Monday night was supposedly the national championship game for college football. I say supposedly because it was actually for the Southeastern Conference Championship with Alabama and Georgia throwing down against one another. I did not watch any of the game, mostly due to shooting local basketball which is infinitely more interesting than watching two SEC teams compete for the most love from ESPN.
I don’t think it’s asking too much to ignore someone’s record when it comes to picking the four team college football playoff. Granted Alabama had a single loss, but they didn’t even really win the first round of the SEC title game, Georgia did. Iowa kept out Ohio State, so thanks Hawkeyes for making the entire nation suffer this SEC nonsense.
How can two conference teams compete for a national title and make it seem like it’s the biggest thing since sliced bread. We all know the SEC and ESPN have gone hand in hand for quite some time with the creation of the SEC Network a few years ago and a host of former SEC players appearing in broadcasts proclaiming that no other conference can match theirs.
For a real good laugh, check out Paul Finnebaum’s book about the SEC. I know it wasn’t intended to be a humor book, but as an outsider who isn’t in love with SEC football, it’s great comedy. Does the SEC have some great teams? You bet. I won’t deny that they have some really good football teams, but are they really the best from top to bottom?
Outside of LSU, who did Alabama really beat this year besides their two opponents in the playoffs? Nothing really comes to mind. So you’re telling me a school that schedules a cupcake like Mercer is part of the best conference in the nation? Most schools get their cupcakes out of the way early, but the SEC, boy howdy, they put them in the middle of conference.
You cannot consider this year’s Florida State team as a tough non-conferee game given the nature of how their season went. They squeaked past Mississippi State and Auburn was soundly the better team.
And, yet, isn’t there a team that went 14-0 this season and finished sixth in the final rankings this season? Oh, I believe there was with Central Florida. Conference bias played the biggest role in keeping the Knights out of the college football playoff.
Let’s use a popular line of logic: UCF beat Auburn. Auburn beat Alabama. Thus UCF is the superior football team to Alabama, right? Apparently not in the least bit. Because UCF plays in the AAC, they were left in the cold because they didn’t play great enough teams. UCF beat a very good Memphis team twice this season and beat a number of other bowl eligible teams.
Much like Alabama.
The entire bias that a group of 5 team cannot beat a a Power 5 school in a bowl game needs to go away and go away quickly. There have been quite a few smaller schools that stepped up when they had their shot. We saw UCF do it this season when they beat Auburn in the Peach Bowl. They had less time of possession, were out gained in yards but won the turnover battle and made the plays they needed to in order to win.
Plus, as we’ve seen in the past, spread teams give Alabama fits as long as they have a quarterback that can make plays. Clemson just didn’t have that guy this year as they did the past two with DeShaun Watson.
Everyone likes to pretend that Alabama is this invincible king of the college football world, but there are so many holes in the armor that they want you to ignore. Johnny Manziel tore up Alabama a few times, so if Oklahoma had beaten Georgia, who is to say that Baker Mayfield wouldn’t have done the same thing?
The UCF quarter, McKenzie Milton had 242 yards passing and 116 rushing, a duel threat quarterback in a spread system that Alabama has issues with. Central Florida could beat the Crimson Tide. However, in doing so and allowing a team like UCF in the playoff would’ve upset the order of balance in college football.
And, as we all know, college football has to favor the heavyweights and the haves. Right there lies the flaw in college football and college sports in general, folks.