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GovLoop’s Bureaucrat on College Sports – Ranking the SEC Football Bowl Subdivision Teams

Guess what? The Hokie Guru is on annual leave (e.g. vacation) at Cedar Crest Resort on beautiful White Earth Lake in Minnesota. The Hokie Guru accrues six hours of annual leave every pay period (which is every two weeks). In May 2010, the Hokie Guru will accrue eight hours every pay period. You can find more about the annual accrual rates right here:

Life is good for the Hokie Guru. There is unlimited Diet Mountain Dew on the resort.

Let’s get started with another history lesson this week, this time with the Southeastern Conference (SEC). In 1933, the original members of the football conference were Alabama, Auburn, Florida, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, Sewanee, Tennessee, Tulane and Vanderbilt. Tulane, Sewanee, and Georgia Tech are no longer with the conference. South Carolina and Arkansas joined the SEC in 1990. The SEC marks its 75th anniversary this year. Congratulations from the Hokie Guru!!

In the Hokie Guru’s humble opinion, the SEC is the best football conference in America. Last year, the Louisiana State University (LSU) Tigers won the national title. The year before, the University of Florida Gators won the title. This year, the coaches have placed the University of Georgia Bulldogs in the coveted number one spot in the USA Today Coaches Poll (the Hokie Guru will have a separate post analyzing this poll).

The SEC has four (maybe five) teams in Florida, Georgia, LSU, Auburn, and possibly Tennessee that could win any other football conference in America. And why you may ask? The Hokie Guru thinks that the SEC has the best overall college football head coaching in America (Mark Richt, Urban Meyer, Steve Spurrier, Phillip Fulmer, Rich Brooks, Bobby Johnson, Les Miles, Tommy Tuberville, Bobby Petrino, Nick Saban, Sly Croom, and Houston Nutt).

The SEC has two divisions; West and East. The Guru here will rank the teams in each division (the top team in each division will play in the SEC Championship game). The November 1, 2008 game between Florida and Georgia (in Jacksonville, FL) is the game of the year in college football. A shot at the national championship may well be on the line. On to the SEC rankings!!

SEC East

1. Georgia – Georgia is the best team in the country. It is preseason #1 in multiple polls. Georgia absolutely drilled Hawaii in the Sugar Bowl last year. Knoshon Moreno is a STUD; Matthew Stafford is your prototypical NFL QB (check out the news and notes section here🙂 .

2. Florida – If Georgia is #1 in the SEC East, please consider Florida #1A (The #1 and #1A reference goes back in the day when Ralph Sampson was at UVa and Patrick Ewing was at Georgetown… those guys were good). The jury is out on the Gators, though. Sure, they have Heisman Trophy winner, Tim Tebow, back. But do they have a tailback? If the Gators had a tailback, they would be rated #1 by the Hokie Guru.

3. South Carolina – One of the Hokie Guru’s favorite coaches is Steve Spurrier. He has some of the best lines. Here are a few:

A.) Insulted Florida State University as Free Shoes University (after a shoe store gave Florida State players free shoes).

B.) Questioned the abilities of Head Coach Phillip Fulmer of Tennessee “You can’t spell Citrus without UT”

C.) On former Tennessee quarterback Peyton Manning “I know why Peyton came back for his senior year: he wanted to be a three-time Citrus Bowl MVP”. (In reference to the Citrus Bowl being the designated bowl for the second-choice team from the SEC).

D.) Poked fun at a fire that burned 20 books at an Auburn University football dorm, saying; “But the real tragedy was that fifteen hadn’t been colored yet!”

As you can see, I like Spurrier. Anyway, I don’t see South Carolina winning the SEC anytime soon, but I do see them defeating the Vols.

4. Tennessee – CHS has Phillip Fulmer in the hot seat. You know why? He’s going to lose to South Carolina this year. The Vols don’t like losing to Spurrier.

5. Kentucky – The Wildcats upset LSU last year. That won’t happen this year.

6. Vanderbilt – Vanderbilt should play football and basketball in the Big East. The school would have a better shot at being competitive and might establish a rivalry with Louisville. Vandy has tough academic standards and a great law school; it would be the right fit for the Big East. The SEC can replace Vandy with Clemson (who can establish a conference rivalry with South Carolina). And the Atlantic Coast Conference can add the University of South Florida to its mix. The Hokie Guru would love to see the top three teams in the State of Florida, including Florida $tate Univer$ity, Miami, and USF play each other every year (this is the only way to get it done) in all sports.

Hokie Guru Note: It is an absolute shame that Georgia and Florida cannot meet for the SEC title. Instead, they meet for the largest outdoor cocktail party in The South.

SEC West

1. Auburn – The Auburn Tigers have a top 25 coach in Tommy Tuberville. They will play Georgia twice this year; once during the regular season and at the SEC championship game. I love SEC football.

2. LSU – LSU got rid of problem child QB, Ryan Perriloux . Instantaneously, this should help the chemistry of the Tigers. The Hokie Guru is big on chemistry; one problem child can bring a team down. However, this means that Les Miles has to break in a new QB this year… at night against Auburn on the road (ouch).

3. Arkansas – Let’s see… the Razorbacks lost about 99% of their offensive production in RBs Darren McFadden and Felix Jones. And they have a new coach in Bobby Petrino. Bobby Petrino is a miracle worker on offense.

4. Alabama – Nick Saban had the #1 recruiting class in America. The problem is that these guys will not be playing this year. Nick Saban may have been the most expensive coach in America!!

5. Mississippi State – Was last year the peak for Sly Croom? The Hokie Guru thinks so, but you never know.

6. Mississippi – The Rebels might need some cheering up from Thad Cochran and Trent Lott.

That’s it, GovLoopers. More on the way in the Hokie Guru’s sports blogosphere. The Hokie Guru will preview the Pacific Athletic Conference (PAC 10) and the Big 12. Also on the way will be a post analyzing the USA Today Coaches Poll and my Top 25 picks for week one. Side Note: You’ll be happy to know that the Hokie Guru got an “A” in his accounting class this summer. Two more accounting classes needed for the conversion to the GS-511 Auditor Series.

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Profile Photo Steve Ressler

I’m a little jealous of the SEC. I wouldn’t mind if the lady got a job at a SEC school so I could be a SEC fan. My best friend’s wife got a job at USC so now he has a reason to follow the SEC. Maybe I should be a fan – I’m definitely a fan of those Spurrier quotes.

Profile Photo Steve Ressler

I don’t like either FSU or Miami so I’d rather stay in the Big East. I’m more interested in our future games with UF. And we can own Florida for Big East recruitment. But an idea.