If you’re paying attention to the national media these days, you can already hear it. 2013 is a throw away season. The SEC is going to win it all again, and frankly, who cares? This is a lame duck season… The last season of an outgoing administration before the next one takes over.
The outgoing administration is of course the BCS. I like to compare the BCS to George W. Bush. The mainstream media ganged up on both relentlessly. Both were confusing and unfair to the little guy. Their influence vanished while they still had years of rule left due to the incessant criticism and bashing at the hands of the media. 2013 is to the BCS as 2008 was to the former President. Irrelevant. Lame Duck. Hurry up and get to the next year and to the next administration.
What’s fascinating in this whole picture is that the SEC fan bases are the complete opposite. SEC fans are absolutely jazzed up about the 2013 season. There are games to win. Rivals to humiliate. Titles to win. If the rest of the country wants to take off the next six months, we’re happy down south to cheer on another dismantling of a non-SEC powerhouse at the hands of the SEC representative in the annual Let’s See Who Can Knock Off The SEC Game (also known as the BCS Championship).
Much of the attention is on Nick Saban’s Crimson Tide, and rightfully so. He’s got an absolute machine going in Tuscaloosa, they will be highly ranked to start the season, and their schedule is extraordinarily accommodating to make another run at the BCS. But, numerous fan bases in the SEC aren’t ready to cede the conference crown to the Tide. Texas A&M, Florida, Georgia, LSU and South Carolina all expect to be in the mix this season, and make no mistake about it, the Crimson Tide will have to fight tooth and nail to win another SEC Championship – “weak schedule” or not. Nobody walks away with the conference crown in Atlanta without the scars to show for it.
It’s comical actually. It’s early June and Scott Van Pelt on ESPN radio talked today about how this year doesn’t really matter, because next year, the playoff is coming. What does he mean by this? Does he mean that the change in postseason structure renders the winners under the previous system irrelevant? Nope. In actuality, it’s nothing more than a subtle continuation of the belief held by most of the media already which is that the BCS Champions are already irrelevant because they’ve prevailed under a flawed system. I’m not going to go into detail why this is ridiculous. I’ve done that enough already (see here, here and here).
Interestingly, the attitude of the media might actually help my other bold prediction come to fruition which is another All-SEC BCS Championship Game. With the media and fans already ceding the season to the SEC, because after all, this season doesn’t matter, they’ll also be more likely to accept the SEC showcasing two teams in the big dance next January.
Make no mistake about it. The folks in the media that hate the BCS typically also hate the fact that the SEC dominates college football. They won’t say it outright, but they’ll insinuate that the BCS Championships that this conference has been piling up are somehow to be put in the record books with an asterisk – something akin to Barry Bonds’ steroid induced home run record. The media cleverly undermine the SEC by hinting at the unfairness of the BCS system. They’re undermining the 8th consecutive BCS Championship for the SEC – the one that will surely come in next season – by labeling the coming season as a lame duck session of college football. All of the above is nothing short of ridiculous, but I don’t expect much more out of the national media these days.
The irony is that the college playoff will change nothing. The SEC will dominate the next phase of college football as well. As a result, the media will be forced to find another way to ridicule and dismiss the SEC’s dominance (and they will).
Us fans will just continue to enjoy the ride.