With news of the NFL hopping on the “Jersey Shore” bandwagon and giving the Garden State the first outdoor, winter Super Bowl, I was just wishing someone would come out and start bellyaching about how the NCAA should follow suit and give us a chance to watch young girls freeze their tushes off on the sidelines of a BCS game. Yesterday, I got my wish.
Dr. Saturday of Rivals gives three reasons why we should have a cold-weather BCS game, with one being the ability to muzzle those annoying Big Ten homers who blame their abysmal record against the SEC in BCS games on the extra weight they’ve put on in hibernation for the summer (Not really, but how many times have you heard one retort “Come play us in Ann Arbor in the middle of a snowstorm and we’ll see who comes out on top!”). As Dr. Saturday puts it:
“For years, the Big Ten’s comeback to the perceived dominance of Southern Cal and the SEC on Jan. 1 (in the latter case, it is only a perception: the Big Ten and SEC have split their annual dates in the Citrus/Capital One and Outback Bowls, 10-10, over the last decade) has been “Why don’t you come play in the cold for a change?” Well, why don’t they? SEC teams have traveled west for non-conference games in the Pac-10, but except for Kentucky’s long-running “rivalry” with Indiana, have rarely ventured north of the Mason-Dixon line for any game – certainly not a bowl game, because they haven’t existed – in a generation.”
Ignoring the infamous “sarcastic quotation marks” concerning our rivalry with IU (more their fault than ours, but I digress), let’s stand up for our conference a bit here. First of all, the annual dates may be split, but if you look at the BCS games, the SEC is 3-1 and USC is 4-0 against the conference. I don’t think that mentioning the split record in the more minor bowl games does anything but reinforce that this has little to do with weather, and much more to do with the top of the SEC being better than the top of the Big Ten (mostly OSU).
Beyond that, I’m no weather guru but I’d love to know how the 3 degrees that separates the average low of Columbus, OH and Lexington really gives SEC teams such an advantage in the warm weather. Sure, West Lafayette is quite a bit colder than Gainesville in the winters, but to act like SEC teams never have to play in freezing temperatures is a little short sighted. Anyone who has spent any length of time in Knoxville, or Fayetteville for that matter, can tell you that.
Just for reference, I compared the BCS matchups by weather or not the perceived “cold weather conference” team won or not (I say perceived because I am sure as heck not spending my day looking up average temperatures). So for my example, PAC-10 is warm, Big 10 is cold, SEC is warm, Big East is cold. ACC, Big 12, and all the other non-BCS conferences are considered warmer than cold and colder than warm (just trust me), with pushes judged by me. So completely non-scientifically-“warm” teams won BCS games about 55% of the time, not exactly domination.
Really, the Big Ten needs to worry less about blaming the weather for their troubles and more about keeping Ohio State as far away from SEC teams (and USC) as possible. And while we’re at it, let’s keep the BCS as far away from New Jersey as possible. The Situation thanks you.