Just a few short weeks after it looked like the SEC was going to be shut out of the BCS Championship for the first time since the 2005 season, the conference is assured a title shot. That is a testament to both their staying power, and to teams like Oregon and Kansas State not finishing the drill.
However, even as the conference is set to play for a BCS Championship, they are going to get robbed this season.
That's right, I said it. The big, bad SEC deserves your sympathy, because that conference is going to get jobbed in the bowl selection process thanks to the BCS. Although if you hate the SEC, you should love the BCS this season.
Well, the SEC has six of the Top 10 teams in the country, and yet will only be allowed to send two teams to BCS Bowls. That's right—while the Big East, ACC and Big Ten champs will all finish looking up to the sixth-best SEC school, it will be those league champs who get to enjoy trips to the big-time bowls. If there is a little magic, Kent State could also be playing in a BCS game while the SEC sits staring at the two-team cap.
That's right: Kent State, a team that got hammered by SEC cellar-dweller Kentucky, is just a UCLA and Texas loss from likely grabbing the No. 16 ranking it needs to go to a BCS Bowl.
We all talk about access and fairness and "giving everyone a shot" as a sort of ideal. However, in the midst of it all, people forget that fairness and access are all relative to your perspective. If you're a fan of actual good football teams and/or the SEC, this most certainly is not fair.
Unless, of course, fair is taking lesser teams that win in bad leagues.
Luckily, relief is on the way. When the BCS disappears, so too does the two-team restriction on major bowl appearances. That will be music to SEC fans' ears, as the mix of semifinals, contract bowls and host bowls will help snap up some of the SEC's deserving teams.
Florida and the winner of the Georgia-Alabama game would be in the semifinals. The loser of the SEC Championship would be headed to the league's "contract bowl," and would play against the Big 12 Champion. The SEC also has a contract bowl with the ACC, where LSU would likely find themselves playing.
That would make four teams instead of the two that the league is going to get come the 2013 BCS Bowl season. Two solid teams would be sent elsewhere, but that is much better than the four teams who will be missing out this season. Not perfect, but better.
SEC hater, enjoy this now because come 2014 the SEC will be able to get more teams into the major bowls. More teams means more exposure, and of course, more money. The best way to stop it isn't this push for fake "fairness" by limiting teams' access.
The best way is to get better at football.