Why the BCS National Championship Does Not Have To Include the SEC This Year
It used to be that the only two things guaranteed in life were death and taxes.
Although the last six years, you could have bet your life savings that an SEC team was going to appear in the national championship. As a result, you probably would have been sitting on Donald Trump money right about now.
With so many teams from the SEC in the BCS rankings, it was considered a lock that the champion of this conference was going to end up playing for another crystal football. Pick Georgia, Alabama, LSU, Florida, Arkansas—it didn't matter; one of those programs was going to take a trip to Miami this year and fight to keep that impressive streak alive.
Well, with none of the three remaining undefeated teams being from the SEC, this is no longer a guarantee. Actually, it looks like the odds are against the SEC for a team to even have a shot to defend the crown.
But the BCS National Championship does not have to include the SEC this year.
You could argue that the schedules are tougher in the conference down south, but a loss is a loss. And as long as there are more than two teams without a scratch on their record, it will be difficult for the SEC to sneak into the national championship picture.
Still, according to Blair Kerkhoff of the Kansas City Star, SEC head coaches disagree with the way things are looking for their conference.
This from LSU coach Les Miles:
I think that given the fact there might be an undefeated team, or there might be two teams, they don’t measure up with a strength of schedule that the SEC champ (will) have. If that’s the case, I think it would be fair to make that argument for our champion.
If we have learned anything from the BCS, it is that an unfair system has determined college football’s national champion since 1998. This format even hurt the SEC back in 2004 when head coach Tommy Tuberville led the Auburn Tigers to an undefeated season and the team had to settle for the BCS Sugar Bowl.
Boise State wasn't given a fair shot when it ran the table two times. Neither did Utah under head coaches Urban Meyer and Kyle Whittingham. TCU was also looked over back in 2010, despite knocking off a Top 10-ranked Utah program.
If the BCS was able to turn away undefeated programs, there is a high possibility the system will look the other way when it comes to an SEC team with a loss.
Could you make an argument for this conference? Sure. Is it going to be fair? Nope.
If there is going to be any SEC team that should participate in the national championship, it would be the Alabama Crimson Tide. Georgia shares the same 9-1 record as the Crimson Tide, but Alabama didn't suffer a 28-point loss like the Bulldogs did.
So let's say that Alabama does win out, including an SEC Championship victory. Why in the world would it be entitled to a berth in the big game?
Because the school has won two of the last three championships? Because head coach Nick Saban is the highest-paid head coach in the country? Could it possibly be because Alabama would make for a more entertaining matchup than the other three teams would?
Well, Oregon and Kansas State would likely provide the more exciting contest of any of the potential matchups. Both teams have been tearing it up on the offensive side of the ball and would make for a much more intriguing game than last year’s finale.
Notre Dame also has a habit of playing in tight games, which is always fun for national championships. Unlike last season, when you knew the game was over once LSU decided that crossing the 50-yard line was illegal in the game of football.
If we are comparing schedules, Alabama has currently beaten four ranked teams and would make it five assuming Georgia falls in the SEC Championship. Well, Oregon has beaten five (assuming it runs the table) and could make it six with a victory over UCLA or USC in the Pac-12 Championship.
Should the SEC champ play in the national championship no matter what?
Kansas State doesn't have the privilege of playing a conference championship, but with an undefeated record, the Wildcats will have knocked off five ranked teams. Even Notre Dame—although many of the earlier-ranked teams have fallen off a cliff—will have beaten five ranked opponents with a victory over USC next week.
We can sit here and argue all day long about schedules, fancy uniforms and offense or defense, but the bottom line is that there are three undefeated teams at the top, and none are from the SEC. If one of those programs ends up losing in the next couple of weeks, then things may get a little interesting.
But with the way things stand now, there is no guarantee that an SEC team will be in Miami this year. There is also no reason for the BCS to feel obligated to put an SEC team in the championship based off of its dominance in previous years.
Still, the only things guaranteed in life are death and taxes.
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