Now, let me preface this by saying as much as I enjoy Ted Miller, I have a sneaking suspicion he's a bit of a wolf in sheep's clothing on this issue. He came to ESPN via the Seattle Post Intelligencer, and currently lives right here in Scottsdale (ahem, ahem -- good interview suspect, House of Sparky?). But he was born in Atlanta and went to school in Virginia, so he's certainly steeped in the SEC mystique, and in various interviews I've read he has generally been admiring of that conference's tradition and power.
All that said...he is a GREAT beat writer, and I'd kill to have him on staff at one of the local papers. He did a piece on his blog presenting some *gasp* FACTS about recent SEC/Pac-10 tilts, and questioning the going wisdom that ASU is going to shrivel up in a little ball at the mere sight of those big, bad southern boys are visiting SDS tomorrow. An excerpt:
As ESPN.com's Ivan Maisel pointed out this week: Eight SEC teams are in the top 30 in total defense.
But how many elite offenses have SEC teams faced so far? Check out the schedule. I'll wait here.
And it's not like those SEC defenses will face elite offenses in conference play, as Ivan also pointed out, "Four SEC teams rank among the top 50 in total offense, and only four rank among the top 59 in passing efficiency."
Now, Sun Devil fans certainly have reason to worry, given our collective fragile psyche after the shocking upset to UNLV last week. And ASU's last several big stage performances certainly haven't gone particularly well (I'm looking at you, Oregon, USC, and Texas). But it shouldn't be a surprise to see Rudy Carpenter & Co make some hay on the big, bad, Bulldawgs.