Sunday, December 16, 2007

East Coast Bias or East Coast Truth?

Los Angeles, California. My new home. The instant gratification capital of the world. You can find almost anything you want… except for clean air and intelligent sports conversation.

Before this football season, there was a lot of hoopla surrounding the PacTen. In typical PacTen fashion, they flopped. Only a fool would argue that the PacTen is better than the SEC in football, and yet I get into this argument on almost a weekly basis. This year alone, the SEC finished the regular season with 6 teams in the top 25. The Pac10 managed only two. The PacTen has one dominant team, USC, while rest of the conference takes turns being decent or horrendous. Take USC out of the conference and it’s weaker than the Big East. Even lowly Notre Dame finished 2-1 against the PacTen.

Let’s take a look at the last couple years of NCAA football championships. (I’ll consider split national titles to a half.)

Last 5 Years: SEC – 1 ½, PacTen – 1 ½

Last 10 Years: SEC – 2 ½, PacTen – 1 ½

Last 15 Years: SEC – 4 ½, PacTen – 1 ½

Last 30 Years: SEC – 7, PacTen – 2

Interestingly, the University of Florida has won as many football titles in the last 11 years than the Pac 10 managed in the last 29 years. Also, in the last 30 years, schools from the state of Florida have won 8 titles outright and 1 split title... while the Pac 10 has won only 1 outright and 2 split.

As for all of this talk of the Pac 10 being a premier basketball conference, they’ve actually been pretty mediocre in recent memory. (The only thing more overrated than PacTen basketball is Notre Dame football, but I digress.) Let’s take a look at the most recent NCAA hoops championships.

Last 5 Years: SEC – 2, PacTen – 0

Last 10 Years: SEC – 3, PacTen – 0

Last 15 Years: SEC – 5, PacTen – 2

Last 25 Years: SEC – 5, PacTen – 2

Last 30 Years: SEC – 6, PacTen – 2

Sure, you can go back to the glory days of UCLA more than 40 years ago, but isn’t that a little desperate if you are trying to make an argument about the current strength of a conference?

The Heisman “Controversy”

As if they didn’t have enough causes célèbres out here in LaLa land, many folks out here have adopted the “Colt Brennan for Heisman” campaign. Because the PacTen’s best hopes John David Booty and Dennis Dixon proved unworthy, some folks out here on the Left Coast latched on to Laguna Beach’s native son. In case you’ve been living in a cave for the last couple of years, Brennan has managed to rack up absurd stats in a pass-happy offense while playing creampuff schedules. He’s a slightly better version of the previous fraud at Hawaii, Timmy Chang..

So for those "East Coast Bias" conspiracy theorists that think Colt Brennan should’ve won the Heisman over Timmy Tebow, here are 6 reasons why you are wrong.

1. Strength of Schedule

Hawaii’s strength of schedule ranked 118 out of 119 Division I-A schools. That is correct. They played the second easiest schedule in the nation. Florida’s strength of schedule ranked 8th. Needless to say, its easier to rack up gaudy statistics when you play a patsy ever week.

2. Raw Statistics

Colt Brennan’s 2007 Season

Passing: 337 of 472 for 4174 yards. 38 TDs and 14 INTs.

Rushing: 73 rushes for 65 yards. 8 TDs, 0 Fumbles.

46 Total Touchdowns, 4239 Total Yards

Timmy Tebow’s 2007 Season

Passing: 217 of 317 for 3132 yards. 29 TDs and 6 INTs.

Rushing: 194 rushes for 838 yards. 22 TDs, 0 Fumbles.

51 Total Touchdowns, 3970 Total Yards

So Timmy Tebow had more touchdowns, fewer turnovers, and comparable total yardage… this while playing the 8th toughest schedule in the country.

Some people have made the comment “well, Colt was hurt for a couple games.” While that is true, it’s just proof that Colt Brennan is fragile. If he were to play a touch schedule against even average d-lines, who knows what would’ve happened. Meanwhile, Timmy Tebow played both the Kentucky and Georgia games with a severely bruised right shoulder… and played for the majority of the Florida State game with a broken hand! (As an aside, he finished a high school game in Florida with a broken leg, scoring on a 60 yard TD run.)

3. Quarterback Rating/Passing Efficiency:

Congratulations to Colt Brennan for finishing third in both the Heisman voting, as well as nationwide passing efficiency. Unfortunatly for him, he finished behind Timmy Tebow in both. Yes, that is correct. Oklahoma quarterback Sam Bradford ranks #1 in the country, Timmy Tebow is #2, and Colt Brennan is #3. And honestly, numbers 1 and 2 on that list are more impressive considering their schedule strength.

4. Character

The following is an excerpt from Colt Brennan’s bio. Needless to say, he is NOT a role model for our nation’s youth.

Brennan originally joined the University of Colorado football team in 2003 as a walk-on. He spent the year as a redshirt. On January 28, 2004, Brennan entered the dorm room of a University of Colorado coed uninvited and, according to the coed "exposed himself and fondled her." Brennan, who was intoxicated at the time of the incident, was arrested and eventually pleaded guilty to charges of burglary and trespassing, but a guilty verdict for unlawful sexual contact was vacated by the court for lack of evidence. After the incident, which was caught up in the middle of the time when CU was flooded with other accusations of sex crimes and revelations of wild recruiting parties involving Colorado football players, Brennan was almost immediately kicked off the team.

If you have a daughter in college, remind her to lock her doors at night to keep douchebags like Colt Brennan from making unannounced visits.

Meanwhile, Timmy Tebow is a model citizen…

It is Tebow’s off-field exploits that have perpetuated his legend throughout the state. Born in the Philippines as the son of a missionary, Tebow returns there nearly every year to preach. He plans to go back during spring break, a trip that would include spending time at the orphanage his father’s ministry set up. “We go into medical clinics, hospitals, prisons, marketplaces and schools,” Tebow said. “You preach and help out. I love going every year and I can’t wait until I go back.”

I don’t think anything else needs to be said here.

5. Darren McFadden

Let’s be honest for a second… Timmy Tebow was the #1 player in college football, and Run DMC was #1A. Mentioning Colt Brennan in the same breath as either McFadden or Tebow is blasphemy.

6. His name is “Colt”

In 2006, the most popular baby names in America were Jacob, Michael, Joshua, and Ethan. In Orange County, California the most popular names were Skyler, Lundon, Colt, and Trae. Yeah…