Monday Morning Update

Spanning the globe on a Monday morning …

Good read here from SI’s Pete Thamel who says the SEC’s claim as the best football conference in the country is quite vulnerable, and the title could be passed to the PAC-12.

He points out the SEC’s quarterback drought as compared to the experienced returning in the PAC, particularly in the South Division, which he says compares favorably to the SEC in terms of the quality depth of its members.

My .02 …

The title of “best conference” is always a moving target, and so is the criteria to reach the decision. While depth among SEC teams has rarely been bad it wasn’t as good at the beginning of the league’s national championship run (2006-2012) as it is now. Seems I heard more about those national championships then than I did about depth.

To me, depth should be the determining factor, but it will always be overlooked by the big prize.

I think the PAC is a fun league to watch, and if they played in a better time zone I’d watch them more.

The idea of the SEC as the “best” conference has helped the SEC Network to a record launch, but there is not trophy for best conference, no way to really gauge it with so many different factors — bowl success as another — to which people point.

The other thing is this: Best conference comes and goes. There’s ebb and flow. The SEC has carried the label for a good long while, but it won’t always.

I thought Arkansas coach Bret Bielema had the best comments on this subject when he spoke to us in Destin in late May. He hammered home the difference in quality of teams between the SEC and the Big 10, and he’s a guy who had spent many years in the Big 10. He is certainly a qualified source.

Like teams, conference don’t stand still either. And with the TV money thrown around to college football right now, and the fact that the power players have become a smaller group, it’s going to become more difficult to separate everyone any way.

Speaking of conference propaganda, Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney has developed a formula using football strength of schedule to promote his league:

Elsewhere …

Prior to 2014 SEC Media Days I was asked to attend a short interview session for The SEC Network. Many others were invited. In different time slots were sat before cameras and were asked a lot of questions. The responses were played back at various points during the season whenever one of them fit with a network story.

One of the questions was about Bo Jackson and Herschel Walker, and which of them was the better player. Wow. That’s like trying to choose between oil and gas and which one plays the most significant role for your car. I watched both players, and I quickly tried to recall and compare the exploits of each. It just seems to me that Bo Jackson was faster. I didn’t have 40 times to compare or anything to back up that claim. It just seems he was faster. So Bo was the answer.

Speaking of running backs. It’s going to be a great year in the league for that position. …

Good read from Seth Emerson of The AJC on the new normal with full cost of attendance for scholarships at Power Five schools. COA numbers vary, and opinions vary on whether the schools that offer more money will gain an edge in recruiting. I think they will. …






Denham Springs, La., native, Mississippian since 1989 with a stop in Meridian before arriving in Tupelo. Daily Journal beat writer since 1996, covering Ole Miss since 2002. Proud Northeast Louisiana alum. Follow me on Twitter @parrishalford and listen to John Davis and myself daily with The Ole Miss Beat on Rebel Sports Radio.

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