Friday, September 25, 2009

The hype machine claims another

I feel bad for Ole Miss. This was a team that had absolutely no chance of living up to the hype that had been built around them. One win over goliath Florida last year, and they were immediately catapulted into SEC and national lore as a BCS contender this season. And on the back of some stellar play last year from quarterback Jevan Snead, he became the chic pick for Heisman. But how many times do you hear a player say something like this after a loss as a Top 5 team?:

"I'm glad it's over with so everyone can just stop talking about it," Rebels offensive lineman Bradley Sowell said.

Those are the words of a player that knows where his team belongs. And where it stands is not among the nation's elite.

Jevan Snead was the real story of this game, and really, this team. He led them past Florida. He led them to a commanding win against Texas Tech in the Cotton Bowl last year. Frankly, he deserved some of the hype coming into this season. But he's been, well, not very good this year. Ignoring his massive flop performance last night, in his first two games (against Memphis and Southeastern Louisiana, no less), Snead was completing a mere 56% of his passes, for 7.68 YPA, 5 TDs, and 2 INTs. Those numbers are middling at best (with last night's stats factored in, Snead is completing 49% of his passes for 6.92 YPA; those are Steven Threet numbers). Snead has looked like anything but a Heisman contender.

So where do we go from here? A few days ago, I wrote about national perception and how it relates to the Big 12. Says I:

Meanwhile, Big 12 teams can amass losses, and as long as they are against the oft-overrated Big 12 opponents, suffer nary a consequence in the national rankings.

And this can just as easily apply to the SEC. Case in point: South Carolina, a team that is now being considered one of the elite in the country because of this win and a near-win (but still a loss) against Georgia.

In that post, I talk briefly about Iowa, who is undefeated, beating an SEC and Pac-10 team and playing a sloppy game against Northern Iowa, but still coming away with a win. Iowa, after their season opening block-fest against Northern Iowa, dropped from the polls entirely after being preseason #22. They won. But were dropped. Meanwhile, South Carolina, a team that played undeniably the ugliest game of the entire season (the 7-3 snore that was the season opener against NC State), lost to Georgia, and beat what is obviously an overrated Ole Miss team (unconvincingly, might I add) is now being talked about in the "How good are they?" discussions. In a sport that puts so much emphasis on winning games and moving up in the rankings, it is truly ridiculous that South Carolina is being talked about like this, and will undeniably shoot up the rankings.

So the hype machine strikes again and we're going to have to hear about how great the SEC is for the next three weeks until South Carolina is invariably crushed by Alabama. That is, if they make it past South Carolina State and Kentucky, which frankly, I'm not sure they can.


Andrew Kahn said...

Looks this should've been your SEC upset pick instead of Arkansas. If you were like the rest of us Michigan fans you would think of Mallet as a bum and not pick his team to beat top-ranked teams. Anyway, good articles. Check out mine if you get a chance at

Anonymous said...

love to hear Michigan fans talkin S@#t about an SEC team... quite delusional if you ask me

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