Also in the Big 12, Missouri supposedly was good, but Missouri has exactly 1 win against a decent team (Illinois), and that win is getting less respectable with each Illini loss. South East Missouri State? Nevada? Buffalo?
Now why are all the columnists ragging PSU about its schedule? Sure it hasn't been stellar, but I'm not seeing anything in the Big 12 that looks as good, let alone better.
As for the SEC, lately we've been told by the ESPN talking heads that the SEC is too good for its own good, that it cannibalizes its teams through the season, etc. Just because crappy conference teams are beating the good conference teams does not mean the conference is difficult; it means the quality of play is inconsistent. That's true of nearly all conferences. Auburn, which was supposed to be so damn good according to the pundits, is a colossal flop. Tuberville most likely is done after this season. LSU was revealed to be a paper tiger (though we're talking cardstock, not tissue paper) by Florida this weekend. Perennially overrated Tennessee has at last sunk into utter incompetence. Only Alabama remains, and they've not been tested except by Georgia (Georgia failed that test miserably); they're not likely to play another halfway decent team until they play LSU.
When Big 10 teams beat each other up, it's because the conference is weak; when SEC teams do it, it's because the conference is strong.
Make no mistake, the Big 10 is down this year, yes indeed. Michigan lost to Toledo at home. Toledo. In the Big House. Ohio State, in the midst of running through its schedule of teensy tiny schools in Ohio, got pounded on national television by USC. Only one Big 10 team remains unbeaten, and that's Penn State. I can't defend the strength of schedule with Coastal Carolina, Syracuse, and Temple on the schedule, but my point is not so much that PSU's opponents are so much tougher, but rather they're on par with the so-called "tough conference" leaders. Penn State's victims are a combined pathetic 17-27, so there's no gloating there.
I'm not happy with the Big 10 this year; they should be pounding non-conference opponents, at least the ones who are from little baby conferences. However, you've got losses to Utah, Toledo, and Notre Dame from Michigan; to Notre Dame from Purdue; to Ball State from Indiana.
I don't care that Ball State is ranked at this time; a Big 10 team should not lose to Ball State.
That being said, here are a few predictions:
1. Alabama will lose to LSU.
2. Texas will not lose to Missouri; they'll lost to Oklahoma State.
3. Notre Dame will go 7-5 and be invited to a
4. Florida will win the SEC.
5. Missouri and Oklahoma State will play each other for the Big 12 title.
6. Penn State will win the Big 10.
7. USC will win the PAC-10.
8. No other conferences matter. BYU will get waxed in their bowl game, which will be the first time they play a decent team.
by the way...Penn State's two national championships? Playing as an independent, the Lions suffered through years of complaints of "weak schedules" etc to beat Georgia and heisman winner Hershel Walker in 1982 and Miami and heisman winner Vinny Testaverde in 1986.