Although Gary Danielson is now in his second season of broadcasting SEC games for CBS Sports, he’s still keeping a close eye on the Big 12, which he covered for ABC for many years. Danielson said he believes No. 3 Oklahoma easily could be playing in the BCS championship game on Jan. 8 in the Louisiana Superdome.
“Well, I tell you right now it looks like a team that will be a very strong argument will be Oklahoma,” said in a conference call Wednesday. “That is as fine a young quarterback (Sam Bradford) as I’ve seen in a long time. And Bobby Stoops hasn’t forgotten how to coach. That’s the one nice thing about being in that conference. They know who the other guy is they have to beat. In the past, it’s almost exclusively been whoever wins that game goes. I think that’s one team, as Les Miles would say, has an easier way to get there.”
Danielson was referring to preseason comments Miles made to a pro-LSU gathering in New Orleans in which he belittled USC’s schedule. “I would like nothing better than to play USC for the (national) title,” Miles said. “I can tell you this, that they have a much easier road to travel. They’re going to play real knockdown drag-outs with UCLA and Washington, Cal-Berkeley, Stanford — some real juggernauts — and they’re going to end up, it would be my guess, in some position so if they win a game or two, that they’ll end up in the title (game). I would like that path for us. I think the SEC provides much stiffer competition.”
Danielson didn’t think Miles was out of line in making those comments.
“I don’t think Les wouldn’t have said that at a press conference. I think you’re with your own and you’re drumming up support with your own guys in your own rubber chicken circuit, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with what he said. He didn’t mean any disrespect to the Pac 10. There are a lot of good teams in the Pac 10. I wouldn’t want to play Oregon right now, I could tell you that.”
Danielson said he rates the SEC as the No. 1 conference.
“These are only snapshots. Nobody gets this for the rest of their life. At this snapshot, clearly the SEC is the deepest conference. Of course, Texas and Oklahoma and usually Michigan and Ohio State, USC, name your teams around the country, yes, they can compete anywhere. What separates this conference is I can name seven schools in the conference who all believe they should win the conference championship every year and the intensity of their losses is just like it is at Oklahoma and Texas. Those (goals) aren’t probably realistic for all their coaches, but it’s just the way it is here. That’s why it’s tough to very go through this league week in and week out. You don’t roll your helmets on the football in this league and get any wins. Each one of them has to be earned.”
CBS opens its schedule at 2:30 p.m. Saturday with No. 22 Tennessee at No. 5 Florida. Verne Lundquist and Danielson will call the game.