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LCB Picks: SEC/VA Games of the Week

December 3, 2011

Editors Note: This season, on top of the usual SEC picks, we will be picking the best games on the Virginia D-1 slate. We, as in the LCB, all spent our formative years in Virginia. So, we probably should have been doing this all along. 

On Friday night, Oregon crushed UCLA 49-31 to win the first ever PAC-12 Championship game, earning a spot in "The Granddaddy of Them All," the Rose Bowl. LaMichael James rushed for 219 yards, helping his team roll and giving himself a leg-up in the Heisman race. But this was all news to me. Tonight, I took my fiancee out to eat, came home, took the dogs on a jog, and then started preparation for my upcoming finals. It was a fruitful night. However, when I logged on to write this preview I noticed update after update of the UCLA-Oregon game. To my surprise, it was tonight. Like most my age, I have a fairly busy schedule. However, I still feel like I'm just as likely to hear about a game of this magnitude through word of mouth as I am to see a commercial (which I didn't, at least until the game was finished). I had no clue this was happening and even though I could care less that I missed it. (The fact that UCLA got in a conference championship with a 6-6 record, just 1 win more than the "sky is falling" Tennessee Vols, and a fired coach is laughable at best.) I do have a lot of questions; What went wrong with their advertising campaign? Was this on TV? ABC, ESPN, VS, Animal Planet? Am I the only one that had no clue this game was happening? I can't be, right? Am I developing an east coast bias? Whatever the answers are, we all know that the PAC-12 Championship Game is another reminder of why we should all be thankful for the SEC.

SEC Championship Game
(12) UGA v (1) LSU @ 4:00 on CBS:

Many are saying if LSU loses they are still a lock for the BCS Title game, which is impressive. Not quite as impressive as who they've beaten and how they've done it, but impressive nonetheless. However, if Georgia wins and locks-up the automatic bid, the SEC could get four teams into BCS games. LSU, Bama, and UGA would be locks; with Arkansas having a pretty good argument towards their inclusion. This has to scare the other conferences, right? If you add USC to the equation, five teams in the SEC are eligible for a BCS game (though, they have no shot at a BCS game). No matter how you feel about the absurdity of not having playoffs is, it's still an impressive accomplishment for a conference.

Did you know Glamour Shots slogan is:
"We Bring Out Your Best ... Then We Take Your Picture"
Aaron Murray does!
To make matters worse for the non-SEC, it's clear the SEC East is suffering through a down year and yet they have two teams (that's more than most conferences) in the top 14 of the BCS rankings. This domination by the SEC is only going to get worse in the next couple of seasons. Florida will get better, Vandy is building something, UT will return, and the new guys (aTm and Missou) should be in a decent spot to contend. The SEC will continue to get better, until the rest of the conferences defect from the BCS and force a playoff; which has to be the only way to slow down this train. I like the Dawgs in the upset. Apart from them playing a seudo-home game and knowing Aaron Murray is the best QB LSU will face this season, I don't have much of a reason to believe this will happen. Just call it an inkling. UGA 28, LSU 24.

VA Games of the Week
ODU v (3) Georgia Southern @ 1:00 & JMU v (2) North Dakota State University @ 4:00 on ESPN3/Game Plan:
While trolling the message boards this week, I saw one question that stood out to me: "Would you rather your school make it to the Final Four or win a FCS Championship?" As you would guess, most of the answers revealed what sport that poster preferred. However, it's a fairly good question. If your team makes it to the Final Four, they gain national notoriety for the school, boost admissions, boost athletic donations (simultaneously helping the non-revenue sports), and you get a month of lifelong memories. But, you don't even win a Championship and your teams' coach is probably going to leave in the near future (See; Larranaga, Jim). However, if you win an FCS national championship, your school wins the most legitimate National Title in college football, gains a possible catalyst towards a jump to the BCS, a boost (albeit smaller) to athletic donations, and you get a month of lifelong memories. But noone that didn't/doesn't attend an FCS school cares/knows and while it may be more legitimate than the BCS Title game, it still doesn't include all of Division 1.

For me, I'd take the championship. Only because ODU is on the verge of announcing a major expansion to Foreman Field and they're "this close" to making the jump. I believe a FCS Title would be all they need to speed up the process.

Once again, no picks, but I am interested in what other "mid-major" fans would rather have; Fourth Place or First? CBS, Sports Illustrated, & ESPN or ESPNU?

6 comments:

Russ said...

This is the most anti-climatic championship weekend I can remember, and that's with the Big Ten and Pac-12 having title games now. The JMU game and the Georgia/LSU games are the only games I'm watching.

As a JMU grad who already experienced a championship and has also experienced an upset of Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, I'd take Final Four in a heartbeat.

December 3, 2011 at 9:55 AM
Langston said...

Well, what if you had to choose between one or the other? Meaning, would you give up that National Championship for a Final Four?

Imagine what that would mean to JMU. Bridgeforth might not expand. No Mickey Matthews. And maybe JMU never gets the nerve to play the BCS schools. So, no win over Tech.

December 3, 2011 at 10:27 AM
Langston said...

I take it that my inkling was only good for a half. Wouldn't be surprised if LSU destroys whoever they play in the NTG. Who would y'all like to see play the Tigers, Bama or the 'Boys?

December 4, 2011 at 11:20 AM
Russ said...

I would rather see OSU but no way that was going to happen. When are they playing the rubber match if Alabama wins?

December 4, 2011 at 10:24 PM
Langston said...

Not sure why everyone wants to see them play OSU? They played a weaker schedule and lost to a much worse team by a bigger margin. And don't mention the plane crash. They lost to ISU bc they looked at 'Clones as an easy win and ISU played like it was their Championship game. No matter if you think the game will be boring, this is one of the few years where there is no argument that the two best teams are in the Championship game.

December 4, 2011 at 11:24 PM
Russ said...

I don't think OSU's schedule was weaker as the Big 12 had more depth than the SEC. Besides Arkansas, OSU's wins over Baylor, Oklahoma, and Kansas State were better than any other win of Alabama's. I just wanted to see a different team get a shot. Ultimately I'm just tired of the BCS. Comparing schedules to determine who makes the national championship game is a ludicrous system that needs to be put out of its misery. Personally I won't enjoy college football as much as the NFL until this happens.

December 6, 2011 at 12:09 AM

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