A few weeks ago, college football looked in dire need of the four-team playoff that will debut in 2014. Now, after chaos once again came unannounced, we’re about to get a taste of the postseason of the future thanks to the SEC Championship Game.
Well, and Stanford and Baylor.
The scenario is quite simple. The winner of next Saturday’s SEC tussle between Alabama and Georgia will have a spot in the BCS championship. And you thought we’d have to wait a few seasons for our first taste of the semifinal.
With losses from Kansas State and Oregon, Alabama and Georgia surged to No. 2 and No. 3 in the latest BCS standings last weekend.
Although many thought that Georgia might get a game from Georgia Tech given the “look ahead” possibilities, Mark Richt’s team looked incredibly sharp on Saturday. It took out Georgia Tech 42-10, and this one was over after the first quarter-and-a-half.
Since barely getting past Kentucky in late October, Georgia has outscored its last five opponents 179 to 43. We seemingly pronounced its BCS title hopes dead following its 35-7 beatdown at South Carolina, but it has recovered nicely while the others in front of it have stumbled.
Alabama, who had a stumble of its own against Texas A&M only a few weeks ago, got Auburn in the Iron Bowl. We got the blowout we anticipated, and Alabama’s 42-0 halftime lead—where it out-gained Auburn 338 to 99 in total yardage—told the whole story.
Alabama cruised in this one 49-0, and it took care of its rival without much of an effort. The Crimson Tide remain, despite the loss, the overwhelming favorite to win it all and the team many would turn to first when identifying the nation’s finest group.
Further chaos was avoided for these two, and Alabama and Georgia will duke it out in the Georgia Dome with a spot in college football’s ultimate showcase on the line.
This, of course, is wonderful news for the SEC, which will look to hoist its seventh consecutive crystal ball, and bad news for those tired of hearing and seeing “S-E-C” dominate their college football-driven lives.
For the game, however, what a scenario. Forget about decimals, percentages, Harris Poll voters, strength of schedule—although we’ll still hear these debates plenty.
Half of college football’s championship game will be decided with a championship game, a pseudo semifinal, on the field. It’s a dream setup for the BCS—along with CBS, which will gladly take in these television ratings that will likely destroy anything we’ve seen from this Saturday in December in recent years.
Since both Kansas State and Oregon tumbled, many assumed that Alabama’s road to the title game was clear once again. Not so fast, my friends.
That’s not giving Georgia nearly enough credit, and it has the quarterback, running backs and defense—headlined by linebacker Jarvis Jones, who might be the best player in the entire country—to hang with anyone. Georgia is playing its best football right now, which is exactly where you need to be.
Simply put, don’t sleep on the Bulldogs here.
Regardless of where you stand and which team you believe will be heading to Miami, what a game we’ll be treated to. A college football playoff (and for some of junkies, Christmas) has come early, and the stakes have never been higher.