SportsNation Knows...Apparently the SEC Doesn't


Recent ESPN SportsNation polls about a BCS playoff reaffirmed what most of America knew beforehand – the SEC states love the BCS the way it is. The rest of us…not so much.

One poll question was, "What’s your take on a 4-team playoff in college football?"

  • 62% of America thought four teams weren’t enough.
  • 48 states thought that four teams weren’t enough.
  • Only Alabama and Alaska thought four was fine. Do they play football in Alaska?

Another poll question asked, "Should a plus-one format use a nationwide committee or the current BCS formula to determine the participants?"

  • New Hampshire was the only state north of the Mason-Dixon line to think the current BCS formula was sufficient to the task. I'm glad NH has clout in national politics, because most don't give a damn about what they think about sports.
  • Every state west of Texas was in favor of a committee instead of the media determining the contenders.

Strange how the south always seems to think things are fine just the way they are.

Obviously, the "haves" are happy with the way it is. After all, who has won past BCS championship games? SEC teams, Florida State and Texas. Ohio State and USC (although the Trojan win was vacated) are the only non-southern schools to have won a BCS title.

There is a palpable sense amongst the majority of college football fans that most teams don’t have access to the holy grail of college football opportunities. Many SEC fans obviously feel differently. And why shouldn’t they, as 1/6 of their conference was in the championship game this year.

After bowl season I was pumped up to save the bowl system. I still am. But we desperately need the "Plus One" playoff format, if for no other reason than to reign in the SEC. I’ve got no trouble with teams succeeding and being better than others. That’s as American as apple pie. But preventing monopolies and collusion is American, too.

The conglomerate that is Alabama, Auburn, Tennessee, LSU and Florida has won 60% of the championships under this system. By winning they’ve multiplied both their finances and facilities by leaps and bounds and put themselves further ahead of others. That means effectively that they want nothing to do with refining a system that has specifically benefited them.

The NCAA cannot continue to allow a system to exist that perpetuates a class of schools getting richer and richer while the rest of America’s football programs are effectively cut out of that same opportunity. The previous system - with its emphasis on polls and media - has provided strategic advantages to the SEC. If it hasn’t, than southern football fans should have nothing to fear by letting the games be truly settled on the field.

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