Last Modified: Wednesday, May 30, 2012 7:39 PM
If you listen to SEC football coaches, you would think the game was invented in the South. Or maybe even that they were the ones who invented it.
They certainly sound like men who believe they have at least perfected it.
During the conference meetings in Florida, those football coaches spoke of how they wanted a four-team playoff system in place to finally give us a true national champion at the end of the year.
Since the top level of college football has never ever had a true champ, it does seem like it’s about time.
However, make sure the formula includes the best four teams in the nation and not just four teams that win a conference title, say the SEC coaches.
In other words, they’d be happy if the four best SEC teams were in the mix and the heck with the rest of the world.
Yes, the conference is on quite a good run, winning six consecutive BCS championships, whatever that means, since these are all decided by computers and voters.
That’s why eventually a 16-team playoff makes the only real sense. That way the best four SEC teams can have a shot.
Of course, listening to these coaches, maybe they want to grab the top 14 spots with the new size of their league and leave only two at-large berths. OK, they might settle for 13, after all Kentucky has basketball.
Got to give these guys credit, they do like protecting the SEC brand.
I mean, when was the last time Florida played a big nonconference regular-season game outside its home state?
Heck, when the going got tough, the Gators got going, as in off the University of Miami’s schedule. Maybe that was a long time ago, but the fact does remain.
That’s why what LSU did last year in the regular season was not only impressive, but refreshing. Too bad that history can’t repeat itself. This year the Tigers’ non-SEC games read like a junior varsity schedule.
All four are at home with only Washington coming from a big conference. The Huskies are a good little team, but hardly a power, and they will be playing two time zones away from campus.
Who else comes calling to Baton Rouge? Why, it’s none other than Idaho and Towson.
So unlike Alabama, one loss will likely not prove LSU to be one of the four best in the land this year. The Tigers might be, but they also might not.
Let’s say LSU wins every game but Alabama. If you listen to the SEC coaches, the Tigers should be rewarded with a spot in the title game no matter what anybody else around the nation does.
Maybe. But, there would be no hard evidence to prove it.
With that poor of a non-league schedule, more questions would remain about the Tigers than answers.
It would be like being called the second-best looking in a family of two kids. Yet, these SEC bigwigs would still want to take you to prom.
And what about last year, when Alabama played these Tigers for the national title? Everybody in the world said they were the two best teams in the land, but that was before New Year’s Day.
When the calendar changed so did our perceptions and reality.
LSU was nowhere near as good at the end as it was at the beginning, for whatever reason. Thus, the title game debacle. Clearly, by Jan. 10 there were a few teams better than the Tigers outside the SEC.
Still, give these coaches credit, they want to keep their title streak going and would love nothing better than to find a system that guarantees it.
Don’t start firing up the emails and saying I’m disrespecting the SEC. The conference has proven itself to be the best the last decade which is why the coaches should be saying “bring any system on, we are ready.”
Instead, like always, they are out to protect the brand.
Jim Gazzolo is managing sports editor. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org