by Pat Dooley
Sometimes things hit you in the face like a bag of hammers and sometimes they slowly creep into your brain until you have that “A-ha!” moment. This was the latter and in a way it made me feel stupid.
Because when I threw the set-up out to my wife she got the punchline right away.
And this is it — while a lot of us are rejoicing that college football driving towards a four-team playoff with the speed of Junior Johnson, that crumpled heap of trash it may be discarding on the side of the road is one of the greatest events in sports.
The SEC Championship Game.
It’s in my top five. I love going to Atlanta for that game no matter who is playing in it. There is nothing like that atmosphere, especially since the SEC starting owning college football.
But if the BCS boys come up with a system that allows only conference champions into the mix and then only if they are among the top six as has been proposed, it might mean the end of the SEC title game.
Here’s why: It has been risky enough the last two years to have unbeaten teams play in the game against teams that have no shot of playing for a national championship. Auburn dispatched South Carolina in 2010 and LSU came to its senses in time to roll over Georgia last year.
South Carolina was 19th in the BCS and Georgia 16th, Even if either team won and claimed the SEC championship, neither was going to finish among the top four.
The league dodged those bullets, but I can’t help but wonder what it will do if this proposal passes. Last year, the league was covered with Alabama. But if we finally get a playoff and the SEC Championship Game could eliminate the league from that playoff, well, I wonder how much longer it will be around.
You could make the same argument for any of the championship games. Since the playoff is going to add two games to the post-season, are we nearing an end to the conference title games?
I hope not. But it’s very possible.