By Travis Duncan
-The dirty little secret is out. The new 4-team college football playoff looks and feels a lot like the old BCS model.
Of course in theory, nothing prevents a-to-be formed college football playoff selection committee in 2014 from choosing a one-loss team from the Mountain West conference, but then again nothing would prevent a group of human selectors from passing over the non-powers for a two-loss team from the Big Ten or for that matter four teams from the SEC.
Granted a so-called power school must now play through the conference schedule, presumably the conference championship game, then a semi-final and a championship game before being anointed as the national champion. A rough road for any SEC school.
Still many argue, the conference best served by the new college football four-team playoff is the SEC.
As Paul Woody, the columnist of the Richmond Times Dispatch wrote recently "Four teams? OK. Who do you like after the two Southeastern Conference teams destined to be selected each year?"
Or as Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesmen, (the beat writer for Boise State football), writes:
"College football’s new postseason format, set to begin in 2014, is nothing more than BCS 2.0. Behind the bright, shiny four-team playoff — a step up, no doubt, from the old two-team format — college football’s power conferences are engineering a system designed for their maximum profit and everyone else’s minimal access."
The SEC's members schools do not have trouble selling tickets or gaining viewers for the regular season and so this four-team playoff is no threat to preserving those traditions and revenue streams-the way an 8-team playoff would.
Likely the 2014 SEC regular season will be a run for the top two spots, two spots which should pretty much guarantee a spot in the 4-team playoff.
Not surprisingly, it was the SEC coaches and presidents who argued against the conference championship as a requirement for the 4 team playoff, because in 2014 LSU-Alabama for the national title would not have happened.
Prior to the decision for the 4-team playoff, on May 30th Coach Will Muschamp said, "I think it needs to be the four best teams in the country."
Muschamp added, "I don't think it needs to be the conference champions because in our league we might have four of the best teams in the country."
UF President Bernie Mechen was also a proponent of going to a playoff model.
“Here we played a great schedule, we win our league, and we’re not even guaranteed that we’re going to the national championship,’’ Mechen reflected on the 2007 season, in which the Gators were in fact put into the BCS championship game and defeated the Ohio State Buckeyes.
"There are lots of examples to me where the system needed to be pushed toward a playoff," Machen said.
"This takes it all out. The best four teams – we know who they are going in and you also know that if you win your semifinal that you will play for the championship."
Will the Gators be one of the four best teams at the end of the 2014 season, a lot will happen between now and then to determine but in general most would agree the four team playoff, still, like the BCS system, favors the SEC.
That's the snag that will be interesting, is which two teams from the SEC will be there, will it be the two teams who meet in Atlanta for the conference championship split for the national playoff semis, or will it be two teams from the SEC west.
Essentially the SEC becomes a race for the top 2 spots, and getting to Atlanta may not be a factor depending on the year.
And don't forget about the newly formed "Champions Bowl" "which will pit the top team from the SEC each year not in the top four of the playoff against the Big 12’s best team not in the final four."
All and all the Gators serve to benefit should they be as competitive as most expect them. The Chik-Fil-A does not have the same flavor as the "Champions Bowl".
Muschamp makes dig at Texas A&M
It's apparent no one fears Missouri, bless them and the earnest athletic program they have both in basketball and football, and other sports but no one in the SEC is as concerned with them as Texas A&M. Years of hard hitting tough Texas sized football has built a firm reputation for the Aggies as one heck of an out on a Saturday afternoon.
Of course it's not necessarily fear that may have prompted Coach Will Muschamp to take a dig at the Aggies, as Muschamp was the former defensive coordinator for the rival Texas Longhorns prior to coming to Florida. None the less Saturday Sept. 9th in College Station will a huge game for both schools and its fans.
Here is what Muscahmp said about the city of College Station at a recent Gators Club meeting:
"It will be a very SEC-like atmosphere," Muschamp said. "It's one of the few places in the Big 12 that I would say that about."
But what made headlines was this comment.
"You ever been to College Station?" Muschamp said. "It'll be the only time you go."
A&M coach Kevin Sumlin responded "He needs to worry about his own team,” via the San Antonio Express-News.
Tim Tebow Georgia Bulldogs EA Sports Ad
Phil Steele who writes all kinds of college football material all-year long, has selected three Gators on his Preseason All-American Team. Those selected are kicker Caleb Sturgis, defensive tackle Sharrif Floyd and safety Matt Elam.
Dante Phillips denied admission
It's not very often that a college football player isn't let in the doors, because of academic reasons, usually as the case is we envision the admissions office bending the rules and making exceptions for the football and basketball teams, as the stereotype goes.
The would be incoming freshman defensive tackle is appealing the decision.
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