SEC Crowns Wrong Champion --- AGAIN

For the second year in a row, the Southeastern Conference has awarded the softball championship to a team that should not have won it, certainly not outright. Alabama took the SEC Title for the second straight year despite the fact the Florida was the more deserving team. Alabama finished the season 19-6 in conference play while the Gators were 21-7.

The reason this has occurred is that someone in the league office --- certainly no one will admit to it --- has decided that when there is an unequal number of competitions due to postponements that won/loss percentage will be used to determine the winner.

That doesn't make sense. Using won/loss percentage is the right way to go IF the teams played identical schedules, but the fact that they played a different number of games that's obviously not the case. Last year Alabama had one game rained out, while Florida had four games postponed. Chances are each team would have won those games had they been played, but the SEC does not allow for make-up dates. Therefore Alabama's 23-4 mark won the SEC while Florida finished second at 20-4. Keep in mind that in each season the Gators beat the Crimson Tide two out of three games.

There are better tie-breakers that the SEC should employ for any circumstance in which the top two teams played a different number of games (or matches in the case of tennis). These title determinations should only be used IF making up the games that were missed could potentially alter the final standings.

Head-to-Head --- If two teams are a game or less apart due to scheduling problems, why not use the most traditional of all methods? Since neither outperformed the other over the course of the regular season, then this would be the logical way to rank them.

Delete Results from non-shared opponents --- Alabama did not play against Kentucky, but Florida did. Alabama should not benefit from that fact nor should it be punished by it. Had Florida won just one game against the Wildcats they would have been SEC Champs and that would not be fair to ‘Bama. However it's not fair to Florida that Alabama avoided a legit threat to its won/loss percentage.

Either one of these methods is more legit than the won/loss percentage measurer, but neither is the right thing to do. The right thing to do is pretty darn obvious to me. If the top two teams played different number of games and those missed games could have changed the order of finish then the SEC should:

Declare Co-Champions --- In "real" competitions, everyone plays the same number of games and that's the way it should be. For the unique circumstances that affected the SEC each of the last two seasons BOTH schools should be able to hoist a conference banner.


Don't get me wrong, this is not an anti-Alabama thing. It would be just as wrong for Florida to be the lone SEC Champ for 2010 & 2011. The SEC needs to fix this, and frankly they should fix it retroactively. No one is hurt by it, and it's time to do the right thing.

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