As the 2014 college football season presses on towards October the common theme remains unchanged. In the inaugural year of the College Football Playoff it seems as if it’s a forgone conclusion that the SEC should get two teams in. First, it was Alabama and Georgia, and now its Alabama and Texas A&M who are being touted to make up half of the four team bracket.
This popular line of thinking leaves the ACC, Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac 12 fighting for the final two spots, and incorrectly so. But that’s not why this mindset is flawed.
It’s flawed because it awards the wrong conference two playoff teams.
The SEC’s Reign of Terror came to an end last season when Oklahoma downed Alabama in the Sugar Bowl and Florida State snuffed out Auburn in the BCS Championship. Yet here we are again, not quite to the midway point of a new season, and the SEC is being anointed with greatness once more. Meanwhile, over in the Big 12, Oklahoma and Baylor are laying waste to any opponent that stands in their way in the best one/two combination of any conference around.
The Sooners are winning by an average score of 45-17 and Baylor is ripping their opponents by an average score of 59-9. The top two teams in the ACC can’t match that. Neither can the Big Ten, the Pac 12 or even the mighty SEC. It’s time for the talking heads to throw some football love elsewhere.
I don’t believe that any one conference deserves multiple entrants into the playoffs, but if we’re going to discuss it then let’s do so rationally. Let’s talk about what is being done as opposed to what has been done. The Big Ten doesn’t have a dog in the fight. In the SEC, Bama has looked flawed while Texas A&M has been steady. Florida State stands alone in the ACC and, in the Pac 12, Oregon is coming off a one-score win in which they gave up seven quarterback sacks.
Let’s talk about it for a second. Let’s talk about Iowa State pulling off the upset against the Big Ten. Let’s talk about West Virginia knocking out the ACC. Let’s talk about a Sooners team that has downed an SEC opponent and has gone on the road to put away a West Virginia team that gave Alabama fits to start the season. Let’s talk about how Baylor continues to seemingly score at will, even when their starters are sitting out with injury. Let’s talk about the conference that is playing better football, from top to bottom right now, than anyone else. Let’s talk about the Big 12.
It could easily fall apart for the Big 12 but for right now there’s a reason why November 8 is marked on calendars all over the Southwest. That’s the day that Baylor travels to Norman to take on the Sooners in what will most likely be the Big 12’s play-in game to the post season. Only one can move on and that’s the way it should be. That’s the way it should be across the board, regardless of the conference affiliation. Win and you’re in! Nobody hands you anything because it is all earned on the field.
*Section Photo credit to Vaughn Ridley, Getty Images; Featured Photo (above) credit to Crystal LoGiudice, USA Today Sports