NEW ORLEANS (AP) -- Despite playing in a stadium unfairly tilted to the other team and suffering from a more than 50-day layoff, Ohio State still managed to score 24 points in the BCS title game.
But the Buckeyes lost again, marking the second year Ohio State has fallen in the championship game despite clearly being the better team on the field.
LSU was favored from the beginning. Many in the media chose the Buckeyes, unfairly allowing Ohio State to think they were going to win the game. And a 10-point lead that LSU nefariously spotted the Buckeyes with the hopes of lulling them into a false sense of security obviously worked.
In case you haven't guessed by now, that story never ran. I made it up.
But I wouldn't be surprised if commentary like it took off over the next few days, particularly in some corners of the blogosphere.
The lesser team scores. Again.
I grew up an SEC fan before I ever even dreamed of becoming a Gamecock. I was, in fact, originally an Auburn fan. That is why I will passionately disagree with those who would like South Carolina to move to the ACC or some other conference because "we can win there."
There is a sense of pride in this conference. One Wisconsin fan I know was astonished that I root for every SEC team -- except, of course, Georgia -- when it comes to bowl games. He could never see himself rooting for Michigan or Ohio State. He seemed to see this as a uniquely Southern phenomenon.
Perhaps that outspoken pride is where the backlash against the SEC comes from. Are there some fans in the SEC that soil the reputation of our conference? Absolutely. Are some of those fans obnoxious rednecks that are arrogant about the SEC even when it's not warranted? Again, yes.
I am not someone who touts the SEC regardless. Earlier this year, I ventured that the Pac-10 might actually be better than the SEC, something that is dangerously close to heresy for any SEC blog. (This was based on some premises -- Dennis Dixon's continuing health, Arizona State being great -- that didn't pan out.)
Is the SEC better than the other conferences more often than not? How many conferences have four national titles/MNCs/whatever you want to call them since the beginning of the BCS? How many have a team that has won two of those crowns? How many have a two-year winning streak for the national championship?
Is the SEC HISTORICALLY GREAT EVERY YEAR!!!? No. The conference is obviously at a high point of a cycle right now. Other conferences are good, great and, in some years, better than the SEC. A few of those years -- when the SEC is great but not the best -- are probably not far away. Has South Carolina firmly established itself as part of the SEC football tradition? Not really, though we do own two of the nine consecutive losses Ohio State has suffered at the hands of SEC teams.
But the SEC is currently college football's premier conference, love us or hate us. And it's time everybody else recognized it and either beat us or shut up.
Have a great day.