By Julian HK
Lou Holtz said yesterday that these two teams were matched up, with similar stats, but that South Carolina’s stats were more impressive since they were in the SEC. And while I’m the first to acknowledge the S-E-C and #SECspeed™, I wasn’t convinced the numbers backed this up. Consider that 3 out of Michigan’s 4 losses came against Alabama, Notre Dame, and Ohio State; that is, they lost to two undefeated teams and the National Championship favorite. Their fourth loss to Nebraska was largely due to an injury to starting QB and human dynamo Denard Robinson and the subsequent struggle of freshman QB Russell Bellomy. Perhaps the Wolverines go on to win that game if they played Devin Gardner instead.
Taking a look at Jeff Sagarin’s ratings which are one of the six BCS computer rankings, we can see that Michigan’s schedule is ranked slightly tougher than South Carolina’s (30th to 33rd). South Carolina was still ranked higher at 9th of course because of their better season performance, but this just serves as a reminder for Lou Holtz and other analysts that SEC schedules (while still tough) aren’t necessarily the toughest schedules.
*Little side note, don’t tell the SEC but according to the Sagarin ratings, and Congrove rankings, the Big 12 actually has a harder strength of schedule! SEC fans can still take solace in many other algorithms which have them on top.