SEC Teams Have Better Chances In New Playoff

I don’t know why he makes it so easy, but I don’t mind taking a cut at a belt high fast ball. Thus, we have another in the series, “You Won’t Hear This On The Brando Show,” or, as some call it, with a shake of the head: "Timmy, Timmy, Timmy."

I thought I saw everyone possible at Southeastern Conference Media Days last week, but realized Monday morning that I hadn’t seen Tim Brando. And for good reason. I listen to Serius radio and expected to hear the new show, “The First Team,” with former Alabama quarterback Greg McElroy Monday morning. I learned, though, the Brando show had not been cancelled. He had been on vacation.

Without the benefit of being in Birmingham to, perhaps, learn something about the teams, Brando made it clear that he has come to the conclusion no SEC team will make the new College Football Playoff pool of four teams.

Really.

His rationale is he expects all SEC teams to suffer at least two losses, as was the case last year (he reminds us he predicted). Well, yes, that was the case last year. But one of those teams was Auburn, which suffered its second loss in the BCS National Championship Game. Another was Alabama, which suffered its second loss in the Sugar Bowl.

Brando, who is clever and who obviously does his homework, still comes to some puzzling conclusions from time to time. He made his prediction while talking to Atlanta Journal-Constitution reporter Tony Barnhart. Barnhart, who had been at SEC Media Days, scoffed at Brando’s proposition.

If the four-team playoff had been in effect last year, both Alabama and Auburn would have been in if this year’s committee of Archie, Condeleezza, etc. came to the same conclusion as did the Coaches Poll, the Harris Poll, the Associated Press Poll, and most of the mysterious computer models at the end of the 2013 season.

If you’re counting, that’s not one SEC team in the top four; it’s two.

Think that’s unusual?

Well, not really.

Go back eight years, the 2006 season through the 2013 season, and you’ll come to the conclusion that it’s more likely the SEC will get two teams in the playoff than that the conference will get just one, much less zero.

In the last eight years, there were five years in which the SEC had two teams in the top four teams as ranked for BCS purposes. And in that period there was no SEC Armageddon, a year with no SEC team in the top four. Thus, in eight years, 13 SEC teams made what would have been a four-team playoff.

Indeed, there was no year in which the SEC was not in the top two. SEC teams won seven consecutive national championships before Auburn failed at the end of last season.

At the end of the 2011 season, both BCS National Championship Game participants were from the SEC (Alabama defeating LSU, 21-0).

In the 17-year BCS Era (1998-2013) the SEC won 17 BCS bowl championships and nine BCS National Championships, both the most by any conference.

Alabama – a member of the SEC -- won three BCS National Championships (2009, 2011, 2012), the most of any team.

Pre-season predictions don’t mean anything, but since Brando has made his prediction, it’s interesting to note that a consensus of pre-season polls to date (not all are out) has Alabama in the top four, often second behind Florida State. Among the teams being ranked high enough to be possibilities for the four-team playoff are SEC members Auburn, South Carolina, and LSU. Otherwise, it’s mostly the Os – Oregon, Oklahoma, Ohio State.

For the record, here are the top four teams in the BCS standings to determine the BCS national championship game over the past eight years. Teams are listed in the order of their rating, 1-4.

2006 -- Ohio State, *Florida, Michigan, *LSU

2007 -- Ohio State, *LSU, Virginia Tech, Oklahoma

2008 -- Oklahoma, *Florida, Texas, *Alabama

2009 -- *Alabama, Texas, Cincinnati, TCU

2010 -- *Auburn, Oregon, TCU, Stanford

2011 -- *LSU, *Alabama, Oklahoma State, Stanford

2012 -- Notre Dame, *Alabama, *Florida, Oregon

2013 -- Florida State, *Auburn, *Alabama, Michigan State

*SEC team

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