As we’re inside 100 days ’til kickoff, we start our series of bold predictions on the 2013 season. First up… the potential of an all SEC West BCS Championship matchup at the conclusion of the season.
Why Alabama vs Texas A&M? Well, there’s really no two teams better setup for such an opportunity.
The three reasons why this can absolutely happen next season are:
- Both teams will enter the season highly ranked
- They meet early on September 14th
- Both teams have very easy schedules
Let’s start with the first point. Both teams wrapped up last year on massive highs. Alabama of course smashed the Irish to take home another championship. The Aggies brought a Heisman trophy to College Station and crushed former Big 12 opponent Oklahoma. Both teams being ranked in the top five in the 2013 preseason polls is very likely.
The preseason rankings are key. When one of these teams lose to the other on September 14th, it means that the other won’t drop too far in the rankings.
The fact that the teams meet so early in the season allows the losing team to easily rebound in the rankings over the course of a long season.
Most importantly, both teams have extremely easy schedules. We have Alabama as the easiest schedule in the SEC, and Texas A&M with the second easiest. Like I said, it’s a perfect setup. Want to get more specific? Look at Alabama’s six games after playing the Aggies. Then, they get a bye week before playing the other tough game on their schedule (LSU). What do you know? The Aggies also have a bye week before playing LSU late in the season.
Both the Tide and the Aggies could easily run the table after playing each other in mid September. This is the most likely scenario where two SEC teams can play in the BCS Championship. Two teams from the same division that play each other early; due to being in the same division, they can’t play each other in the SEC Championship. Essentially the same situation with the Alabama vs LSU game two years ago.
As for fan pushback on another All-SEC championship game – or more importantly, voter pushback – the inclusion of Nick Saban and Johnny Manziel add an absolute level of “sex appeal” to the matchup that should help alleviate this anti-SEC attitude. An “instant classic” between the two teams on the 14th of September of course will help the cause.