four decades, right? Right? Oh, you haven't? So, you're overly excited about a 2-0 start. Hmmm... Congratulations?).
Those pieces all sucked and I decided I was going to be positive and look for virtues in all our teams. Maybe I would go into the stats and be rational. That sucked, though... There aren't a lot of good things that have not been said already. We have a bunch of great articles out there on the site if you need to talk about it and commiserate. I am kind of past that point, though.
So instead I have decided to go on the attack like our main man Sherman. If this was the worst weekend for the Big Ten since last January, then by god, it was going to be the worst weekend for everyone else as well. One of the things I learned in school was that the narrative can be crafted to tell any story you want. I cannot confirm that this was what the professors were trying to tell me, but I know that this lesson has served me well (See: Rex Burkhead is the best back in the B1G). So come along with what is closer to a gonzo-informed version of reality than to real-reality, and let's look at why your conference sucks.
The ACC: We Sort of Know Who Plays Football Here
With the impending Notre Dame shift notwithstanding, let's look at exactly what transpired for your fair conference last weekend. Florida State defeated Savannah State, but so did Oklahoma State last week and we'll get to them later. I literally had to look up what teams were in your conference so I could dissect just how bad your weekend was otherwise. Duke got obliterated by Stanford, NC State and Virginia both held on, but against the mighty powers of UConn and TTFKAPS (That Team Formerly Known As Penn State).
Georgia Tech beat up the mighty Blue Hose, and if you do not know whose school that was, I didn't either. That would be Presbyterian, and not just like the church, but more like the college. This is followed up by the traditional conference power, Miami (FL), doing their best impression of another school of the same name, Miami (OH). Not only did one of your flagships get beaten, they got beaten by a purple-clad wildcat. Of course, good for you for having Clemson. You know, nothing describes the ACC better than this: Wake Forest is leading their division, Florida State is still on top, and your best hope of a title (after the annual FSU screw-up on national television moment) is for Clemson to not cause a 'Fuck Clemson' moment. Good luck with that ACC, your conference is a mess.
The Big XII: Ten Teams Under Texas, Indivisible (Unless, Texas Joins the ACC)
Look, I suppose we could talk about the fact that your conference outscored its opponents 351-105, or the fact that you went 6-2 with pelts over the Big Ten and ACC, but that would be a terrible way to look at last weekend because it only gives you false hope for the upcoming season, and like I have been trying to say, everything is a mess. So let's start with the biggest negative of last weekend: Kansas.
Kansas lost to Rice. This is the same Owls team that has gone on to win an average of four games each season the past three seasons, which in a major conference wouldn't be so bad, but they definitely play in Conference USA. Maybe the schematic advantage was off kilter. Really, I have a feeling that the bigger issue is that Kansas is a terrible team and while most of you would rather us forget that they have a football team and just point out, "Hey, have you been to Phog Allen? It's a great hooptyball place," we all know the truth.
As for that other loss... Yikes, you would've thought, 'a man,' would have been more prepared for the desert air. Of course a B1G fan like myself can only say so much about traveling two time zones and playing at night, the Cowboys did their best to remind us that beating up on a school like Savannah State either causes the football gods to hate you for life, or allowing you to jump ship to the SEC. Still, losing to RichRod by giving up 59 points is no way for a Big XII school to act now is it? Oklahoma State will now remind Florida State that pride absolutely comes before the fall.
Finally, if we're going to really call the Big XII on anything, it is their abomination of a schedule this past week. First off, how are only eight of the teams playing? Week 2 is the bye week? Really? That seems like a terrible decision. Also, this was arguably the worst weekend of opponents of all the major conferences. If Iowa was the best team out there, you know it was probably a weak group. Also, I'm going to go ahead and blame Texas for Iowa's problems too. Greg Davis needs to go away and take his horizontal passing game with him. It's just as bad as I remember it. So while your record would argue that you are not a mess, it's probably a paper tiger. So go ahead and take your schematic advantages and cupcake platter and remember, your conference is also a mess.
The Big East: Can We Just Agree That Saying, "Big East," Says it All?
We can? Awesome. Just remember, when your marquee win of the weekend was South Florida over Nevada by a point, and you just got spurned by Notre Dame in all sports, it's probably time you sat in the corner and thought long and hard about what you did. You're not just a mess, you're a hot mess that needs to be put out of its misery.
The Pac 12: In a Lot of Ways, You Won the Weekend... Then Again... Colorado
The good? Well, you rolled the Big Ten at home. Now, remember this weekend next year when you return to the Midwest and are reminded that time zones do, in fact, mess with your game. Not that it's fair to blame those wins on those factors, however. I will concede that the Pac 12 looked good over the weekend posting wins over major conference foes and not making a mockery of themselves... wait, what's that? Colorado and Utah are in the Pac 12? I guess now is a good time to talk about why the Pac 12 is also a mess.
Look, I get that your conference has some powers in Oregon and USC, and UCLA looked fairly good on Saturday. Oregon State made Wisconsin look bad, but let's not jump the gun on the Beavers being back or anything. What I would also like to point out is that outside of the Top 2, UCLA and maybe Arizona/Arizona State, although let's be honest, the jury is still out on all three of those teams, this is a conference that has a massively awful FCS loss on the docket and had its marquee team fight tooth and nail before finally pulling away at Syracuse. I understand Syracuse may be better than what people think because Ryan Nassib is the man, but let's stop pretending that anyone truly believes USC won't trip up later in the year.
Utah losing to Utah State is almost forgivable because rivalries and all that jazz, but if Arkansas (who we will talk about in a moment) does not lose to ULM, the story turns on Colorado for basically being pretty much the worse at football. Sure, Pac 12, you won the weekend, but it's probably time you savor that. Remember, Lane Kiffin coaches your premier team and Chip Kelly is still under major investigations. Enjoy this year, and when Utah beats USC, Oregon State beats Oregon, and UCLA eeks out its seventh win, remember Week 2 as the least messy of all the messiness that is out there.
The SEC: Where John L. Trolls the South
I know that there are a lot of people who believe that Alabama will lose to Arkansas this weekend. I also realize that people enjoy living in Arkansas, so there are some confusing habits south of here. Anyhow, I suppose we should all bow down to the superiority of the SEC. After all, Alabama and LSU look unstoppable, South Carolina and Georgia took care of business and Arkansas... Oh Arkansas. Look, it's bad enough that we continue to see these cupcakes being scheduled, but shouldn't we just all agree that if you pay a team to come play, you should at least do some backroom agreements to make sure you don't lose to that team? Also, shouldn't, 'buying wins,' somehow break an NCAA rule? Maybe we should just make a cap on how much you can pay a team to come get obliterated and that will help with the mess that we've seen overall this year... However, I digress.
Look, Arkansas was a train wreck over the weekend and put a black eye on the SEC, but there are other signs of problems. Northwestern ended up taking it to Vanderbilt who in the previous week actually should've been in position to defeat South Carolina if not for an awful non-call. Just think about how insufferable the Northwestern fans would have been if they had knocked off the up and coming SEC Smart Guys as opposed to the now 0-2 Commodores! Also, Auburn is terrible. I don't know if these things have any correlation whatsoever, but I just needed to get that out there. Iowa State fans will probably back me up here, but Gene Chizik is not a great coach. Somewhere Turner Gill is asking himself how that guy got hired over him, and then he remembers Kansas and goes back to his Division III job that makes his life much more fulfilling.
So while you are the kings of the roost, the creme dela creme, the titans of college football, just remember that your conference is currently responsible for the worst loss of the young college football season. Congratulations SEC, you are also a mess and may now commence on beating up on whatever Big South schools come in next week.
Everyone Else: By Default, this Means Notre Dame, Right?
Finally, let's just talk about the mess that is everyone else. I realize there will be a BCS Buster because ESPN needs something to talk about. Since Boise State and its atrocious blue turf are not on the docket today, how about Ohio? Seriously, I love Frank Solich, but that marquee win over Penn State is about to look like a win over a MAC school, which is exactly the opposite of what the Bobcats need. Your schools, outside of Notre Dame who we will talk about in a second, are a mess because you are basically the forgotten. A big win here and a little press there is nice, but I cannot name half of the other conferences even out there. In the world of Big Time Football, we would like to believe that everyone has a chance, but we all know that you do not. So keep on keeping on little guys. Just remember, Savannah State got more press this week than all of you combined and they play in the FCS.
As for Notre Dame? Congratulations for remaining relevant by beating Navy and Purdue. You brought in Tommy Rees, and you are 2-0 somehow. Sure there were some dubious calls in your game, and sure your coach is a jerk, but hey GOLD HELMETS ON OUR HEADS YO! Seriously though, let me be one of the first to say that you should have fun in the ACC. You'll fit right in with Miami, you know, a team that loved Independence and wishes it could go back to the days where paying players with hookers wasn't illegal. So good work everyone else and Notre Dame, your conferences aren't even good enough to be a mess... you all are just forgotten.
See, now doesn't that make us all feel a little better? No? Well, there are some MAC schools who would like to oblige you this weekend. Let's hope the B1G take care of business and that this gets figured out. If not, I'm turning on every last one of you. CARNAGE FOR ALL!