SEC basketball has give fans of the league even more reason to dwell on football.
LOUISVILLE, Ky. (WDRB) – The Big East Conference might be breaking up, but the Southeastern Conference is not breaking out – not during this college basketball season.
Check the latest Associated Press Top 25. You'll find more teams from the Mountain West (three) than you will from the SEC (Florida, Missouri). It might be piling on, but the Big Ten has six Top 25 teams, the Big East five. Kentucky is the only other SEC team that even received votes this week.
Ken Pomeroy's numbers rank the SEC the nation's seventh best conference. Jeff Sagarin's formula agrees with that – seventh.
Five quick reasons why all the talk in the SEC has been about Nick Saban and the four new football coaches:
1. Star Shortage: The league of Anthony Davis, Joakim Noah, Shaquille O'Neal, Charles Barkley and Gerald Wallace is several quarts low on star power this season.
Nobody from the SEC ranks in the Top 50 nationally in scoring, the Top 20 in rebounding or the Top 25 in assists.
The SEC needs Nerlens Noel or Archie Goodwin of Kentucky to be great – and soon.
2. Loser City. It's tough for a program from a BCS conference to be carrying a losing record midway through December. You have to work at it. There are so many Longwoods, Lamars and Coppin States that a coach can drag onto his schedule there's no reason to be under. 500. None.
Mississippi State, Auburn and Georgia do not have winning records. Vandy is 4-4 with a 17-point loss to Marist.
3. Cover-your-eyes losses abound – Alabama, which has lost three straight, stumbled at home against Dayton; Louisiana State fell by 19 at Boise State; Georgia lost to Iona and Youngstown State at home; Auburn could not beat Rhode Island; Mississippi State (3-6) has too many stumbles to list. Did I say that Vandy lost to Marist by 17? OK. Well, the Commodores also fell to a bad Villanova team.
4. Half of the league's 14 teams are averaging fewer than 8,000 fans per home game: South Carolina, 7,822; Louisiana State 6,842; Mississippi State 6,087; Auburn, 5,182; Georgia, 4,715; Texas A&M, 4,514 and Ole Miss, 3,870.
And the Rebels are 7-1. Sounds like hoops heaven to me.
Those schools can stir larger crowds for football national signing day parties.
5. Arkansas has been a disappointment. Some thought Mike Anderson would have the Hogs ready to compete for the bottom of the Top 25. Wrong. The Razorbacks are 5-4 with one victory against a team ranked in Ken Pomeroy's Top 275 teams. The Hogs lost by double figures to Arizona State. What would Scotty Thurman think about that?