How SEC Championship Game tiebreaker would potentially work during unusual pandemic season
With COVID-19 ravishing the slate this week, the SEC announced some new tiebreakers to qualify for the conference’s championship game on Dec. 19.
No. 1 Alabama and No. 6 Florida are in position to compete for the crown. No. 5 Texas A&M is second in the West with a 5-1 conference record, with that lone loss coming against Alabama in Week 2. Georgia is No. 2 in the East with a 4-2 mark, with the losses coming against Alabama and Florida.
The SEC has determined that in the event of “unanticipated, extraordinary circumstances,” commissioner Greg Sankey has the right to take “any appropriate action deemed necessary” to handle the conflict, including the possibility of forming a “determining body or use of any existing groups of institutional representatives,” according to AL.com.
Even if Alabama lost one of its last three contests and Texas A&M ran the table with four consecutive wins, the Crimson Tide would be the West’s representative because of the head-to-head advantage.
In order to qualify for the SEC title game, teams must play within one game of the average number of games played by conference teams.
Per the SEC’s document:
“For example, if the average number of conference games played in the 2020 season is 9.25 (value of nine (9) when rounded down), a team would be eligible to participate in the SEC Football Championship Game, or be considered in a tiebreaker, if that team played eight (8) or more conference games.”
Instances like this week, where Alabama isn’t playing because of a COVID-19 outbreak by LSU, don’t count against the win-loss total. No matter how many games wind up getting canceled due to outbreaks, this is a one-time-only rule.
In the event that the SEC title game can’t be played, the two divisional winners will be selected as co-champions and the CFP would decide the representatives for the Playoff and the Sugar Bowl.