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SEC Wins 6th National Crown In A Row (Already); Bowl Schedule Set Including Rematch In Title Game

Get ready for LSU-Alabama II.  Oklahoma State gave ‘em a run, but in the end, the majority of human voters still viewed Bama as the second-best team in the nation.  Those votes plus the computer numbers kept the Tide at #2 in the final BCS standings, meaning they’ll get their shot at the national crown — at least part of it — on January 9th.

That means of course that the SEC has effectively already wrapped up its sixth consecutive BCS title.  Unreal.  That’s eight BCS titles in the system’s 14-year existence.  Won by a total of five different schools.  And in hindsight, is there anyone who thinks undefeated Auburn didn’t deserve a shot at the crown back in 2004?

Anyone suggesting that SEC bias is at play and that the SEC “might not really be the best conference” is ignoring a helluva lot of history.  (Not to mention more NFL draft picks every season than any other college conference.)

The best football is played Down South.  For those who disagree, they disagree based on their hearts and not their eyes.  No amount of championships can or will convince them.  So tune ‘em out.  The nation’s two best teams will meet for the national championship.  The fact that the the two best teams in the country happen to reside in Mike Slive’s league should surprise no one.

Some random thoughts on the title game and the full SEC’s bowl schedule below (all times Eastern):

December 26th, 5pm (ESPN2)
AdvoCare V100 Independence Bowl
Shreveport, LA
Missouri 7-5 vs North Carolina 7-5

* Get used to it SEC fans, starting next season you’ll be seeing more league teams in bowls — in most years — when Missouri and Texas A&M come aboard.  The Tigers and Aggies were dumped to the bottom of the Big 12 bowl list this year.

December 30th, 6:40pm (ESPN)
Franklin American Mortgage Music City Bowl
Nashville, TN
Mississippi State 6-6 vs Wake Forest 6-6

* Despite what bowl officials stated publicly, this was likely an easy choice.  MSU will bring more fans to town for a longer period than Vanderbilt would have by simply going across town.  For State, it’s a winnable matchup that could/should give the Dogs their second winning season in a row.

December 31st, 12:00pm (ESPN)
Meineke Car Care Bowl of Texas
Houston, TX
Texas A&M 6-6 vs Northwestern 6-6

* The Aggies won’t have far to travel for their season-ender.  But A&M interim coach Tim DeRuyter will have to find someone new to call plays for the game because just-fired head coach Mike Sherman was also the Aggies’ offensive coordinator.

December 31st, 12:00pm (ABC)
AutoZone Liberty Bowl
Memphis, TN
Vanderbilt 6-6 vs Cincinnati 9-3

* This is a good landing spot for the Commodores.  First, it will allow VU’s first-ever two-bowls-in-one-four-year-stretch seniors to experience a bowl away from home (having played in the Music City game in 2008).  Second, it will be a chance for VU fans to prove that they will travel — a pretty short distance — to back their team and their exciting new coach.  (The oddest thing about this matchup?  Both schools lost to 5-7 Tennessee.)

December 31st, 7:30pm (ESPN)
Chick-fil-A Bowl
Atlanta, GA
Auburn 7-5 vs Virginia 8-4

* The good news — The Tigers will go bowling in nearby Atlanta… an easy trip for fans and a chance to show off in front of the city’s many recruits.  The bad news — Virginia’s strength is its run game and that’s not something AU has had an easy time stopping this year.

January 2nd, 1:00pm (ABC)
Outback Bowl
Tampa Florida
Georgia 10-3 vs Michigan State 10-3

* A trip to the Sunshine State is a nice reward for a team that won 10 games and put up a half’s worth of fight against #1 LSU.  If the Dawgs had not dropped two touchdown passes early, they might not have been blown out of the Georgia Dome and they might have been playing in a better bowl.  As it stands, this will be a good test for both squads.  Georgia ranks third nationally in total defense while MSU ranks fifth.

January 2nd, 1:00pm (ESPN)
Capital One Bowl
Orlando, FL
South Carolina 10-2 vs Nebraska 9-3

* The sexiest bowl matchup in Gamecock history?  Quite possibly.  Steve Spurrier’s team will be going for a school-record 11th win in a bowl the Cocks haven’t visited since its old Tangerine Bowl days way back in the 1970s.  USC’s defense is strong, but it’s the pass defense that excels.  Nebraska’s strength is its run game, so this one could be pretty interesting.

January 2nd, 1:00pm (ESPN2)
Taxslayer.com Gator Bowl
Jacksonville, FL
Florida 6-6 vs Ohio State 6-6

* Just call it the Urban Bowl as Urban Meyer’s new team will clash with his old team.  While Meyer won’t coach in the game, he’ll be all the talk for the next month.  We’ll see how many Gator fans are forgiving of their ex after they have to hear about him day after day after day.

January 6th, 8:00pm (FOX)
AT&T Cotton Bowl
Arlington, TX
Arkansas 10-2 vs Kansas State 10-2

* The Razorbacks will be headed back to Jerry Jones’ palace for the second time this year, the third time in two years and the fourth time in three years.  The Capital One committee figured it could get a bigger tourist bump from South Carolina fans than Arkansas fans.  I understand that Hog fans will have an easier trip to Texas — and it’s good for recruiting — but a trip to sunny Florida against a bigger name program could have been theirs if folks in Orlando had thought they would travel.  Ah, well, pearls before swine.

January 9th, 8:30pm (ESPN)
Allstate BCS National Championship Game
New Orleans, LA
LSU 13-0 vs Alabama 11-1

* Les Miles and his Tigers were given the opportunity to share their reaction to the rematch on ESPN and the wave of cheers made it clear that folks in the LSU program are okey-dokey with a rematch for the crown.  Good for them.

* Nick Saban will be going for his third BCS title since 2003.  If he accomplishes the feat, he’ll put his name alongside college greats like Bud Wilkinson, Barry Switzer, John McKay, Bernie Bierman, Frank Leahy and Paul “Bear” Bryant.  All of those men won three or more national titles in the major polls.

* Miles can tie Saban and former Florida coach Urban Meyer with his second BCS title if LSU wins.  Even if the Tigers lose in New Orleans, it’s possible…

* Miles and LSU will still get a share of the national title.  With the media’s hatred of the BCS, we believe it’s likely that the AP Poll would give its national crown to the Tigers if LSU loses a close game.  Voters could say, “LSU shouldn’t have had to play Alabama again anyway and why should the second game count more than the first?”  Their was a split national crown in 2003 as LSU won the BCS title and Southern Cal was given the AP honor.

* In our opinion, barring a Bama blowout win in New Orleans, a split national crown would be the most fair option.  LSU and Alabama have clearly been the two best teams all season.  If they split their games in similar fashion, each should get a share of the title.

* A rematch in the title game.  A possible split championship.  A non-conference (and non-division) champion with an opportunity to grab the brass ring.  With enough controversy, a seeded plus-one format might begin to gain some traction among schools.  It wouldn’t be tough to do.  In this year’s case, #1 LSU would face #4 Stanford in a bowl game while #2 Alabama met #3 Oklahoma State in another.  The winners would advance to a national title game the following week.  And for those who’ll say that wouldn’t solve all the issues, a fifth-ranked team has a lot less reason to moan than a third-ranked team.  This is clearly the best plan for college football and it’s remarkable that the powers-that-be refuse to embrace the obvious.

* During the BCS reveal on ESPN last night, analyst Kirk Herbstreit — one of the best in the business (and from personal experience having worked with him a bit in Columbus, Ohio television, a really good guy) — took issue with the Sugar Bowl’s selection of Virginia Tech.  The Hokies were whooped by Clemson in the ACC title game yet they still got the nod over teams like Baylor and Boise State.  Herbstreit asked — and I paraphrase — has the BCS selection process just come down to who’ll travel better?

Uh, yes.  That’s what all the bowl are about.  The BCS is designed only to match the two best teams in the nation in its championship game.  Then it culls the herd of available teams for the remaining BCS bowls.  At that point, it’s all about who’ll fill hotels and restaurants.

That should surprise no one.  That’s what the bowl system has always been.

People argue for better matchups, but tourism and convention bureaus from Shreveport to San Diego could care less about which teams are deserving of bids.  Cities create bowls as a way to lure tourists into their cities.  More tourists equal more dollars.  Wins and losses have little to do with that process at all.

It’s time everyone recognizes that fact.  And it’s been that way since Michigan and Stanford kicked off the first Rose Bowl way back in 1902.  Bowls exist to make money.  They take whoever they believe will make them the most money.

* Wondering how the coaches in the USA Today poll voted with regards to Alabama and Oklahoma State?  See below…

Alabama #2:  Gary Anderson (TCU), Frank Beamer (Va. Tech), Todd Berry (La-Monroe), Troy Calhoun (Air Force), Gene Chizik (Auburn), Dave Clawson (Bowling Green), David Cutcliffe (Duke), Mark Dantonio (Michigan State), James Franklin (Vanderbilt), Jim Grobe (Wake Forest), Pat Hill (Fresno State), Brady Hoke (Michigan), Doc Holliday (Marshall), Skip Holtz (South Florida), Rob Ianello (Akron), Pete Lembo (Ball State), Mike London (Virginia), Rocky Long (San Diego State), Mike MacIntyre (San Jose State), Doug Marrone (Syracuse), Dan McCarney (North Texas), Les Miles (LSU), Ken Niumatalolo (Navy), Tom O’Brien (NC State), Bo Pelini (Nebraska), Chris Petersen (Boise State), Gary Pinkel (Missouri), Larry Porter (Memphis), Mark Richt (Georgia), Mike Riley (Oregon State), Nick Saban (Alabama), Greg Schiano (Rutgers), David Shaw (Stanford), Frank Solich (Ohio), Steve Spurrier (South Carolina), Rick Stockstill (MTSU), Charlie Strong (Louisville), Kevin Sumlin (Houston), Bob Toledo (Tulane), Kyle Whittingham (Utah), Kevin Wilson (Indiana), Paul Wulff (Washington State)

Oklahoma State #2:  David Bailiff (Rice), Tim Beckman (Toledo), Bret Bielema (Wisconsin), Art Briles (Baylor), Dave Christensen (Wyoming), Sonny Dykes (La. Tech), Jon Embree (Colorado), Larry Fedora (Southern Miss), Al Golden (Miami, FL), Mark Hudspeth (La-Lafayette), Bronco Mendenhall (BYU), Jeff Quinn (Buffalo), Paul Rhoads (Iowa State), Bob Stoops (Oklahoma), Jeff Tedford (California), Tommy Tuberville (Texas Tech), Ron Zook (Illinois)

 


23 comments
Guest
Guest

Nope. nobody can admit illiterate non-students or cheat like the SEC.

Spud
Spud

I'd like to object to your comment regarding whether the Hogs would travel to Florida for a bowl game. Hog fans travel very well. I think a bigger issue might be which team from the East would buy as many tickets in Dallas as the hogs would and that answer is none. But I'm fine with the way it worked out. FL, GA and SC need to be in Florida so their fans can follow them and AR fans love it in Dallas. The Capital One Bowl may pay more, but the money is split up anyway and the Cotton Bowl got the higher ranked match up so we're good with it.

Mark Carter
Mark Carter

Agreed. I doubt that fan travel was an issue, but rather suspect the Hogs and Cotton wanted it to happen so much that the Cap One figured it would go with the school that preferred Orlando. And the Cotton is the third best matchup of all bowls on paper in terms of ranked teams. This may be the year the Cotton ascends to become the most prestigious non-BCS bowl, just before it becomes an actual BCS bowl.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Guys...

Fan travel is always an issues. I spoke to several people in the Natural State in and around the UA program who said most fans wanted to go to Dallas, not Orlando. The folks in Orlando knew that.

If they thought HIGHER-RANKED Arkansas would have brought more fans than South Carolina, they'd have picked them.

And that's not a knock of any kind on Arkansas fans... though I'm sure it will be taken as one.

Thanks for reading the site,
John

Rob
Rob

Exactly. There are Arkansas natives on the committee for the Capital One Bowl who have made it clear before that they want Arkansas. The problem was that many Arkansas fans wanted the Cotton, because it's almost a home game (note that there are probably more Arkansas fans in Dallas then one might think.)

We've also played in the Capital One Bowl multiple times, whereas South Carolina hasn't ever played there before. Nebraska is a great name, and I would loved to have improved our record to 2-0 over the Cornhuskers, but we're getting the better, higher ranked team in Dallas. But leave it to folks in the media to pretend differently with their cliquish behavior.

mith242
mith242

Yeah from what I heard a number of Arkansas fans got on Twitter and Facebook and asked the Capitol One bowl not to pick Arkansas because they preferred the Cotton Bowl. So if Arkansas fans are upset over being not picked by the Capitol One bowl they need to look at their own fan base. Nice that a group of fans apparently helped make that decision without consulting the rest of us.

Seth Becker
Seth Becker

Anyone suggesting that SEC bias is at play and that the SEC “might not really be the best conference” is ignoring a helluva lot of history. (Not to mention more NFL draft picks every season than any other college conference.)

What the hell does history have to do with how good a conference is in a current season? Just because a conference is the strongest one season, doesn't mean they are the best conference in every subsequent season.

Willy McGhee
Willy McGhee

The "split national championship" talk needs to stop. The idea that a team can lose the national championship game and win a national championship is moronic. We have rematches in the SEC championship game, but no one would suggest if the winner of the regular season match-up loses, there should be a "split SEC championship. We don't have "Split Super Bowl" champions. The idea is beyond stupid.

LSU and Alabama are the two best teams in college football. The winner of their national championship game will be national champion. Anyone who suggests otherwise needs his head examined.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Willy McGhee...

You seem to be missing one big fact -- the BCS Championship Game is NOT the "national championship game." The BCS championship goes to the winner of that game. But the AP can -- and it's done it before -- award its own national championship to anyone it wishes.

There is no official national championship game in football. Grab the NCAA record book and you'll find that no "national champions" for football are ever mentioned.

John

Willy McGee
Willy McGee

What you're forgetting is that the BCS game is the ONLY national championship game. The BCS is the authority. It sets up all the rules that all teams have agreed to at the beginning of the season. The AP doesn't have a championship game. They have no rules that govern anything whatsoever to do with college football. When the AP sets up a system to determine the national champion and all major college football teams agree to it, then we can talk about a split national championship.

So you're right in a way. The BCS isn't THE national championship game, but it is the ONLY national championship game. And if you really think it doesn't determine the national champion, try telling an Auburn player he didn't win the national championship game last year. See how far you get.

Chris
Chris

Because these situations are not comparable. Those were two different games and different teams. These are the same teams playing each other. It is understood that this game is for the national championship. That has been agreed upon as the system college football will use by its universities.

I think you are also forgetting that it could de-legitimize the AP if they start playing politics. It will make them irrelevant. It is very hard to say you are national champion the day after you lost the game. It is even more difficult for the AP to associate itself and its poll with the losing team.

The regular season is to determine who plays for this national championship game. That has been accomplished per the system we use. It sounds like sour grapes when you want to retroactively award championships. They didn't do it with Florida and FSU and nothing has really changed.

Willy McGee
Willy McGee

When all of the major schools agreed to the BCS, the AP became meaningless.

If LSU soundly beats Bama, no one is going to say, "LSU just won both national championships." That would be pretty stupid wouldn't it. When anyone says Auburn was last year's national champion, they mean BCS champion. Last year no one, and I mean no one, ever said, "Auburn is the BCS and AP champion."

How the AP voted regarding Auburn last year was COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS. How the AP votes after this year's BCS game is also COMPLETELY MEANINGLESS.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Willy...

The AP has given a national crown for decades. The BCS has been around for 14 years.

Were you so upset when they split the title in 2003?

John

Willy McGee
Willy McGee

John, here's the point. The AP doesn't have a crown to give, no more than you or I do. It is not their system. It is not their match up of LSU-Bama. It is not their championship game. It is not their rules.

More importantly, the fact that this is a rematch shouldn't hurt the team that lost the first time. It doesn't in the SEC championship game, the Super Bowl, or anywhere else in sports. It shouldn't matter here.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

Willy McGhee...

I'm not forgetting anything. I'm telling you how the system is set up. People call the BCS Championship Game the national title game, but it's not. It's only tied to the BCS trophy. The AP can agree or disagree with the BCS if it likes.

Anyone who wins the BCS does win a national title. It's the BCS national title. The AP still gives its own and that's how LSU and Southern Cal split the honors in 2003.

I'm not saying it's good or bad, right or wrong, I'm just telling you that if Bama beats LSU 9-6 in OT next month, Bama will win the BCS title by default and I think there's a good chance AP writers give the other crown to LSU.

John

Denny
Denny

The winner of the World Series can lose 3 times, but if they win that 7th game, they are World Series Champs. Case closed. In the NFL one team can lose to another TWICE during the regular season and win in the playoffs once against them and advance to be Super Bowl Champions. Throughout a 12 game season both LSU and Alabama have earned the right to play each other for all the marbles.

deltaboy
deltaboy

"City's [sp] create bowls as a way to lure tourists into their cities. More tourists equals more dollars. Wins & losses have little to do with that process at all."

Exactly!! Bowl games are simply high profile exhibition games created to generate tourist & TV dollars. I don't see how we can accept these conferences being blown up or reconfigured beyond recognition [& geographic logic] in the name of increased TV revenue & then complain about bowl match-ups created to fill up restaurants & hotel rooms. Unfortunately, these are revenue-driven decisions, not competition-driven decisions.

johnmrsec
johnmrsec

deltaboy...

Good catch, I inititally wrote "A city's tourism board," then scrapped and rewrote the paragraph without changing city's to cities. My bad. The earlier or later I write, the more typos.

Thanks for reading,
John

TigerInGA
TigerInGA

SEC 6-1 in last 6 years (including this season now) in Nat'l Chp game.

Andthensome
Andthensome

Missouri did get dumped on. How in the world is Texas ranked #23 in the BCS when Missouri has the same record and beat Texas on the field 17 -5 AND they both lost to the same teams. That just shows the far reaching horns of Texas.

MIZ_SEC
MIZ_SEC

Actually that is due to the computers. In all of the human polls, Mizzou has more votes than texass.

ubeetiger
ubeetiger

Last time Big 12 had an opportunity to dump on Missouri. Thank you SEC!!!!! Go MIZZOU

StevenBrew
StevenBrew

Exactly ubeetiger, at least in football. At least this bowl is in SEC territory.

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