Rule Could Cost Softball SEC Championship

Florida and Alabama are both scheduled to play 28 softball games in the SEC this season. Each team has four losses in conference play this year. Each team is strongly favored to sweep its season ending series this weekend. The Gators won the series with Crimson Tide in Tuscaloosa back in March two games to one.

So you would assume that Florida is on track to be SEC Champs, right? Well, maybe co-champs?

Wrong on both counts.

The SEC awards the conference title based on won/loss percentage. Since Alabama (20-4) has had just one game rained out and Florida (17-4) has missed four, the Crimson Tide will be SEC Champs unless Mississippi State (7-15) shocks ‘Bama in one of their three games this weekend. Florida will host the worst team in the league, South Carolina (1-24).

You can make the case that Florida got a break with two of its rainouts. The Gators did not have to play a very good Georgia (18-8) team on the road. However it's not Florida's fault that SEC policy doesn't allow rainouts to be made up. Besides, Alabama also got a break when the final game of its series with Tennessee (15-7) was rained out on Sunday. Alabama also had the advantage of playing Florida, Tennessee and LSU (19-6) at home while Florida had to try to both Tuscaloosa and Knoxville.

If you aren't going to make up rainouts you cannot let won/loss percentage alone determine the champion. By any fair analysis the Gators and Crimson Tide should be co-champions. Let winning percentage determine the seeding for the SEC Tournament, but Mother Nature shouldn't be deciding who gets the big trophy.

For the record, if Florida had played and won all four of its rainouts it would be equally unfair to deny Alabama a share of the trophy. I suspect the rule will be changed, but probably not this week.

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