John Adams: Odds are against every SEC bowl opponent

John Adams

Texas A&M quarterback Johnny Manziel has won the Heisman Trophy, three other SEC players have been honored as the best players at their position, and nine conference players have made The Associated Press All-America first team.

That qualifies as an average SEC postseason so far.

But the odds-makers lean even further in the SEC's direction. All nine conference bowl teams are favored, which prompts the question: Why not allow losing SEC teams to play in bowls?

After all, losing in the SEC isn't akin to losing elsewhere.

Take Kentucky, for example. The Wildcats went 2-10, got coach Joker Phillips fired and lost six SEC games by 20 or more points. They also beat Kent State by 33 points.

Kent State (11-2) is playing Arkansas State in the GoDaddy.com Bowl.

Auburn was almost as bad as Kentucky. The Tigers went 3-9, got coach Gene Chizik fired and lost four SEC games by 35 or more points. They also beat Louisiana-Monroe.

Louisiana-Monroe (8-4) is playing Ohio in the Independence Bowl.

Missouri won only two SEC games this season. It won just as many games against non-conference opponents who qualified for bowls.

Missouri (5-7) beat Arizona State (7-5), which is playing in the Kraft Hunger Bowl, and Central Florida (9-4), which is in the St. Petersburg Bowl.

Arkansas (4-8) and Tennessee (5-7) also beat bowl-bound teams. The Vols won their season opener against North Carolina State (7-5), which is playing in the Music City Bowl. The Razorbacks defeated Tulsa (10-3), which is in the Liberty Bowl.

Vanderbilt 27, N.C. State 20: A bowl bid wasn't enough to save Wolfpack coach Tom O'Brien's job. It's just as well.

Think how angry Wolfpack fans would be if he were returning as coach after losing to Vanderbilt.

LSU 37, Clemson 20: These teams have a couple of things in common. Both are called Tigers and both call their home Death Valley.

But, as a prominent South Carolinian by the name of Steve Spurrier has pointed out, LSU has the real Death Valley. It also has a real defense.

Mississippi State 34, Northwestern 31: You want to pick against an SEC team? Here's the place to do it.

The Bulldogs have lost four of their last five games.

South Carolina 34, Michigan 23: The Wolverines have something to prove against the SEC after being embarrassed by Alabama. They will have more to prove after the Outback Bowl.

Georgia 45, Nebraska 24:

You might wonder about the Bulldogs' mind set after an agonizing last-second loss to Alabama in the SEC championship game. You should wonder even more about Nebraska's defense, last seen chasing Badgers into the end zone.

Florida 34, Louisville 17: The Gators labored offensively in the second half of the season. But opposing offenses labored even more against the Florida defense.

Expect more of the same from Louisville.

Texas A&M 45, Oklahoma 38: Manziel is only 400 yards short of 5,000 yards in total offense. That's not out of the question against the Sooners' defense.

Ole Miss 34, Pittsburgh 27: The Rebels and Panthers both finished 6-6. But 6-6 in the Big East isn't comparable to 6-6 in the SEC.

Alabama 30, Notre Dame 16: The Irish have repeatedly risen to the occasion this season. But they won't rise as high as the Tide.

Top 25: Stanford 34, Wisconsin 30; Florida State 37, N. Illinois 17; Oregon 41, Kansas State 27.

Record: 216-53 (. 803) overall, 126-111 (. 531) against the spread.

John Adams is a senior columnist. He may be reached at 865-342-6284 or adamsj@knoxnews.com. Follow him at http://twitter.com/johnadamskns.

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Comments » 33

KVCrockett writes:

Good read. I want the whole country to have no doubt which conference is the best. So I will pull for every SEC team,but only in bowl games.Thanks John for a story with no negativity.

manning_berry_special_player1614 writes:

never looked at it like that but if ya sit and think about it..... i would much rather see my vols playing one more game... i think we could beat ark st,kent st,lu m,ohio,etc....lets vote jon jon

abnerPeabody writes:

Adams just had to get his shot in against the Vols by mentioning their won lost record.John,will you quit telling it like it is? There is absolutely no reason for you to keep telling the truth. It hurts some of our fans too much.Next year you will not have Tennessee to kick around.

cloudodust writes:

In a perfect world, I'd agree with JA but the one that spooks me the most is Clemson-LSU. If Clemson receivers have learned to hang onto to passes in the last two weeks that hit them in the numbers, LSU is in trouble. Otherwise,...go SEC

eVOLved writes:

Disclaimer of being a JA column critic: I liked this column. Definitely agree.

Lvillebill writes:

You are a buffoon.

Strap writes:

I agree that SEC teams with losing records are better than many of the teams playing in bowl games. The problem is too many bowls. Why does Orlando need two bowl games? It was almost painful to watch two mediocre teams struggling before a half filled stadium last night. The only reason for a team with a 6/6 record to accept a bowl bid is to get more practice sessions to prepare for next season. Why doesn't the NCAA allow all schools to have a fall practice to keep the playing field level? That would be too logical I suppose.

tnvol4ever writes:

Good read, but I pretty much quit watching bowls years ago. The only bowl of interest is the one for the championship. The rest is always one team that thinks they deserved a better bowl so they are not really motivated or a team that has lost their coach to another school. Bowl season is a big let down. The regular season has more of a playoff atmosphere.

Sir_Spanky writes:

Several laughs on this one. Spurrier's endearing comments about the Clemson Mudpuppies - LUV IT. And Nebraska's defense chasing Badgers into the end zone :-) ha ha ha... Listen, for some of you folks out there who are not feeling warm & fuzzy about CBJ yet - I get it - but, let me say something that might give you some relief, at least in relative terms - "BO PELINI"... There. Feel better?

UT4prez writes:

in response to tnvol4ever:

Good read, but I pretty much quit watching bowls years ago. The only bowl of interest is the one for the championship. The rest is always one team that thinks they deserved a better bowl so they are not really motivated or a team that has lost their coach to another school. Bowl season is a big let down. The regular season has more of a playoff atmosphere.

The bowl matchups this year are the worst I've seen. I believe TN would have beaten Rutgers or Va Tech the way those teams looked. Terrible bowl game. Cinci and Duke was entertaining but I admit to only watching the last few minutes.

LCPanthers (Inactive) writes:

Not too bad.But disagree with Oregon KState game. I think KState wins.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

I hope bammer, vandy and UGA lose..I can't help it.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to UT4prez:

The bowl matchups this year are the worst I've seen. I believe TN would have beaten Rutgers or Va Tech the way those teams looked. Terrible bowl game. Cinci and Duke was entertaining but I admit to only watching the last few minutes.

Agreed, I can't believe these games are making money. I watched a little of the Ohio vs. La-Monroe (horrible game) turned it off at the half and you could count the fans in the stands. These teams are playing bad fb, and I have no doubt UT is better than this garbage. I find it humorous that ESPN attempts to call these games with a straight face. Like they're giving the public tremendous match-ups of real entertaining fb..Pathetic!

jmaples54 writes:

in response to Lvillebill:

You are a buffoon.

tovolny? tomkats? don't let lville bill steal your thunder. he thinks john adams is a buffoon. why? same reason as you. i have no idea. your mama looked like adams, maybe?

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I hope bammer, vandy and UGA lose..I can't help it.

I understand..... going 1-7 will do that to you. Not that I am familiar with that type of season.
just sayin.

SevenT writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I hope bammer, vandy and UGA lose..I can't help it.

They are the program the Vols wannabe

Just Saying

CCLC writes:

in response to SevenT:

They are the program the Vols wannabe

Just Saying

+1
Wow, Vandy is now a legit uT rival and doing the bowl thing. Ouch. Dark days indeed in Knoxvegas. The total number of times "Rocky Top" (written by a Georgian FYI) was played in Knoxvegas this year has decreased by 1/3. h/t Bleacher Report. Who would have thought?
"What freezings have I felt, what dark days seen, What old December's bareness everywhere!” Yikes!

Vol_in_Mich writes:

Just checked the spreads, Miss St. is the only dog, +2. All SEC teams should win, but one or two will probably choke.
Sure do miss watching the Vols this time of year!

GBO - Give em heII Butch!

chuckfromwoodberry writes:

According to sources close to Saban, if he wins the NC he has nothing left to prove and will take Jimmy Haslam's money and become the HC/GM for the Browns.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

I understand..... going 1-7 will do that to you. Not that I am familiar with that type of season.
just sayin.

No, I hated UGA before that, AH!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to SevenT:

They are the program the Vols wannabe

Just Saying

Tucky was the only win, that's right..Thx for reminding me, it could be worse..NGFY!

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

According to sources close to Saban, if he wins the NC he has nothing left to prove and will take Jimmy Haslam's money and become the HC/GM for the Browns.

That's probably close to reality, but if his wife has her say it's complete retirement from fb..Either way it will be a great day when Saban steps down.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to CCLC:

I understand..... going 1-7 will do that to you. Not that I am familiar with that type of season.
just sayin.

It has nothing to do with the Vols going 1-7 in the SEC. it's more because of the trolls that are a POS like you
just sayin.

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

No, I hated UGA before that, AH!

Without Georgia.... ROcky Top would have never been written and you wouldn't have your biggest recruiting base.... or some of your coaches. ;-)
Show a little love.
just sayin'

CCLC writes:

in response to VolFanInTheBoro:

It has nothing to do with the Vols going 1-7 in the SEC. it's more because of the trolls that are a POS like you
just sayin.

Hah. Karma. You should have to suffer like me when I road tripped to Knoxvegas in the 90's to play the Vols. Ouch .... even the waitresses harassed us. You and GaTech are the worse. I only get a reprieve when I visit relatives in Murphy. They are good Vol fans and I show them respect. Of course they love me unconditionally. ;-)
just sayin'

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to CCLC:

Without Georgia.... ROcky Top would have never been written and you wouldn't have your biggest recruiting base.... or some of your coaches. ;-)
Show a little love.
just sayin'

Down the field means more to me (the real fight song)..Also, UT has everything over that second rate college in Athens..How many SEC championships have they won?? That choker program you are so proud of never won anything under Richt and unless Saban retires means beating UF&UT only gives you second position to all the other losers..Now, go join that obtuse JA announcer from UGA that recently bought the farm.

VolFanInTheBoro (Inactive) writes:

in response to CCLC:

Hah. Karma. You should have to suffer like me when I road tripped to Knoxvegas in the 90's to play the Vols. Ouch .... even the waitresses harassed us. You and GaTech are the worse. I only get a reprieve when I visit relatives in Murphy. They are good Vol fans and I show them respect. Of course they love me unconditionally. ;-)
just sayin'

you might not get mistreated if you weren't such a jerk. Leave a decent tip next time and the waitress might act like she can stand you

civilianvol_formerly_marinevol writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I hope bammer, vandy and UGA lose..I can't help it.

I can make myself pull for Georgia over Nebraska, but, no matter how much I dislike Notre Dame, I can't make myself ever pull for Alabama or Florida--even though I realize both will win easily. As for Vanderbilt, in a normal year I could pull for them. But, I encountered a few Vandy fans on a recent visit home in Middle Tennessee. You would think they had beaten Tennessee 28 times in the last 30 years, instead of the other way around. Therefore, I would really enjoy seeing a team UT beat (NC State) slam them down to earth. After actually beating UT and having a winning season, these Vandy fans have become such belligerent, obnoxious aholes that the Vandy game is now the one I most want to win next year.

BIVOLAR_BEARE writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I can make myself pull for Georgia over Nebraska, but, no matter how much I dislike Notre Dame, I can't make myself ever pull for Alabama or Florida--even though I realize both will win easily. As for Vanderbilt, in a normal year I could pull for them. But, I encountered a few Vandy fans on a recent visit home in Middle Tennessee. You would think they had beaten Tennessee 28 times in the last 30 years, instead of the other way around. Therefore, I would really enjoy seeing a team UT beat (NC State) slam them down to earth. After actually beating UT and having a winning season, these Vandy fans have become such belligerent, obnoxious aholes that the Vandy game is now the one I most want to win next year.

I totally understand your feelings..Back in the day I encountered obnoxious dore fans when I played CFB back in the early 80's. Still to this very day I find myself rooting against vandy no matter who the opponent is.

golfman1975 writes:

in response to civilianvol_formerly_marinevol:

I can make myself pull for Georgia over Nebraska, but, no matter how much I dislike Notre Dame, I can't make myself ever pull for Alabama or Florida--even though I realize both will win easily. As for Vanderbilt, in a normal year I could pull for them. But, I encountered a few Vandy fans on a recent visit home in Middle Tennessee. You would think they had beaten Tennessee 28 times in the last 30 years, instead of the other way around. Therefore, I would really enjoy seeing a team UT beat (NC State) slam them down to earth. After actually beating UT and having a winning season, these Vandy fans have become such belligerent, obnoxious aholes that the Vandy game is now the one I most want to win next year.

I played in the Pride a few years ago. We were asked to stay over for the Christmas Parade in Nashville. When we got to the Vandy campus, they threw oranges out of their dorm rooms. One band member was knocked out and we walked the rest of the parade. To say they are classless is an understatement. We should have given them a Christmas Tree suppository...

BigOrangeSmoker writes:

who cares what you think johnboy

CCLC writes:

in response to BIVOLAR_BEARE:

I totally understand your feelings..Back in the day I encountered obnoxious dore fans when I played CFB back in the early 80's. Still to this very day I find myself rooting against vandy no matter who the opponent is.

You know how to put a stop to all that Vandy chest pounding?
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ib1UKs...

15_counting writes:

in response to chuckfromwoodberry:

According to sources close to Saban, if he wins the NC he has nothing left to prove and will take Jimmy Haslam's money and become the HC/GM for the Browns.

The only "source" close to CS is his wife Terry who has made it very clear "We love it here. Our kids love it here. It is a good fit for me. We hope to retire here someday. As far as jobs go this is definately it for us."

As far as something to prove...It is much easier to win a championship than to maintain a championship. If CS is not up to the challenge it's time to move on. Anything less is unacceptable at Alabama. If he is up to the challenge money will not be a factor!

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