There has been a lot of talk the last few years about the SEC being the dominant conference in college football. The conversation always causes a lot of hate and discontent. Why? The detractors always point out, and rightly so, the SEC tendency to schedule "cupcakes" in non conference play. The SEC, as egregious offenders as they may be, are not alone. Fact is, the SEC is the best conference in college play. Not to say that the best team in the country always resides in conference. All "power" leagues and sometimes one or more of the "mid majors" have at least one team that could challenge the top dogs in the SEC, but the southern group just always has at least 5 to 6 squads that would compete for top spot anywhere else.
Take Arkansas for instance. If the Hogs were in say the Big Ten (ACC, PAC12, etc. etc.) they would be a contender for, if not the top spot, at least the second slot. Again this does not necessarily mean the SEC has the best team in the land. FSU may (or may not) again qualify for that position this season but the argument can be made (and is) that if FSU (Notre Dame, Ohio State, etc.) were in the SEC they would lose at least two and possibly more conference games.
If that doesn't qualify the Southeastern bunch for title of "best" in the land, I don't know what does.
Last week the BartenderCabbie System was 6-4 for a record thus far in the 2014 season of 50-20 straight up.
On to the predictions for week 7
1. Louisiana Cajuns vs Texas State: The Cajuns don't quite seem to be running on all cylinders this season while the Bobcats seem to be a fairly good Sun Belt ball club. It looks like Tuesday night Sun Belt action is with us again and I will take Texas State to win this one at home in San Marcos.
2. Temple at Houston: The Cougars had a nice win over a Memphis squad that is much better than they have been in years past. Houston made a QB change last week and it seemed to get them on track. This conference is wide open with ECU being ranked and Temple, Houston, UCF, Memphis, and perhaps Cincinnati all having a shot. This game should be a toss up between a better than expected Owl squad and a Cougar team that may (or may not) have found themselves. I will go with the Owls in a close one.
3. Baylor vs WVU: WVU is quietly building a good season and the Bears came roaring back to take one away from TCU last week. Baylor is the more talented squad but it would be a mistake to discount the Mountaineers here. Go with Baylor but it may be close. Depends really if the Bears can get their explosive offense in gear.
4. TAMU vs Alabama: The Aggies have been exposed. A lower top 25 team to be sure but certainly not what they were season last. Some would say the Tide has also been exposed but I would not quite go there. Yet. This is certainly a "down" year for them (Kiffin strikes again?) but this "analyst" would not rule them out just right now from appearing in the big game at the end. This game could be a good one and the Tide will have to get their offense in gear and avoid the ridiculous miscues that plagued them in Fayetteville Saturday last to win. Go with the Tide in a close one.
5. Georgia vs Arkansas: The Hogs, despite their record, may well be a lower Top 25 team. Georgia is Georgia, a good team that will just not quite be there at the end. Put them in the Big Ten though and they would be "right there" but we already had that conversation I believe. At any rate the "loss" of their starting QB did not seem to be much of a bother for them last week at Mizzou and that is certainly a consideration here. That being said, this is the week that the Razorbacks will snap that SEC losing streak. Go with the Hogs.
6. Iowa State vs Texas: These teams may be pretty evenly matched if truth be told with Texas perhaps taking the edge in the talent department. Will be a good game (or at least a close one) most likely and I will go with the Longhorns for the win.
7. KSU vs Oklahoma: This one will say a lot about both teams that are right there in the hunt in the Big Twelve. The Sooners certainly had their struggles with the Longhorns but that is to be somewhat expected in that huge rivalry game. KSU had a week off to prepare and Snyder surely has his squad ready. Go with the Wildcats to pull off a minor upset here.
8. Stanford vs Arizona State: Who can figure this conference out? It appears to be a bunch of pretty good (but other than perhaps Oregon, far from really good) teams beating up on each other week after week with the outcome being utterly unpredictable. A lot of parity here it seems. This particular contest is another one of those games that looks to be a complete toss up so the coin will be flipped and I will go with the California team. Why? Don't know. The fact that Graham is a scumbag has little to do with it. The ASU kids can't help that he is the coach (until he leaves them in the lurch for "greener" pastures.)
9. Kentucky vs LSU: When was the last time the Wildcats were discussed as possible participants in the Top 25? Doesn't happen often to be sure. Don't think they will find their way in this week but they may well be on the cusp. The Tigers are having a down year (a rebuild) and of course the faithful are calling for Miles' head. I have heard Briles' name bandied around a bit......That being said, the Tigers have better talent but are reloading. The Wildcats are probably at the pinnacle and this will be their chance to make a statement of sorts in the SEC and take down the Tigers. Go with the Wildcats with the upset.
10. Notre Dame vs FSU: The "big one" they say. Don't know about that really. The Irish are somewhat over rated likely, although not grossly so as is the usual case. The Seminole schedule has been a bit weak (to say the least) and there is the ongoing Winston saga that sooner or later will prove the distraction that costs them. Will this be the week that the doubters (myself included) give the Irish the respect that the faithful believe they deserve or will it be the week that the FSU doubters get to say "told you so?" Hard to say. Notre Dame was certainly challenged by a below par North Carolina team Saturday and a couple of weeks back the 'Noles had all they could handle with, what has proven to be, a well below average Wolfpack squad. To think some of us were beginning to take NC State seriously at one point. Who will win this contest? If I were a betting man I would go with FSU. So should you.
Have a good week and enjoy the games.