Has there ever been a more meaningless SEC Championship? Unless you're Georgia (who has a BCS bowl game berth on the line), or a Georgia fan, the answer is probably no. Sports pundits everywhere are saying that an LSU versus Alabama BCS National Championship game is all but inevitable. The only way LSU doesn't get to play for the crystal ball, according to the experts, is if Georgia thoroughly dismantles them* AND Oklahoma State dominates Oklahoma.
*While I'm not looking for Georgia to wipe the floor with LSU, I think they definitely have a shot to win, or at least keep it close. Georgia's defense is good enough to give the Dawgs a chance. Don't give me the "they've played a weak schedule" argument. If you've watched them play for any significant amount of time you know they pass the eye test and meet, if not exceed, the standard for being a strong defense. By the way, I used to paint my chest at Georgia games.
A lot of people are disgusted by the idea of an LSU/Alabama rematch for numerous reasons (especially people outside of the Southeast who, at this point, are probably close to being willing to sell their firstborn sons if doing so would bring an end the SEC's championship streak). One complaint is that Alabama didn't even win its division. This point rings especially true for a lot of Georgia fans that still feel like the Dawgs were robbed a chance to play for the BCS National Championship in 2007. I am not one of these fans. It's not that I believe a team should win it's division/conference to make the National Championship; I just don't think Georgia deserved it over LSU. My take is that Georgia lost twice that year: 16-12 at home against a lowly South Carolina team and 35-15 on the road against Tennessee. Yes, I know that LSU lost twice also, but both were triple overtime games. For me, the loss against South Carolina was inexcusable*.
*I realize that most Georgia fans reading this are probably ready to hang me upside down from Stegeman Coliseum and feed me with a slingshot. Think about it, though, we lost to a 6-6 South Carolina because we could only muster four field goals, and we get completely manhandled by Tennessee. If Florida had had our season that year, would you think they deserved a shot at the title? What? You're still mad? I'll move on.
Now, you might be thinking, "I agree with, or at least understand, your point about losing to South Carolina at home and getting blown out at Tennessee. My beef is that the talking heads like Kirk Herbstreit were totally against Georgia making the National Championship back then because they didn't win the division but are totally cool with Alabama making it this year."
Yes, a little consistency would be nice, but asking the media to be consistent would be like asking the characters on The Walking Dead to act logically most of the time. My theories for the media's hypocrisy are as follows:
- Disney controls the world. Disney owns ESPN. Therefore, ESPN controls sports. ESPN wants Alabama in the BCS National Championship (which the network will be airing) because the Crimson Tide are ratings gold. As such, ESPN commands all its minions to promote Bama for the championship because it is very aware of the influence it has on voters. Not wanting its intentions becoming too apparent, however, ESPN does allow certain employees to complain about the BCS.
- ESPN hates Georgia.
- Everyone is scared of Nick Saban.
- Most people in the media just talk until they think of something to say.
In other words, a very strong argument that Alabama is at least the number two team in the country can be made rather easily. It shouldn't matter that they didn't win their division; if they are the second best team in the nation then they should be allowed to play for the National Championship.
Losing to LSU earlier in the season shouldn't automatically bar Bama from the National Championship, either. First of all, as stated earlier, they lost in overtime. The game was evenly matched throughout. Secondly, nowhere in the BCS charter does it say the BCS Championship Game can't be a rematch. It says that the number one team in the nation should play the number two team in the nation. If those two teams have already played each other, so be it.
In short, it's ridiculous to say that Bama and LSU shouldn't play for the National Championship simply because they already played once and Bama didn't win its division. The only requirement is that they be ranked first and second by the voters and computers at the end of season. If the voters and computers decide that Bama and LSU should play for the title, then Bama and LSU should play for the title. Sorry, SEC haters. Tell your teams to get better.
Thanks for reading.