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First BCS Standings Have Bama, Florida 1-2… But Also Reveal How The SEC Could Lose Out In New Playoff

The 2012 BCS standings were unveiled for the first time yesterday evening and the more things change… the more they stay the same.  All that talk from computer gurus last week that Alabama might be ranked 5th?  Uh, way off.

Alabama is #1 again.  And jumping all the way to #2 is Florida.  What is this, 2009?  But you know the drill:


* An SEC team on top

* Two SEC teams back-to-back on top

* Four teams in the top seven of the rankings

* Six teams in the top 12

* Seven teams ranked in the 25-team standings


For college football fans across the country, 2014′s new playoff can’t get here fast enough.  Some writers are already saying the first rankings of the new season reveal the flaws in the BCS system.

Meanwhile those in SEC country should be asking “Why exactly did we want to change a system we s0 dominate?”  Sure Mike Slive’s league will have a good shot at winning a playoff, too.  But the human polls — much like a selection committee, perhaps — currently have Oregon ranked second, not Florida.

Here’s the current top 10 in the BCS standings, AP Poll, and USA Today Coaches Poll, plus the three remaining SEC squads:


  BCS Standings   AP Poll   USA Today Coaches Poll
  1.  Alabama   1.  Alabama   1.  Alabama
  2.  Florida   2.  Oregon   2.  Oregon
  3.  Oregon   3.  Florida   3.  Kansas State
  4.  Kansas State   4.  Kansas State   4.  Florida
  5.  Notre Dame   5.  Notre Dame   5.  Notre Dame
  6.  LSU   6.  LSU   6.  LSU
  7.  S. Carolina   7.  Ohio State   7.  Oklahoma
  8.  Oregon State   8.  Oregon State   8.  S. Carolina
  9.  Oklahoma   9.  S. Carolina   9.  Southern Cal
  10.  Southern Cal   10.  Oklahoma   10.  Florida State
  11.  Georgia   13.  Georgia   12.  Georgia
  12.  Miss. State   15.  Miss. State   16.  Miss. State
  18.  Texas A&M   20.  Texas A&M   19.  Texas A&M


Now, for kicks let’s assume the season ends in just this fashion.  Would a selection committee made up of representatives from every conference give SEC runner-up Florida the nod for a semifinal bid?  Or is it much, much more likely — hint: it is – that Pac-12 champ Oregon, Big XII champ Kansas State, and independent Notre Dame would be tabbed to join Alabama in the playoffs?

And that’s our only issue with the switch from a system that does take computers into account to a system that can take or leave computer rankings depending on each panel member’s personal whim.  If there’s no formula — and there won’t be — then the computers are left in a very gray area.  And as we’ve written a number of times, the computers are a strength of the SEC… which leaves the SEC in a very gray area.

The Southeastern Conference might thrive under the new system.  But there’s no “might” involved when it comes to the current, computer-based system.  The SEC does thrive.  And that’s what will be lost in going to a four-team playoff in 2014.



That would really be bad if a SEC team gets penalized for not winning the conference.  Hopefully when that happens the SEC dominates the other teams to a National Championship and leaves everbody wishing the best 4 teams made the play-off instead of by selection committee preference.  Intuitively I was thinking 4 teams would be good because that would allow more easily to select 2 SEC teams to compete but not to the point of others not participating.  Sounds like that will not be the case.  Was Bobby Bowden right in suggesting FSU should stay in the ACC to win National Championship? Would this be another reason to only have 8 non conference games so the SEC elite can prove their metal beating up other conferences?  

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



No one knows who will be on the panel or what the criteria for selecting teams will be.  But there's been a clear push to let everyone have some representation (good), to give bonus weight to league titles (good, unless the second best team in the country happens to be in the same league as the best team), and there's a clear desire to "spread the wealth" in terms of titles... or else there would have been no playoff push out of thin air as soon as we had an all-SEC BCS title game.


Thanks for reading,



Of course one of the teams in the national championship game will almost always be a non-SEC team.  That is because the SEC itself has a championship game and so the SEC will always end the season with only one undefeated team.   You could not expect an undefeated SEC champion to play against a once-beaten SEC school in the national championship game  if there is another non-SEC team that remains unbeaten.  That is why last year was a fluke.  How often would you expect to have years when all the other AQ conferences have no undefeated teams?  It just isn't going to happen very often.

John at MrSEC
John at MrSEC moderator



Yes, but I'm talking about a FOUR-team playoff, not a TWO-team title game.  


If a formula were used, the SEC would get two teams in the playoff (if you use today's BCS standings as a final 2014 ranking just for the purpose of an example).  With a selection committee, the SEC would likely NOT get two teams in the field.  Florida -- which would be #2 in many computer polls -- would most likely be dumped for not winning its conference.


That was the point.


Many thanks for reading the site,



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