Things we have learned from 5 weeks of football...

Submitted by MGrether on September 29th, 2012 at 10:27 PM

- The B1G sucks this year and is a clear level beneath the SEC, Big 12 and PAC 12... but still above the MAC.

- There is no "clear cut" set of school who should be considered Elite top 10. We have an Elite 3-4... but after that it is a hot mess that seems to be shifting around more this year then I remember is years past. 

Other thoughts?



September 29th, 2012 at 11:29 PM ^

I feel like college football is down this year. Alabama is elite but it falls off after that, wouldn't surprise me if every team with exception to them ends up with 2 losses.


September 29th, 2012 at 11:55 PM ^

I think Georgia has the players to compete with Alabama in the SEC.  UGA has as good a defense as LSU and a better offense.

Aaron Murray is the best quarterback in the SEC, UGA has 4 WRs who are very dependable, and 2 Freshmen RBs in Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall who each seem to get 100 yards per game.

On Defense, tonight was their first game at full strength with their All-American Safety and their starting middle linebacker returning from suspensions (plus, a saftey whose name is "Rambo" should be able to compete with the likes of Nick Saban).  Tonight they were still ironing things out and many of the points Tennessee scored were off of turnovers and fantastic field position.

Just my two cents.

The Wolf

September 30th, 2012 at 11:19 PM ^

I very much agree with this sentiment, at least as far as anyone can really "compete" with Alabama.  I do not think LSU is anywhere near as talented right now as people are giving them credit for (many more deficiences on offense than defense).  Georgia has a lot of skill and Aaron Murray is showing great development as a QB.  If they can forego the almost-FSU-like guaranteed one game "Derp", I think they will be seeing Alabama in the SEC championship game.  According to Lou Holtz, however, South Carolina is going to beat Alabama . . . so I guess we'll just see about that that one.


September 30th, 2012 at 12:38 AM ^

The SEC is over-rated

The B1G sucks

Oklahoma St. got robbed AGAIN

The Big 12 is good.

Geno Smith will win the Heisman

And Brent Musburger still over dramatizes games that really don't matter


September 30th, 2012 at 1:16 AM ^

The SEC will always be overrated compared to the hype ESPN gives them, but I'd say this year they can actually back it up to an extent. Alabama is a juggernaut, and LSU could go head to head with any other team in the country. Georgia looks good, and South Carolina and Florida are alright too despite some less than stellar outings.

Also can you explain to me again how the Big 12 is "good?" They may not be as bad as the B1G, but that's not saying much. They have no elite teams whatsover. I'd say they're equivalent to the Pac-10 minus Oregon.

Although I do agree Geno Smith is going to win the Heisman.


September 30th, 2012 at 12:39 AM ^

We should just throw the rankings out, so many unranked teams are beating the ranked teams. And the ranked teams that do manage to win are doing it in an unflattering fashion. Both Texas and Georgia barely pulled it off today against unranked opponents. These "upsets" have become commonplace this season.


September 30th, 2012 at 1:09 AM ^

are unranked, I think they are both pretty good teams.  Both will be bowling and both could pull a big shocker at some point.  Close games happen sometimes, even to good teams.


Ole Miss was beaten 66-31 by Texas 2 weeks ago, yet seemed to physically and athleticaly hang with Alabama for a good portion of that game.  It happens.

snarling wolverine

September 30th, 2012 at 12:38 PM ^

Have you watched Martinez this year?  Martinez has completed 68% of his passes and has an 11 to 1 TD:INT ratio.  He's averaging 8.75 YPA.  Yeah, his throwing motion is weird, but he gets the ball to his receivers.   As for whether he's better or worse a runner than Denard, I don't know, but he seems to know when to tuck and run more often.   Right now I think he looks vastly improved.




September 30th, 2012 at 1:06 AM ^

offenses and the up tempo offensive attack teams employ.  I think it robs defenses of the opportunity to be creative and situational substitute.  Most teams have to revert to a base defense against spread/tempo teams.  I think the offenses run today make teams look better than they really are physically.


The BIG is however noticeably slower all over the field and we don't seem to have many elite receivers or throwers.  Thus our offenses are not very 'dangerous' or 'explosive'.


September 30th, 2012 at 8:18 AM ^

Although cumulative conference records don't tell you much of anything about how well teams within the conference are actually playing as teams, it should be noted that, whatever malaise the Big Ten appears to be under, our conference does have the second-best cumulative record (0.684 winning percentage, compared to the SEC at 0.677 or the Pac-12 at 0.630) of the conferences mentioned by the OP. 

As for a summary look at conference offensive stats just for kicks, the Big Ten has collectively put up at  least comparable rushing numbers when put next to the Big 12 and Pac-12, and marginally better numbers than the SEC. As for passing, after five games, there would be plenty of teams across conferences whose numbers are basically within 10-15 yards of one another, so really the Big Ten is somehow managing to put up some decent numbers despite looking bad doing it. 


September 30th, 2012 at 8:31 AM ^

Thanks for the perspective.  I do think the reasone everyone is so down on the Big Ten is that the traditional powers in the conference have struggled. Eveyone sees Michigan, Ohio, Penn State, Wisc. getting beat or barely slipping by opponents.  Our perception of conferences and their strenghts are mostly based upon what we see the traditional powers doing.  


September 30th, 2012 at 10:38 AM ^

I would agree that the Big Ten is doing everything possible to tank the eye test to date this season (and succeeding in some important respects, if that's how you judge it), but going back to looking at some of the offensive stats at least, here are some select conference averages:

Big Ten 1945.4 411.9 1122.6 238.1 883.3 186.4 139.7 29.7
SEC 1944.8 417.7 1166.0 249.4 842.3 181.9 154.0 33.0
Big XII 1937.6 496.7 1196.7 306.6 779.2 200.2 159.8 40.9
Pac-12 1913.3 421.7 1269.9 281.5 725.6 158.0 139.1 30.4

So, for the most part, they are reasonably similar, with the Big XII averaging more yards per game (everyone is shocked there after Baylor-WVU, right?), but the Pac-12 averaging the most total passing yards and the Big Ten average the most total rushing yards (but the Big XII averaging the most of both per game). Keep in mind, of course, that what goes on in the Big XII comes at a price - this is the most anemic conference of these four when looking at defensive statistics. That, and they also have the lowest denominator for computing averages (as "The Other  Big Ten" is not a good name for a conference). 


September 30th, 2012 at 8:19 AM ^

I'm starting to think its really just a down year all together. I'm sorry but LSU didn't look like a top 25 team yesterday. It should be an interesting remainder of the year. I feel like the team I know the least about is Michigan.

magnus_caerulus (not verified)

September 30th, 2012 at 2:20 PM ^

That's reasonable. It's pretty obvious that Alabama is heads and toes above everyone including Oregon.

UofM: I mean we have barely put together two quarters of football let alone four. If we execute and put it to Purdue chicken farmers, that could give us momentum heading into Illinois. Gotta take it one game at a time and improve week by week.


September 30th, 2012 at 9:25 AM ^

It's harder to dominate now then ever. Kids regularly play on TV no matter which school they choose. With the power of internet, they can check  out schools outside of their locale without ever getting on a plane. Plus, there is little danger with sophisticated scouting that they'll be overlooked when the pros come calling.

I think it's generally more balanced FBS wide.


September 30th, 2012 at 9:27 AM ^

I think the OP has a generous assessment.  I don't know if I'd call any of the Big Ten teams "Elite." A few are okay, and the rest... perhaps worse that the better mac teams. 


September 30th, 2012 at 9:56 AM ^

1.  Bama and Oregon appear to be a lot better than everyone else.  It's sad commentary, though, that both teams cheated and/or loopholed their way to dominant collections of talent.

2.  The SEC isn't the juggernaut everyone thinks it is.  Simliar to the Big Ten, almost every team in it has a "fatal flaw."  They are still probably the best conference, but not by much.  

3.  The Pac 12 is looking extremely good. 

4.  I'll put the Big Ten fourth this year, after SEC, Pac 12, and Big 12.

5.  Does anyone really think LSU has a prayer of beating Bama this year?  I don't.  

6.  Bring it on, Sparty.

E. Gordon Gee

October 1st, 2012 at 9:06 AM ^

1. The B1G has lots of parity in it. No one as of now is a clear favorite to win either division seeing how Michigan hasn't played yet. The Mich-Purdue game should tell us a lot.

2. No one in this conference is elite and we have no one that is good enough to compete in the rose rowl. 

3. The B1G will probably have their worst bowl season ever this year.

4. Don't sleep on Iowa.Wiseman punished the Gophers on the ground.