Rick Neuheisel's Rant Gives Pac 12 Too Much Love
Don't look now, but there is another person taking shots at the Southeastern Conference and their scheduling.
Just take a look at Pac-12 commentator and former coach Rick Neuheisel had to say:
So, Neuheisel thinks the SEC can just sit back and watch contenders fall off in November?
Let's take a look the biggest matchups the Pac-12 has heading into the holiday season and see how well they stack up against the SEC in the same month.
There's Stanford at Oregon on Nov. 1, which should be another great contest. Arizona State at Oregon State could be decent on Nov. 15, as could USC and UCLA on Nov. 22. Stanford at UCLA could also be good on Nov. 28 as could Oregon and Oregon State on Nov. 29.
Now, let's look at the SEC. There's Florida-Georgia and Auburn-Ole Miss on Nov. 1, with Alabama-LSU and Texas A&M-Auburn on Nov. 8. Auburn-Georgia, South Carolina-Florida and Texas A&M-Missouri follow on Nov. 15. Then, on Nov. 29 there is Auburn-Alabama, Florida-Florida State, Clemson-South Carolina and LSU-Texas A&M (Nov. 27).
That's not exactly coasting. All of the SEC's top teams are playing in at least two of those games, while Stanford, UCLA and Oregon are the only ones in the Pac-12 (can we really call USC, Arizona State or Oregon State contenders?).
Oregon has South Dakota and Wyoming to open the season. On a side note, Oregon did schedule Michigan State, so that's a start, but if you're going to complain about the SEC having so many easy games, you need to make sure there are no holes in your schedule. South Dakota and Wyoming are holes in Oregon's schedule. The same goes for Stanford with UC-Davis and Army; and let's face it, Notre Dame isn't Notre Dame.
Oregon State is going to play Portland State, Hawaii and San Diego State to open the season, while Arizona State has Weber State and New Mexico on the schedule.
Now, I'll give UCLA credit because they do play Texas and Virginia out of conference early in the season. Credit will also go out to USC (a little) with Fresno State, Boston College and Notre Dame on the schedule.
Of course, we also have to mention the fact that the Pac-12 chose to play nine conference games, while the SEC plays eight. I can understand the arguments there, but nobody is forcing the Pac-12 to play nine conference games. The ACC and Big 10 only play eight conference games, while the Big 12 plays nine because there are only 10 teams.
If anything, Neuheisel should direct his opinion towards the ACC where a team like Florida State won't be challenged after the season-opener against Oklahoma State.
The SEC may have some "cake" games in November, but the Pac-12 has "cake" games in September during times when Georgia plays Clemson, Alabama plays West Virginia, Auburn plays Kansas State and LSU plays Wisconsin.
The bottom line is the SEC is stronger than the Pac-12. Playing eight games in the SEC, especially coming from the Western Division is a gauntlet of sorts. So, to complain out how easy it is for SEC teams is short-sighted.
Then again, Neuheisel is a Pac-12 man and he always will be. In his mind, the Pac-12 is the best conference in football and all other conferences have a lot of catching up to do.