Monday, July 28, 2008

Mike Mayock Is A Pud

There’s nothing more irritating than networks that suddenly want to jump on the college football bandwagon and select just about anyone to give an analysis. In their rush to cash in on a hot commodity, they’ll select a panel of “experts” to breakdown teams, games, and conferences. But much too often, you get a group that may have expertise in one area, but college football isn’t one of them. Fox was guilty of this the past two seasons, latching on to the BCS rights and giving us a group of people that said a whole lot without saying anything at all. The NFL Network is now making that same push, attempting to put more emphasis on college football, and one member of their panel is already under my skin.

Mike Mayock is an NFL draft guru (supposedly), but I recently caught him in a discussion about Pac 10 football and Arizona State. In talking about the Sun Devils’ upcoming game against Georgia, the panel gave reasons why ASU may win or lose. With Mayock, the answer was short and simple, “SEC, spank”, even using hand gestures to act out the prediction. I can think of plenty of reasons the Sun Devils could possibly lose that game, beginning with the poor play of their offensive line in 2007, and an outlook that looks to be the same. But when someone gives one reason, and that reason being that the opponent is from the SEC, that burns me.

I’ve never claimed to be an expert on college football, but I at least attempt to support my assumptions with facts. To believe Mayock’s assertion that SEC vs. Pac 10 equates to a spanking, you would think the Southeastern Conference was 15-0 in head-to-head matchups against the Pac in this BCS era. They are not. Maybe Mayock should realize the Pac actually leads in the series by a count of 9-6. Where’s my spanking?

LSU spanked Arizona (as many teams did), Auburn spanked Washington State (as many teams did), and Cal was spanked by Tennessee in 2006. But Cal managed to return the favor in 2007, when they hosted the Vols. In fact, with Tennessee and Arkansas each reaching the SEC championship game over the past 2 seasons, what they both have in common is getting spanked by Pac 10 programs to start their year (Cal and USC).

Arkansas was spanked twice. Auburn was shutout in Jordan-Hare. UCLA dumped Bama twice. In two games against the SEC, Oregon hasn’t lost. Where’s my spanking? Remember what happened when LSU played a team not at the bottom of the Pac? They won the games, but they didn’t exactly have an easy time doing it. In 2006, they had to come from behind to edge the Sun Devils in Tempe. In 2004, Alexis Serna misses 3 PATs, and the Tigers escape the Beavers 22-21 in Baton Rouge. This was the follow up to LSU’s 2003 championship season. Where’s the spanking?

If Mike Mayock wanted to give a more positive reason for Georgia’s probable beating of Arizona State, the answer is simple. Georgia has a damn good football team. The conference name doesn’t make the program, otherwise Vanderbilt would be world beaters. It’s the roster, experience, and coaching. The Bulldogs have the ability to spank many teams, but it’s because they are Georgia, and not because they are SEC. The media can continue to doubt the Pac and cast them in a lesser light than their SEC opponents. But the truth is, they have no numbers to support their claims. Those snake oil salesmen can sell their product to the rest of the country, but it's not selling on the left coast.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

I happen to be UCLA fan, but I came across your article and I couldn't agree more. I really like Mayock as a draft analyst, but he clearly knows nothing of college football. Though I can't remember the team, he once cited one of the team's weaknesses, offensive line, as their strong point and picked them to win. Of course, they lost.