If the Georgia Bulldogs run the table and win the SEC Championship Game, it may very well put an end to the SEC’s six-year BSC Championship streak. Why? Because if UGA does go undefeated, but isn't alone in that respect, there’s a very good chance it won’t get a bid to the BCS Championship Game.
But wait—isn’t the winner of the SEC supposed to be guaranteed a spot in the title game? Wouldn’t an undefeated SEC champion have to be in the title game? As Lee Corso might say, not so fast, my friend.
Now, if UGA ends up a 13-0, and there’s not at least two other undefeated BCS conference teams, the Bulldogs almost assuredly would make an appearance in Miami to play for the title.
But what if there are two other undefeated teams? Personally, I think college football aficionados—and more importantly, pollsters—are getting a little tired of this SEC dominance. And what better way to ensure the SEC doesn’t win another BCS Championship than by keeping the SEC out of the title game completely?
So if there are two other undefeated teams, Georgia’s strength of schedule would be the perfect excuse to keep them out.
Now, let me clarify a few things.
One, I’m not sitting here predicting that UGA will definitely run the table, including the SEC Championship. But I’m also not saying it’s a completely far-fetched idea.
Two, I do think that a Georgia team that beats Missouri on the road, South Carolina on the road, a likely improved Florida and Auburn, and the eventual SEC West champs would deserve to play for the national championship, no matter how many other undefeated teams are out there.
But let's take a look at how this scenario that snubs Georgia might play out. If you look closely, I think it may be more likely than many would believe.
First, UGA has to run the table in the regular season; the biggest obstacles there are Florida and South Carolina. Those games definitely won’t be easy for the Dawgs, but they’re certainly winnable.
Second, Georgia has to beat the SEC West champ. Okay, admittedly less likely, but still not out of the realm of possibility. I think Georgia has closed the gap a little between the top teams in the West.
Georgia returns a stellar defense and the offense should be improved. With quarterback Aaron Murray having another year of experience and a wide receiving unit he is very comfortable with, look for him to put up some huge numbers through the air. And that’s not to mention three very talented rushers in the backfield in Ken Malcome and highly touted incoming freshmen Todd Gurley and Keith Marshall.
Now, I suspect many readers are saying to themselves, “How is Georgia going to hang with an LSU or a 'Bama defense when it has these young backs running behind an inexperienced offensive line?
But keep in mind that by the time the SEC Championship Game rolls around, these guys will have an entire regular SEC season under their belts, so the disadvantage won’t be nearly as big as if UGA had to play either of those teams early in the season.
By December, who knows what the O-line will look like? Maybe freshman John Theus wins a strating spot and is dominating on the O-line. Maybe Kolton Houston finally gets whatever is in his system out and becomes eligible. All of a sudden, there’s some depth up front for Georgia.
Also, don’t forget Georgia is sporting a pretty stout defense itself. Assuming it gets there, Georgia is going to be a lot more competitive in the SEC Championship Game than it was in 2011.
Okay, so now we’re assuming UGA is 13-0. This is fun, right? What are the chances there are two other undefeated teams that could knock UGA out of the title game berth? I’d say the odds are pretty darn good.
Florida State could run the table in the regular season; they get Clemson and Florida at home. They do have to travel to Virginia Tech, but the Seminoles should take care of business in Blacksburg against a VT team that loses eight offensive starters, including four off the O-line and stud running back David Wilson. Then FSU would just have the ACC Championship Game against whoever wins out of a pretty weak Coastal Division. That’s a pretty good recipe for 13-0 for the 'Noles.
The other most likely undefeated team would probably come out of the Pac-12 in either Oregon or USC. Give the nod to USC, as Oregon has a freshman QB and plays USC in the Coliseum.
I don't see any other teams on the USC schedule being able to stop that high-powered offense for four quarters. Then, in a probable Oregon rematch in the Pac-12 Championship Game, which would be another home game for USC, Barkley again leads the Trojans to victory and 13-0.
So, if you’re still with me, now we’ve got a 13-0 UGA, USC and FSU. Who gets left out? My guess is UGA and thus no shot for a seventh straight BCS Championship for the SEC.
Who says the SEC doesn’t want a playoff?