Monday, October 30, 2023

Classic SEC

Here are the standings for the Classic SEC:

2.  Georgia:  8-0
8.  Alabama:  7-1
11.  Mississippi:  7-1
13.  Louisiana St:  6-2
18.  Tennessee:  6-2
31.  Florida:  5-3
37.  Kentucky:  5-3
50.  Auburn:  4-4
66.  Mississippi St:  4-4
103.  Vanderbilt:  2-6

The good news for UK fans is that after losing 36 of their last 39 games to Tennessee, the Wildcats won't have play UT every season starting next year.

Here are the other Classic Conference leaders:

ACC:  N. Carolina (27)
Big 10:  Michigan (1) (Ohio St. at 3)
Big 8:  Oklahoma (9) (Mizzou at 14)
Southwest:  Texas (7)
Pac 10:  Washington (5) (Oregon at 6)
Western Athletic:  Air Force (16) (Utah at 21)

So that gives us the following classic bowl games:

Rose:  (1) Michigan v. (5) Washington
Sugar:  (2) Georgia v. (3) Ohio St.
Orange:  (9) Oklahoma v. (4) Florida St.
Cotton:  (7) Texas v. (8) Alabama
Fiesta:  (6) Oregon v. (10) Penn St.

Air Force would get UCLA in the Holiday Bowl.  UNC would get Tennessee in the Gator Bowl.


  1. Kyle Tucker at The Athletic has an article that finally explains what went wrong with the UK basketball program. Bottom line is that Cal never recovered from that 2015 season. I can see that -- I never recovered either. Tucker's view is that it's possible for Cal to turn things around -- Cal is a genius, after all -- but it's not likely that he'll do so.

  2. The only problem I have with blaming everything on 2015 is that Cal really did have the best team in the country in 2017, and was flat-out cheated in the Elite Eight. If that game had been officiated fairly, Cal would have won the National Championship in 2017, and this whole narrative would look very different.

  3. Having said that, I think that the losses UK suffered in 2015 and 2017 were absolutely devastating. Twice they had the best team in the nation, and twice they failed even to make the final. After the 2015 season, I was exhausted and crushed. After the 2017 season, I never wanted to watch college basketball again. I can't even imagine what those seasons did to Cal.

  4. Anyway, this all reminds me of the end of John Thompson's career, or Nolan Richardson's, or Gary Williams's. Cal's just worn out.

  5. I will say this: Rupp appeared to be worn out in the early 1960's, and then he had Rupp's Runts in 1966. And then he won the SEC every year from 1968 to 1972, when he retired. I could see Cal having that type of revival. Of course, what Rupp did was to bring in Joe B. Hall. And even then, Rupp only made one trip to the Final Four after 1958.

  6. The Athletic piece accuses Cal of picking a fight with Matt Jones, but I don't think that's fair. Jones baited Cal for years before eventually getting the response he wanted. And Jones wasn't alone -- the Kentucky media greatly prefers Mark Stoops to Cal, and have not hidden that preference.

  7. The whole Stoops/Cal thing has always seemed silly to me. Stoops is a solid guy who can go 7-5 and 8-4 at UK, which isn't that easy to do. Cal is one of the greatest coaches who ever lived. Only in Kentucky would the media try to convince fans that Stoops is the better coach.

  8. Imagine a beat writer (or any writer) in Charlotte trying to convince people that Mack Brown is a better coach than Roy Williams.

  9. But that's the Bluegrass -- they will always prefer earnest diligence to high-strung excellence. Most UK fans were devastated when Pitino left, and we got Tubby Smith instead. But in the Bluegrass, they were thrilled. I think Tubby is the only coach we've ever had who they really liked. He's their kind of guy. As is Stoops.