UCLA fans want the front page, but team has to earn it

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The SEC does this because it can. The conference has expanded to 14 schools but still plays only an eight-game league schedule. That gives the SEC unusual flexibility and allows its schools to essentially schedule an extra victory every year.

That does not mean the SEC is not a good conference. Actually, it's still ranked by most as the best from top to bottom.

It does open the SEC to outside criticism, although this year Auburn and Kentucky are so bad they might get challenged by Alabama A&M and Samford.

Some people think Mumford (& Sons) could hang with this Kentucky team for a quarter.

Q: I saw that [Brian] Kelly interview, and he did not actually say "stoop so low" as to campaign for his own team. That was your editorial add-on. And what's wrong with voting his team No. 1 in the coaches' poll?

Jason Arado

Arlington Heights

A: If you liked that editorial "add-on" you should see the bedroom I converted into a home office. I have no problem with coaches advocating for their own teams, but don't you think it's a tad telling that Brian Kelly is the only coach in the USA Today poll voting Notre Dame No. 1?

You think all those other coaches have a special attachment to Oregon and Kansas State?

Or, maybe, the sports information directors who vote in place of most coaches took into account Notre Dame's triple-overtime win over a Pittsburgh team that lost the next week to Connecticut.

Kelly also started campaigning for his school a week after he said he would not campaign for his school, but that's OK, too. The BCS system by design puts coaches in awkward and duplicitous positions.

Q: Keep your volleyball, swimming and water polo titles and the SEC will continue to dominate football.

Ric Etheridge


A: That's a deal. And you can keep Starkville and Fayetteville and we'll keep Santa Barbara and Big Sur.

Q: So the Big Ten doesn't get a slot in the Rose this year?

Ryan Fedor

A: No, the Big Ten gets a slot no matter how much I might not want to see three- or four-loss Wisconsin out here again. I think you're confusing the Pac-12 end of the equation if Oregon is lost to the BCS title case. In that scenario, the Rose Bowl might get to replace Oregon with Notre Dame. So you could end up with Notre Dame against Wisconsin or Nebraska or even a rematch against Michigan.

Q: Interesting to think about whether Johnny Manziel or Marcus Mariota would have won the Oregon job.

Pat McCarthy

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