The Southeastern Conference has proven once again to be the best college football conference in America. At least, it’s evident in the first BCS poll of 2012. Defending national champ Alabama is first, and surprising Florida is second in the initial poll, with seven of the top 25 teams listed coming from the SEC. It’s almost like it was last year, when Alabama and LSU were listed one and two, and eventually met in the BCS National Championship Game. LSU is currently rated sixth, and is the highest rated one loss team in the poll.
We’re still a year away from the newly adopted “plus one” game, where the top four teams make the final cut to determine the BCS title contenders.
So, to think ahead a bit, if things stay as they are, the Crimson Tide and the Gators would face each other in the SEC Championship game in December, which makes it nearly impossible for the same two teams to meet again five weeks later for all the college football marbles. Oregon is third, with Kansas State fourth in poll number one.
If we played a “plus one” game in 2012, and the poll appeared in early December as it is now, Alabama would face Kansas State, while Florida would take on Oregon. The Tide would likely win easily, but the Florida-Oregon match up would be a super contest. Ball control and defense against a flashy, fast paced offensive unit; the irresistible force, facing the immovable object. When those match ups take place, the immovable object usually wins, but isn’t it fun to think about.
If the above scenario happened, then Florida and Alabama would meet a second time anyway, so why rule it out? The very boring, second meeting between Alabama and LSU last year in the BCS title tilt, is the reason why that will not happen again, unless two teams from the same conference play into it.
The SEC has won six straight NCAA titles, and eight overall in the first fourteen years of the BCS. I would say that is almost total dominance. However, there are a couple of other SEC teams that could wind up playing for the BCS crown. LSU at number six could win out and be there for the second straight year. South Carolina, currently rated seventh, right behind LSU, could also advance as well if they win out. In fact, if those two teams do win the rest of their games, they would meet in the SEC title game, and would likely be in the national championship picture. There are many other scenarios to think about as well, including Georgia winning out the rest of the way. (That’s not very likely considering how badly the Bulldogs stunk it up at South Carolina.) The Bulldogs are rated eleventh with one loss.
Alabama is ranked first in the initial BCS poll for the first time ever. One other interesting fact is this; seven times since the first BCS poll was released in 1998, the two top teams in that first poll, played for the championship. Only twice in fourteen years has neither team advanced to the BCS title game.
The bottom line is this; it’s fun to think about who may be playing in early January for the title, and with so many teams still alive in the BCS chase half-way through the season, the scenarios are unending. There is one thing for sure; Alabama is a dominant number one choice right now, despite playing a lightweight schedule. Tennessee fans are hoping for that to change drastically this weekend.
Randy Smith firstname.lastname@example.org
Randy Smith has been covering sports in Tennessee for the last 43 years. After leaving WRCB-TV in 2009, he has continued his broadcasting career as a free-lance play-by-play announcer. He is also an author and is a media concepts teacher at Brainerd High School in Chattanooga. He is also the Head Softball Coach at Brainerd. Randy Smith's career has included a 17-year stint as scoreboard host and pre-game talk show host on the widely regarded "Vol Network". He has also done play by play of more than 500 college football, basketball, baseball and softball games on ESPN, ESPN2, Fox Sports, CSS and Tennessee Pay Per View telecasts. He was selected as "Tennessee's Best Sports Talk Show Host" in 1998 by the Associated Press. He has won other major awards including, "Best Sports Story" in Tennessee and his "Friday Night Football" shows on WRCB-TV twice won "Best Sports Talk Show In Tennessee" awards. He has also been the host of "Inside Lee University Basketball" on CSS for the past 11 years. He was the first television broadcaster to ever be elected to the "Greater Chattanooga Area Sports Hall of Fame", in 2003. Randy and his wife, Shelia, reside in Hixson. They have two married children (Christi and Chris Perry; Davey and Alison Smith). They also have three grandchildren (Coleman, Boone, and DellaMae).