New Year's Day featured two games involving a team from the Big Ten going against a team from the SEC. Minnesota won one and Alabama won the other. Thus, we know for sure that the two conferences are perfectly equal in every single way. That's how this works, right?
One of the more perplexing phenomenons in all of sports is the faction of people who feel the quality of a football conference is to be determined by either their bowl record as a whole or, more confounding, the result of two exhibition games between the fourth-to-sixth-best teams in each by record. And yet it happens-- especially when the Big Ten and SEC are involved.
As a card-carrying Midwesterner, I can save everyone the time and energy. The SEC is superior to its more corn-fed brethren. Especially at the top. Why? Well, because they have more athletic players. Solved it!
But, like, what's the point of this? Do fans of Vanderbilt, Ole Miss, or Arkansas feel a genuine sense of accomplishment and pride when LSU dominates Oklahoma or Nick Saban clowns Michigan? This is very weird to me.
Thankfully, Scott Van Pelt offered a brief minute of sanity during SportsCenter last night. A plea for this nonsense to stop.
What did we learn yesterday? That Minnesota has elite offensive weapons and is capable of playing with anyone in the country. And that the Crimson Tide, when motivated in a non-playoff bowl game, can take care of business. Any larger takeaway into the past four months of football in each region of the country is just a take-in look of a home.
Of course, this level-headedness and Van Pelt's reasoning will amount to shouting into the void. Getting college football fans to set aside allegiances, pride, and whatever odd form of tribalism that breeds these Conference Guys is a tall, perhaps impossible, task.