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Big Ten-SEC ill will still burns

Discussion in 'Colorado Football Message Board' started by Bama Charlie, Jan 6, 2008.

  1. Bama Charlie

    Bama Charlie Well-Known Member

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    Big Ten-SEC ill will still burns
    By Dan Wetzel, Yahoo! Sports
    January 6, 2008

    NEW ORLEANS – Still reeling from Florida running over Ohio State in last year's SEC-Big Ten battle for national supremacy, Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany hammered not just the SEC's quality of play, but the character and intelligence of its players.

    In a stunning "open letter to fans," the most powerful person in college athletics attacked SEC football players, particularly those with "speed" in a statement loaded with social stereotypes.

    As the two rival leagues prepare to meet again for the Bowl Championship Series title Monday – this time Ohio State and LSU – Tigers coach Les Miles bristled at Delany's offseason comments, which are more relevant than ever.

    "Mr. Delany is sitting on the outside not knowing of what he speaks," Miles said Saturday.

    The rivalry between the Big Ten and SEC is real, on the field, in the living rooms of recruits and perhaps even in upcoming negotiations over an expansion of the BCS. But it became painfully personal with Delany's broadside shot that SEC players may be fast but they lack the academic acumen and character to play in the Big Ten.

    "I love speed and the SEC has great speed, especially on the defensive line, but there are appropriate balances when mixing academics and athletics," Delany wrote on the league's web site during the offseason.

    "Each school, as well as each conference, simply must do what fits their mission regardless of what a recruiting service recommends … winning our way requires some discipline and restraint with the recruitment process.

    "Not every athlete fits athletically, academically or socially at every university. Fortunately, we have been able to balance our athletic and academic mission so that we can compete successfully and keep faith with our academic standards."

    For Miles, the assertion that his fast players are, by Big Ten standards, not academic or social fits (essentially dumb thugs) is as absurd as it is insulting. He's a graduate of the University of Michigan, where he played under icon Bo Schembechler and later spent 10 seasons as an assistant. Now he is in his third year at LSU, giving him perspective.

    "(He's) misinformed," Miles said. "All I can say is this, getting a degree of choice, a competitive degree that allows you to compete in society, while playing championship football (is what) I think this conference represents fully."

    Delany's statement carries additional weight because it didn't come during the heat of an interview. This was a deliberate, purposeful, public letter.

    Big Ten spokesman Scott Chipman said Saturday that Delany was responding mostly to a newspaper story which claimed the SEC had signed better and faster recruits in February. The league, he said, stood by the letter, which remains on the web site.

    But the Big Ten, an elite conference, never should resort to such a tactic.

    Delany's assertion of his league's academic and behavioral superiority among football players is open for endless debate – both conferences can point to various statistics and awards to make their cases.

    Conversely, both leagues deal with some low graduation rates (the latest numbers have LSU and Ohio State at 51 and 53 percent, respectively), occasional academic fraud and various player suspensions and legal issues. The SEC and Big Ten have long ranked 1-2 nationally in total major NCAA infractions.

    There are no angels in college football. No pure devils, either. In terms of football rosters, there is little difference between conferences, but Delany chose to throw rocks in his glass house anyway.

    Of course, this is how the powerful in college athletics long have dealt with defeat they can't fathom; they tear down the mostly powerless athlete, often with sweeping generalities that stick.

    When writing the book "Glory Road" about the historic 1966 Texas Western basketball team, I came across scores of comments from NCAA officials and rival coaches dismissing the first all-black starting five with the old, same loaded code words.

    When the Miners won the national title, the NCAA even dispatched an investigator to campus to dig for academic misconduct under the premise that a team like that couldn't possibly be legit.

    Indeed, the team was.

    These pathetic attacks on the kids by the establishment suits should have ended long ago. College athletics should be better than this, yet here we went, right back in the gutter.

    There were real players with real families and real reputations getting hit with Delany's wild claims.

    Unfortunately for Ohio State, which tried everything imaginable to limit potential bulletin board material this week, some of those real players are going to show up Monday at the Superdome perhaps with even more to prove in the next clash of this ever-intensifying rivalry.

    That would include 25 seniors, all of whom Miles claims could earn their diplomas by the end of summer.

    "He doesn't know," Miles said, shaking his head.

    They never do.
     
  2. 92Buff

    92Buff Well-Known Member

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    ...and what academic standards does Ohio State uphold?

    By the way, this is from a conference that can't even count. :thumbsup:

    I also crack up about the conference rivalry. Do these conferences really schedule games against each other? I know Ohio State nor Michigan do it since they don't want to be exposed that early in the year.

    The Big 10 is weak and I expect another blowout loss this year for Ohio State.
     
  3. ladyblaise

    ladyblaise Club Member Club Member

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    i don't think it was dramatic as all that, and it was written last february. this is a bash?
     
  4. BuckinFuffs

    BuckinFuffs Active Member

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    he might be on to something... that one recruit from the All Army game going to Georgia was going to take the SEC IQ down a significant amount by himself.

    :huh:
     
  5. buffsyko

    buffsyko Club Member Club Member

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    That kid has a speech impediment and is partially deaf,bet you feel pretty insignificant about now huh?
     
  6. Bama Charlie

    Bama Charlie Well-Known Member

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    I realize you are a very literal person but most infer from this letter that he believes the speed in the SEC is due to the SEC lowering their academic standards. Some infer a bit more than that.
     
  7. CUinDC

    CUinDC Member

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    Michigan actually has a very good record against the SEC (including a 7-3 record in bowl games). What I don't get is why they keep scheduling Pac-10 teams in non-conference games, since they are constantly owned by those teams. Ohio State, on the other hand, does have an awful record against the SEC (0-8 in the bowls I think).

    I guess the rivalry between the conferences just comes from the fact that they are matched up in several bowl games each year. Plus, the Big T1E1N is always held out as the poster child for big, slow, old-fashion football, and the SEC is always the primary example of the faster, modern style of play, so there's probably some resentment there.
     
  8. sackman

    sackman Club Member Club Member

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    I had this argument with a friend of mine a few months ago. He asserted that the SEC just recruited a bunch of thugs who can play football and that the Big 10 was a far superior conference from an academic standpoint. So I went down the line of schools ranked in the top 300, which was every school from each conference. I showed that the top academic institutions in each conference were virturally identical (Northwestern & Vanderbilt). Ohio State, Iowa, Indiana, etc. are not exactly these bastions of academic achievement. They're not bad by any stretch, but there's really no discernable academic difference between Ohio State and Arkansas, Indiana or Auburn, etc.

    The Big 10 has an inflated sense of self-worth.
     
  9. Jens1893

    Jens1893 Moderator Club Member Junta Member

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    Delany seems to like his role as the least popular person in College FB.
     
  10. absinthe

    absinthe Ambitious but rubbish. Club Member Junta Member

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    this is pretty stupid and unprofessional.
     
  11. leftybuff

    leftybuff Iconoclast Club Member

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    Geaux Tigers.
     
  12. Bama Charlie

    Bama Charlie Well-Known Member

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    The NEW Big East is full of players that the could not get into the SEC.

    Mike Ford-USF
    Peanut Whitehead-UL

    Those are two I know of off the top of my head.
     
  13. ladyblaise

    ladyblaise Club Member Club Member

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    and some take it as a portent that the sky is falling and they are under attack.
     

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