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Holloway: College football reaps benefits of SEC might

POSTED: June 22, 2012 5:32 p.m.

Dear Rest of the World’s College Football Fans:

You don’t like us. We get it.

We’re good at football and not the least bit bashful about reminding you of that every chance we get. We’re often obnoxious, loud and rude, especially when you run across us on the Internet or at a tailgate party.

But don’t say we never gave you anything.

You didn’t want LSU and Alabama in the national championship, but we force fed you. It was for your own good.

You’re welcome.

It was the only thing that would finally bring the festering BCS resentment to a boiling head. Only an All-SEC national championship game/coronation could turn the screws so quickly, not only eliciting the ire of every fanbase outside of God’s Country, but more importantly snagging the attention of the real power brokers by hogging all of BCS National Championship payout for ourselves.

Thanks, and you’re welcome.

And because we win, you win, too.

No more shady power rankings with secret formulas.

You’re welcome.

No more reliance on the votes of coaches who (understandably) only watch their own games and those of their upcoming opponents.

You’re welcome.

And how about that conflict of interest? Even if coaches were inclined and able to watch every game of pertinence before filling out their ballots every week, how could they be expected to be truly objective when their livelihoods — and massive cash incentives — are on the line?

When we tell our grandchildren how college football champions were once decided, they will mock us.

Not anymore. A college football playoff is likely on its way beginning with the 2014 season.

We not only defeated the best the rest of the country could muster in the last six national championship games, we’re about to knock off our toughest opponent yet.

It’s not finalized, but it sure sounds like a done deal. And judging by the look on the face of SEC commissioner and longtime playoff proponent Mike Slive at the announcement on Wednesday, he believes it is, too.

To put in terms you’re all probably painfully familiar with by now: We’re winning, the clock on the BCS is running out, and those chants — S-E-C! S-E-C! — are spreading through the bleachers as Bill Hancock & Co. are heading for the exits.

Next week, when the presidential oversight committee does what’s Good and Right and Proper and rubber stamps the four-team playoff plan put forward by the conference commissioners, it will be pulling the plug on the 14-year, hit-or-miss experiment we know as the Bowl Championship Series.

Maybe a playoff system will only strengthen the SEC’s power, maybe it won’t. Part of that will be decided by a selection committee.

But the final verdict will ultimately be decided on the field. And one of these years, the whole of the SEC contingent will likely get knocked out in the semifinals. If/when it does, just imagine the crow you can so justifiably shove in our faces. And we’ll deserve it.

And won’t that be so much more satisfying than hoping pollsters take leave of their senses one year and omit the SEC champ from the BCS title game?

It’s not that the proposed playoff will end controversy in college football. It won’t, but that’s not the point.

We like the controversy. It spices the autumn, gives us something to debate. It’s a big part of what has helped the sport grow from a regional niche into a nationwide powerhouse second only to the NFL in popularity.

But now that debate will most often center on the No. 4 team in the country and not the No. 2. The difference, more often than not, is stark.

It may not be perfect, but it is an improvement.

Check the scoreboard: SEC 1, BCS 0. And everybody wins.

You’re welcome.

Love,The SEC

Brent Holloway is the sports editor for The Times. Follow him at twitter.com/gtimesbholloway.


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