ATHENS, GA. (AP) - Christian Robinson is a competitor. Naturally, the Georgia linebacker would like to see how the Bulldogs stack up against the best teams from around the nation.
Not to mention, he loves checking out new places.
But, when you play in the Southeastern Conference, those experiences don’t come along very often. You see, the nation’s top football league is content to sit on its laurels, scheduling a bunch of cupcakes instead of behaving like a champion.
Its motto could be, “Have bus, will travel,” because outside the conference there’s rarely any reason to break out a plane.
“There are a lot of guys who’ve never flown on a plane before,” Robinson said. “I remember going out to play Colorado a couple of years ago, seeing the mountains. I had never been out there before. There’s more than just football on the line in those kind of games. There’s a lot of different experiences that _ who knows? _ you may never get to experience again.”
It’s time for the SEC to be penalized in the rankings.
Personal foul, refusing to play enough tough teams.
This season, the 14-team SEC has a grand total of 14 non-conference games against opponents from the other so-called major conferences. And four of those are pretty much mandated by in-state rivalries _ an early season meeting between Kentucky and Louisville of the Big East, plus Saturday’s games against three Atlantic Coast Conference opponents: Georgia hosting Georgia Tech, Florida traveling to Florida State, and South Carolina playing at Clemson.
Mississippi State and Texas A&M didn’t schedule anyone from another Bowl Championship Series conference. The only SEC teams that played more than one were Vanderbilt, which lost to Northwestern (Big Ten) and travels to Wake Forest (ACC) on Saturday, and newcomer Missouri, which apparently has yet to learn how the game is played since it met both Arizona State (Pac-12) and Syracuse (Big East).
Last weekend was downright embarrassing, a Saturday full of games that passed for an SEC-FCS Challenge. The biggest, baddest conference in the land beating up a bunch of lower-division schools that don’t have the athletes, scholarships or funding to make it anything close to a fair fight:
Alabama 49, Western Carolina 0. Georgia 45, Georgia Southern 14. Auburn 51, Alabama A&M 7. Texas A&M 47, Sam Houston State 28. Kentucky 34, Samford 3. Florida 23, Jacksonville State 0. South Carolina 24, Wofford 7.
The whole day was a spectacle unbecoming of such a mighty league.
But the SEC is making no apologies.
“Our conference schedule is tough enough,” South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier said Wednesday. “We don’t need to go play Oregon and Stanford and those kind of teams unless we want to lose a bunch of games.”