So as well all know by now the SEC West got completely demolished this bowl season and the two remaining teams come from conferences that aren’t seen as doormats, but clearly aren’t comparable to the SEC powerhouses. Or are they? The SEC West during the New Years holiday got run over during the inter-conference slate, and it now appears that the BCS may have been a bigger sham more than previously thought. TCU clobbered Ole Miss, Alabama got beat by a seemingly superior OSU, and the only teams to win a bowl game between two Top-25 teams was Georgia and Missouri which reside in the widely regarded weaker division of the conference.
For the first time since 2005 a team from the SEC will not be playing in the national championship. Leaving more people to wonder what took this process so long, and why is it only now that college football will have a true 1 vs 2 matchup. The Rose Bowl was a laugher in the second half, and while no one thought the Seminoles had a chance of keeping pace with the Ducks of Oregon, I don’t think anyone could’ve imagined it getting as out of hand in the second half. The low point of the game, and pretty much a summary of Jameis Winston’s season was when he was flushed out of the pocket and tried to throw the ball only to have it slip out of his hand and returned by a defensive lineman to the house. Regardless of the outcome the ratings couldn’t have been any higher, and the idea that there was a playoff system in place to crown a true champion definitely made the games far more appealing, even to a sports zealot like myself.
The Sugar Bowl was the night cap and came with far more competitive balance as well as a coaching matchup that would attract any casual fan of football. The Buckeyes came back from a hefty deficit, shocking the country by winning a game that most thought they were to lose, especially in a place where Alabama had a formidable home field advantage only hours from their campus in Tuscaloosa. Seeing Nick Saban lose is always a treat, however with the way Urban Meyer coaches, and the players he seems to attract to his programs, specifically the ones he had with him in his time in Gainesville, makes his legacy a little tarnished as a master of the profession. Nevertheless he’ll be going for his third national title.
Both of the games were the highest rated cable programs on ESPN, and likely that number will be trumped on January 12th when OSU and Oregon meet in Cowboy Stadium for the championship. As for the teams that were snubbed, TCU clearly has the best argument as they demolished an Ole Miss team that had lone beaten Alabama, and at one point were the number one ranked team in the country. TCU was hurt by their loss to Baylor, however even worse to their detriment was the lack of a Big 12 title game that no longer exists due to conference realignment. The SEC West and SEC in general was seen as such a power that they hovered around the top four spots all year. Now that SEC overall had a bad bowl season, perhaps next year we’ll get even more of a wide array of universities with strong cases to be looked at by the committee. Whatever the case may be, for this time around the matchup of Oregon vs. OSU should be a heck of a game and will certainly be must see TV after this weekend’s divisional round in the NFL.
Expect a phenomenal three straight days of football this weekend into early next week to keep you distracted from the polar vortex.