The SEC: Overrated or what?

Before I get death threats from the First Church Of The SEC, I would like to make this clear: It wasn't the case last year. Alabama and LSU were the two best teams in the country, hands down. And it was right - whether you liked it or - that they played in the National Championship Game.

But this season, the conference is relying on past glories, because this year, it's the most overrated conference in College Football, by a mile.

Maybe that's because the Big Ten can't eat a Big Mac, let alone beat a team from the MAC, the ACC is a joke (you give me Virginia Tech's losses to Cincinnati and Pittsburgh (who actually aren't that bad), and I give you Georgia Tech's loss to mighty Middle Tennessee State). Maybe it's because the Big XII is on the rise (they really are - especially with West Virginia (and we're not just talking about Saturday's no-defense game with Baylor) now in the conference. Maybe it's because the Pac-12 has three or four legit teams this year.

But going back to the SEC, it's overrated.

1) Marquee victories: Alabama has a win over Michigan (who lost to Notre Dame and struggled with Air Force). LSU has a win over Washington (who beat Stanford on Thursday in an upset). And - and we're putting this out there - Tennessee beat NC State (the Wolfpack lost to Miami who were savaged at Kansas State in Week 2).  The ADs are effectively taking away the conference's big-time match-ups, and you know what? The lack of good home-and-homes or marquee match-ups is going to eventually hurt the conference. Right now, it just makes the conference look bad.

2)i) Marquee losses: Auburn lost to Clemson, Kentucky lost to Louisville, Vanderbilt lost to Northwestern and Ole Miss was destroyed at home by Texas. Those are the Marquee games. 

2) ii) The BIG-TIME, EMBARRASSING LOSSES, No.8 Arkansas lost at home to University of Louisiana-Monroe. Kentucky lost at home to Western Kentucky. And while we're not so worried about the big-time losses, losing to ULM and WKU isn't great for a conference's credibility.

3) Marquee struggles (This is where a team has struggled with an out-of-conference team): Auburn struggles to put away ULM (eventually they do, in overtime)....Florida struggles with Bowling Green, Georgia looks poor for a half against mighty Buffalo and even mightier Florida Atlantic. And here's the capper: LSU - the No. 2 in the nation at the time - was poor against Idaho and execrable against TOWSON. Where is Towson, exactly? The Tigers performances in the last 2 weeks have taken them from 2 to 4. Frankly, I would struggle to put LSU in my Top 10, let alone Top 5.

4) Is Alabama really a stand-out team? I put this out on Twitter (@viewfromamerica) that Alabama was the only good team in college football this year. Someone replied: 'Based on what?" That got me thinking. Alabama so far this year has beaten Michigan (and we'll see how good the Wolverines are in a poor Big Ten this year), and that's it. It's had two SEC victories against two traditional SEC bottom-feeders and done.

5) South Carolina and Georgia both can't seem to play for 60 minutes. If we talked about the whole of LSU's performance at Towson as being execrable, then South Carolina's in the first half against mighty Kentucky has to match its awfulness. Georgia's turnover prone, and it's only had one good 60 minutes game, against Vanderbilt. Otherwise, it's not been brilliant. Sure, the numbers have been great - and we think Todd Gurley and Aaron Murray should be in the Heisman conversation - but the performances haven't been great. This is either going to make Saturday's game great, or a festering faeces of embarrassment for both programs and the conference.

6) Want a lassoo for that, LSU? We know that LSU has struggled with injuries, but the Tigers have been dreadful in their last three games. Sure, we know how good the 'D' is, but the offense, marshalled by Zach Mettenberger (who seems at more home doing YouTube stunts than on the field itself), has been goddawful. To struggle against Auburn most seasons isn't something to be embarrassed about. This year it is. It so is.

7) Too much love for Texas A&M. We get Johnny Manziel and the 12th Man (ESPN seems to be selling Kyle Field to us like it's a new thing!!), but who in their right mind can fall in love with a school that has no female cheerleaders. It's wrong! Also, we're unsure where they are against good teams. And Mizzou should never have gone to the SEC in the first place. It's increasingly looking like a bad idea.

8) And we know nothing about Mississippi State. Apart from their win over poor Auburn - who are terrible - we know nothing about MSU, apart from the fact that people are tipping them as possible division winners. Either a) Dan Mullen's the greatest coach of all-time or b) Everyone's been on the bourbon.

9) Lessons in overrated: Vanderbilt and Tennessee. Both sides came into the season much-loved for improvement, bowl possibilities, and love from the world. Well, five games in and neither Vanderbilt or Tennessee have done very much. Tennessee drops the ball too much and the defense is ragged at best. And Vanderbilt is still in building mode. And that's OK. Please folks, don't overrate them just because they are in the SEC.

10) Is Florida as good as advertised? After the Gators struggled (to much laughter) with Bowling Green, the Gators had back-to-back comeback victories on the road against Texas A&M and Tennessee, before shredding Kentucky. Frankly, this Gators team could well be the most UNDERRATED team in an OVERRATED conference. We're riding the Muschamp freight train right now, and wouldn't be surprised if the Gators eat up LSU on Saturday night.