I believe it is safe to say that most college football fans are well aware at this point that the Southeastern Conference has claimed each of the last six BCS titles. Surely commissioner Mike Slive and the men in control of the conference are thrilled by this unprecedented success. But how far would they be willing to go to maintain it?
In the ever-changing landscape of college football, conference expansion has made its way to the SEC, with Texas A&M and Missouri joining the conference this past summer. Since the addition took place so quickly, the conference was left to figure its way out of one heck of a scheduling issue as quickly as possible.
Last spring, before the 2012 schedule was announced, it was commonly believed that Alabama and LSU would once again be setting the pace in the West and that the Georgia Bulldogs were likely to be the team to beat in the East. Again, this was long before the season started.
One of the bigger games that SEC football fans were looking forward to this season was Georgia's trip to Tuscaloosa to face the reigning champion Alabama Crimson Tide. Well, as luck would have it, that game somehow went away when the readjusted 2012 conference slate was released.
This left the Bulldogs, one of the favorites to win the East, with a schedule that allowed them to avoid all three of the giants from the SEC East in Alabama, LSU and Arkansas. At the same time, it made Alabama's road to Atlanta for the conference championship a little smoother now that Florida, South Carolina and Georgia were all missing from the Tide's schedule.
Could it be that Slive and Company went out of their way to help out the Tide and the Dawgs? Could this make it just a little bit easier for the two of them to make it to Atlanta undefeated and in line for a BCS title shot?
Thursday, the 2013 conference schedule was announced.
While it is really too early to know for sure, South Carolina will be expected to compete for the eastern crown. The toughest crossover game for the Gamecocks next season is a trip to Arkansas. Alabama, LSU and Auburn are off the schedule.
Alabama will also be expected to compete for another national title in 2013, let alone an SEC title. The Tide drew Kentucky and the traditional game with Tennessee as their crossover games.
Again, could it be possible that the conference is taking advantage of the very real and justified scheduling issue to give its best teams a little boost towards another BCS title? It sure would look good in that SEC trophy case with all the others.
Maybe I am way off on this. Seriously, I have no proof at all that this could be true, and this whole thing may just be a coincidental happenstance.
If it is in any way true, though, could you blame them? College football is more of a business these days than it is a sport. We all know that as much as we hate to admit it. Making a little tweak here or there in a position where they could surely get away with it could easily result in even more prestige and revenue for the sport's most accomplished conference.
Again maybe there is nothing there. Maybe this is all just a figment of my overactive imagination. It does make sense, though. And it is mighty curious. Mighty, mighty curious.