Zooker Latest To Tick Off Commissioner?

Lane Kiffin annoyed SEC Commissioner Mike Slive just about every time the "Half Monty" opened his mouth during his brief, forgettable and regrettable career at Tennessee. Tommy Tuberville, now the head man at Texas Tech earned a rebuke from Big 12 boss Dan Beebe for saying he didn't think the league would be around "for long".

Now Ron Zook has entered the mix with comments that are bound to frost Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delaney. Here's what the Zooker had to say on the Paul Finebaum Radio Show last week when asked if the SEC was a better conference than the Big Ten.

"At this time, it probably is but I think there's teams in the Big Ten Conference just as well as there's teams in the Southeastern Conference that can play against anybody.

"The biggest thing that I've noticed is that maybe in the Southeastern Conference there's a few more big guys that can run, but trust me there's some awfully, awfully good players in the Big Ten Conference as well."

Of course, should Zook earn the wrath of Commissioner Delaney for those statements, he has one good defense.

It's true.

All you have to do is look at the recent history of the BCS to see that, indeed the SEC is atop the college football world. The last four BCS champions have come from the SEC -- Alabama (2009), Florida (2008), LSU (2007) and Florida (2006). Add to that the fact that the Big Ten Champion, Ohio State lost two of those games by a combined 41 points and it's not an outrageous statement at all.

Still, Delaney and the rest of the folks in the Big Ten are not likely to appreciate the acknowledgment. The league is trying to build its brand, and recently added Nebraska in an attempt to further that goal. The last thing they need especially in a slow news cycle is one of their own admitting the league is not the best one out there.

Of course they could also enhance their image by learning how to count (12 schools now in the Big Ten?) and winning more often on the big stage.


There will be those who might point out to Zook that he had a better record in the SEC (23-14) than he has been able to muster in the "weaker" Big Ten (21-39). He is coming off a 3-9 campaign with the Illini and is probably sitting on one of the hottest seats in college football heading into the 2010 campaign.


Last year was a comparatively good one for the Big Ten with two wins in BCS games. Ohio State beat Oregon 26-17 and Iowa downed Georgia Tech 24-14. The league didn't get much buzz for its success, however since Alabama, Boise State and Florida posted bigger wins over higher ranked opponents.


The BCS has been in existence for 12 years in one form or another and in that time the SEC has won six BCS Championships without a single loss in the championship game. The Big Ten has had just one team, Ohio State, make the BCS Championship Game and the Buckeyes are 1-2.

Interestingly enough, Florida State played in the first three BCS title games, winning one while Miami played in the next two and won once. Neither has reached the BCS title game since.


In the last 12 years, the Mountain West Conference and Western Athletic Conference both have the same number of wins (2) as the ACC. Those leagues are both 2-1, while the ACC is an embarrassing 2-10.

Overall the SEC is 14-5 in that time; the Big Ten is 10-11.

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