Does the College Football Playoff enhance the SEC’s opportunity to become more dominant? Yes and no. Former Auburn center Cole Cubelic warns that no SEC teams could hold a spot in the playoff.
Trusted college football source Phil Steele has built his life around the game and has studied championship criteria, and he has unveiled his 15 teams that fit the championship criteria for 2014. Just three SEC teams make up the list of 15, after the conference made up six of his top 14 last season:
- Florida State
- Kansas State
- Michigan State
- Ohio State
- Ole Miss
You can read more about his data compilation and numbers-driven approach here.
Is anyone surprised that Ole Miss is the third SEC team to make the list? This Rebels’ roster is loaded, and that’s part of the approach Steele takes. The defense should be very good, and the offense just needs to take a big step forward. However, I am surprised defending SEC champion Auburn isn’t even included in the 15.
It is also interesting though that no SEC East teams fit the criteria. Not Georgia. Not South Carolina. The Bulldogs and Gamecocks enter as the two favorites, and both are certainly talented enough to make championship runs, although getting through Atlanta will be tough, as the Western Division has won the last five SEC Championships.