Strength of schedule is obviously the new hot-shot talking point in college football, what with the College Football Playoff selection committee specifically naming strength of schedule as one of the things it'll be looking at.
At Big Ten Media Day last week, conference commissioner Jim Delany laid out a plan to make sure Big Ten teams no longer played FCS competition. And Alabama head coach Nick Saban has suggested SEC schools shouldn't even be playing other teams from outside the "power five" conferences.
Well, South Carolina head coach Steve Spurrier, a legendary rabble rouser, has his own opinions. East Carolina is one of those non-power-five teams on the Gamecocks' schedule, and Spurrier thinks the Pirates are a real strong opponent. Why he has to bring the Big Ten into this, however, is unknown.
“Playing East Carolina is maybe a little bit better than playing one of those bottom-tier Big Ten teams,” Spurrier said Sunday.
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Sigh. And so the battle continues.
The Big Ten and SEC have a little bit of an unwritten rivalry in the college football landscape over which conference is the nation's finest. The SEC, though, dominates that debate when it comes to on-the-field results. They had that string of national-title winners. They frequently win when the two conferences meet in bowl games (including South Carolina's takedown of Wisconsin in last season's Capital One Bowl).
So bragging rights are in short order for the Big Ten, and Spurrier, though unprovoked, is rubbing it in.
To East Carolina's credit, the Pirates are a fine team. But that doesn't mean Spurrier should use them in his Big Ten mudslinging.