LIKE IT IS:

SEC much weaker in basketball than football

By: Wally Hall
Published: Friday, January 17, 2014
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson speaks to his team during the second half of play Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.
Photo by Andy Shupe
Arkansas coach Mike Anderson speaks to his team during the second half of play Tuesday, Jan. 14, 2014, in Bud Walton Arena in Fayetteville.

Arkansas’ overtime victory against Kentucky has moved it to No. 4 in the SEC power ratings, according to RealTime RPI.com.

Not sure what all criteria are used, but the Hogs are behind Florida, Kentucky and Missouri but ahead of Texas A&M. The Aggies did have a home loss to North Texas.

The SEC doesn’t seem to have improved much since last year, at least not from top to bottom.

The football powerhouse is No. 6 or 7 in the nation depending on which rating you prefer. As a league, the SEC is 5-22 against Top 25 teams.

Florida has two of those victories and Georgia, Missouri and Arkansas have one each.

Mississippi State, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt scheduled zero Top 25 nonconference opponents, which, like the overall record against ranked teams, will count heavily against the SEC when the invitations go out for March Madness.

No wonder ESPN, which will air the SEC Network beginning in August, is demanding tougher nonconference schedules.

Not sure which seems more odd, seeing Syracuse and Pittsburgh atop the ACC standings or North Carolina last, 0-3 in league play.

The Orange and Panthers were always near the top in the Big East, which is currently being led by Creighton.

Creighton?

Incidentally, Butler, once the greatest Cinderella story of the NCAA Tournament by making consecutive championship games, is 0-5 in Big East play.

Brad Stevens, who coached Butler to a 166-49 record, is 14-26 in his first season as head coach of the Boston Celtics.

It will always be a tough transition to go from coaching guys who are playing for their scholarships to coaching guys who are millionaires.

It was not surprising that when Peyton Manning was asked who would be known as the best coach in NFL history, he said Bill Belichick.

Manning will lead his Denver Broncos against Belichick and the New England Patriots on Sunday for a spot in the Super Bowl.

If asked who the best quarterback in history was, Manning probably would have said Tom Brady, the Patriots’ quarterback.

If asked the greatest city in the world, Manning would have probably said Foxborough, Mass.

Manning will go down as one of the NFL’s all-time smartest quarterbacks, and if he plays a couple more years, and there’s no indication he won’t, he could retire as the all-time leader in passing yards and touchdowns.

He trails leader Brett Favre 508-491 in touchdowns, and if he repeats this season when he threw 55 touchdowns it will only take him about five full games next season to move into the lead

Favre threw for 71,838 yards and Manning has thrown for 64,964.

Brooklyn has the highest payroll in the NBA at $101,291,208 and is in eighth place in the NBA’s Eastern Conference. That’s almost $18 million more than Miami, which is third in player payroll.

The New York Knicks are second at $87 million and in 10th place.

Indiana leads the Eastern Division with a 30-7 record, and its payroll ranks ninth.

San Antonio is on top of the Western Division, 31-8, and its payroll is 18th.

The Los Angeles Lakers are fourth in the NBA for payroll with more than $78 million, but almost 39 percent of that goes to cover Kobe Bryant’s $30,453,000 salary. The Lakers are 14-25 and in next-to-last place in the Western Conference.

Bryant, who reportedly pays $830 to have his head shaved, has played in only six games this season. He has suffered a torn Achilles’ tendon and broken knee this season.

President Barack Obama makes $400,000 a year plus perks.

Sports, Pages 21 on 01/17/2014

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