We all know that there has been somewhat of a rivalry between the SEC and the Pac-10 developing in recent years. You see, all the rednecks down south, who believe that football supremacy is a god-given right, don't want to believe that the laid back, full o' hippies, pot smokin west can play football, too. They'd have you believe that downtrodden Stanford is the textbook Pac-10 program, while conveniently forgetting such SEC stalwarts as Mississippi State and Vanderbilt. The SEC is king of college football, and the West Coast boys best get out of town 'fore they be lynched.
At the forefront of this rivalry, and some may argue the reason for its being, is the mythical rivalry between USC and LSU. As you remember, back in '03, SC and LSU shared the national title, as #1 USC was somehow shut out of the great BCS, and LSU beat Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl. Now, you'd think LSU would be happy that they got half the title, seeing as they would surely have had their ass beat down if they would have played SC. Or, if they were angry, sure it would be at Oklahoma for crashing the party when they clearly didn't belong. But no. LSU fans are still in a tizzy over USC, even all these years later. And this rivalry has extended to be a Pac-10 vs. SEC brouhaha in general. If you ask an SEC fan, everything that is wrong with college football starts in the Pac-10.
Until now, this has largely been a back and forth between fans of the two conferences. After all, surely Mike Bellotti or Urban Meyer or Steve Spurrier aren't stupid enough to buy into this whole thing. And they're not. But leave it to Louisiana to find a coach stupid enough to buy into the whole thing. Yes, LSU coach Les Miles has called out USC. Here are the highlights:
"I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition."
Now, to be fair, he was speaking at a booster event. But if Miles even believes a shred of what he says, he is even a bigger idiot than I thought (which is hardly even possibly, considering he lives in Louisiana by choice). Lets take a look at the schedules, which provides LSU with "much stiffer competition."
That's seven bowl teams on the schedule--and WSU and Arizona could very easily be in bowls this year. Although they do play Idaho, the more than make up for it by going to Notre Dame and to Nebraska--that's as tough a non-conference schedule as anyone plays. In conference, they go to Cal--a 10 win team last year, and have to play at Oregon, which is one of the toughest places in the country to play (just ask Lloyd Carr). Not to mention at Arizona State, which should play up to their talent with Dennis Erickson at the helm. Its no wonder that ESPN ranked SC's schedule as the fourth toughest schedule in the country next year.
Lets contrast that with LSU's schedule:
Wow. Unlike SC, LSU's toughest games, Florida, Auburn, Va. Tech, and Arkansas are all at home. Only reasonably tough road game is at Alabama. While SC was busy scheduling Notre Dame and Nebraska, LSU wanted to make sure it had a relatively easy road by going with Louisiana Tech, Middle Tennessee, and a "road" game at Tulane (add Ole Miss and Miss State, and that is worse than Stanford, Washington, and Idaho). LSU has five cupcakes to USC's three, and all of LSU's tough games are at home, while all SC's are on the road.
Of course, I invite Mr. Miles to back up his words regarding the Pac-10. Tennessee and Georgia are currently scheduling Pac-10 teams. I invite LSU to come to Eugene or Pullman or Berkeley (don't tell me about Arizona, LSU fans. That was like when Oregon played Mississippi State). If you come out west and win a few games, then talk away. Until then , shut up and enjoy playing Ole Miss and Vanderbilt all the time.