It's obviously the SEC illuminati

Conspiracy theorists loved "The X-Files."

Maybe they should open up "The SEC Files."

If you believe in conspiracy theories, then you believe the SEC will do whatever it takes to further the ingrained perception that it is the strongest conference in the land. So it would behoove the SEC to have as many league teams as possible in contention for the first College Football Playoff.

Well, the SEC gave some fodder to the tinfoil hat crowd during the Georgia-South Carolina game on Saturday in Columbia, South Carolina -- a day filled with rain and lightning, the perfect conditions to construct a conspiracy theory.

To rewind:

One 54-yard touchdown run from Georgia Heisman contender Todd Gurley was called back on a phantom holding call, and Georgia eventually punted.

Georgia quarterback Hutson Mason was whistled for intentional grounding on first-and-goal from the 4-yard line, even though his pass clearly hit a South Carolina defender. Georgia ended up missing a game-tying field goal on the drive.

Then, one of the most controversial fourth-down spots in recent memory went South Carolina's way. On fourth-and-inches with less than 2 minutes left, Dylan Thompson plowed ahead. There was no real, clear way to tell where Thompson ended up because all 22 players converged at once. So the officials guessed on the spot.

The sticks came out. The officials ruled South Carolina got a first down, giving the Gamecocks the win. "We were meant to win this game and Georgia was not," said South Carolina coach Steve Spurrier, clearly a believer in divine intervention (or is it something else?).

But based on the measurement and the NCAA rulebook (Section 2, Article 7B), South Carolina looked just a millimeter short. As Georgia coach Mark Richt lamented afterward, "If we had a credit card we might could have slipped it in there."

Richt sent the holding and intentional grounding plays to the SEC office for a formal explanation. He said the SEC told him the grounding call was made because there was "no reasonable chance" the intended receiver would make the catch, regardless of whether the ball was tipped.

Surely, the SEC would not give its referees marching orders on how to call a game. Regardless of the officiating, Georgia blew multiple chances to win.

But is it just a coincidence that what resulted ended up helping the league?

Steve Spurrier, who creates headlines nearly on a daily basis, remains relevant and prominent.

And the SEC bolstered its rep -- despite two league teams beating up on each other. Take a look at the AP Top 25. Seven SEC teams are ranked in the Top 15. That includes No. 13 Georgia AND No. 14 South Carolina -- which moved a whopping 10 spots up the poll over the previous week.

Imagine that.

Both remain alive for the College Football Playoff.

Overreaction of the week: Clint Trickett for Heisman? None other than the official NCAA site labeled Trickett a potential dark horse contender for the Heisman Trophy after his 511-yard passing performance last weekend against Maryland. That gives him the most passing yards in a road game in school history.

Do you know who tops that list? Geno Smith, who passed for 656 yards against Baylor in 2012. Do you know what else happened that year? Smith was labeled a Heisman contender after he started the season with 1,996 yards, 24 touchdowns and zero interceptions in five victories. But everything went south after that, and West Virginia finished 7-6 in its first year in the Big 12.

Trickett is in a system conducive to quarterbacks so it's not a huge shock to see the big numbers. Through three games, he has 1,224 yards, seven touchdowns and one interception. You can't help but feel good for Trickett given the adversity he has had to overcome, transferring from Florida State and suffering through a subpar season last year, but let's pump the brakes on his Heisman campaign for right now.

Underreaction of the week: Fresno State won 11 games and the Mountain West title game a season ago, but the Bulldogs have fallen hard at the start of this season -- off to their first 0-3 start since 1998. Not only have they had a tough time replacing Derek Carr, the Bulldogs have had way too many offensive and defensive breakdowns they simply cannot afford against Power 5 teams.

Overscheduling has clearly taken its toll.

Group of 5 athletic directors talk all the time about there being a fine line between booking challenging nonconference games that can improve strength of schedule and back-breaking games that will end up doing more harm than good. Fresno State opened the season at USC, at Utah and home to Nebraska, giving up more than 50 points in each game and losing by a combined 166-59.

The results show why teams rarely open with three straight opponents from Power 5 conferences, especially among the Group of 5.