Shouldn't Alabama and LSU just play in the SEC title game, and forget about the East? No, otherwise you shouldn't have divisions.
Shouldn't the SEC overhaul the divisions? I heard that question on talk radio in the past week, and it's ridiculous. The SEC's divisions are just fine, though I'm not sure how the league should proceed with Texas A&M and Missouri coming on board.
I am amazed how short memories are becoming these days. East Division teams won six championship games in a row from 1993-98 and three out of four from 2005-08. Now, the West is the showcase division.
A similar situation exists in Conference USA. With Houston and Tulsa trying to become the first team trying to be the first team to go undefeated in league play since Louisville in 2004, the balance of power sits in the West - though Southern Mississippi may beg to differ.
When the realigned league was about to begin division play in 2005, the East was the power division of the moment. That brought a complaint or two that Marshall was playing at a disadvantage.
That tale of the tape: The East does indeed have the upper hand, with wins in the last four championship games after the West won the first two. In all games, the East owns a 70-60 lead. But the West is mounting a nice rally, with a 10-6 lead this season.
In the new Pac-12, the North Division is reigning supreme with Oregon and Stanford. But do you think that lasts forever with UCLA, Southern California, Arizona and Arizona State? I don't.
These things are cyclical, folks.
Pity the poor folks at an East Division rival, University of Alabama at Birmingham. It's a tremendous-looking campus, but football-wise, the Blazers live a difficult existence.
First, they put up with renegade sportswriters like me calling the team Alabama-Birmingham on shortened first reference. We're not a branch campus and shouldn't be treated like one, UAB partisans argue.
I think they're picking nits, and they have much greater problems. Such as being treated as a branch campus by the University of Alabama System Board of Trustees.
If you missed it, the trustees (president: Paul Bryant Jr.). have rejected, Whiteside-style, UAB's proposed campus football stadium. The proposal was not included on the board's agenda, and the board issued a statement saying, "A majority of the Board believes that an on-campus football stadium is not in the best interest of UAB, the University System or the state."
Such a new stadium wouldn't have been grandiose, 30,000 seats or so, but it would serve that community well. And it wouldn't have been Legion Field.
The city-owned stadium sits in an old neighborhood and is ringed with razor wire, for good reason. If you're old enough to have watched an Alabama-Auburn game on a black-and-white TV, you've seen Legion Field as it looks today.
The Iron Bowl left Birmingham for good after 2000. Alabama played its last home game there in 2003. But the folks in Tuscaloosa made sure their little brothers are staying in the former "Football Capital of the South" for years to come.
Reach Doug Smock at 304-348-5130 or dougsm...@wvgazette.com.