Sunday, November 29, 2009

The SEC Championship: The De Facto National Title Game


Its official!

No. 1 Florida (12-0) vs. No. 2 Alabama (12-0)

There are no more scenarios to talk about. No more if, ands or buts-- the Gators and the Crimson Tide are undefeated, untied, un-everything. The two will rumble next week for the SEC championship-- with the winner going to the BCS national title game. The loser will most likely play in the Sugar Bowl. But I'm sure for Florida and Alabama anything less than a national championship is unacceptable.

Its unfortunate the Florida-Alabama showdown won't be for the national championship. Many are calling it the de facto national title game. The survivor will have to wait until a couple of things play out.

That being--

The other big game next week-- the Big 12 championship between the No. 3 Texas Longhorns and the No. 22 Nebraska Cornhuskers. If the Longhorns win-- they'll face the Florida -Alabama winner for the national title-- no doubt about it.

But if the Longhorns lose? Uh, oh!

This is where it can get a little sticky and controversial--

The No. 4 TCU Horned Frogs are banking on Nebraska to upset Texas so they can sneak in and play the Florida-Alabama winner for the national championship. The Horned Frogs (12-0) are done for the regular season and all they can do is wait and hope.

But--

There's a major game next week (in these necks of the woods) between the No. 5 Cincinnati Bearcats (11-0) and the No. 15 Pittsburgh Panthers (9-2). The winner of this game will win the Big East and get an automatic BCS berth. This may be a major problem for TCU (in the event of a Texas loss) because if the Bearcats beat the Panthers (and Texas loses) they will be the only other undefeated school (along with the SEC champion) in any of the big-6 conferences. And my gut feeling is that Cincinnati will then leapfrog TCU in the rankings and play for the national championship.

So if I'm TCU-- the Nebraska Cornhuskers and the Pitt Panthers are my best friends right now. If the Cornhuskers and the Panthers can pull off the upsets then TCU will become the first non-big 6 conference school to play for the national championship.

But again, if Texas wins, then all this just becomes a lot of typing. Then the Cincinnati-Pittsburgh winner will most likely go to the Orange Bowl and play the ACC champion (Georgia Tech-Clemson winner). TCU will get a BCS berth-- most likely in the Fiesta Bowl.

And if I'm the Fiesta Bowl, I would snatch the Boise State Broncos and put them up against TCU. Let's not forget about the undefeated Broncos (12-0). A TCU-Boise State match-up would draw almost as much attention as the national title game. We are talking about two very good, unbeaten teams going head-to-head and both of whom are victims of the system. If ever a game would create a BCS backlash and bring them to their knees-- it would be this one.

It would definitely leave us asking the usual question after the national title game-- what if?

Pictures courtesy of the AP

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