Goodbye Atlanta?


Sometimes things hit you in the face like a bag of hammers and sometimes they slowly creep into your brain until you have that “A-ha!” moment. This was the latter and in a way it made me feel stupid.

Because when I threw the set-up out to my wife she got the punchline right away.

And this is it — while a lot of us are rejoicing that college football driving towards a four-team playoff with the speed of Junior Johnson, that crumpled heap of trash it may be discarding on the side of the road is one of the greatest events in sports.

The SEC Championship Game.

It’s in my top five. I love going to Atlanta for that game no matter who is playing in it. There is nothing like that atmosphere, especially since the SEC starting owning college football.

But if the BCS boys come up with a system that allows only conference champions into the mix and then only if they are among the top six as has been proposed, it might mean the end of the SEC title game.

Here’s why: It has been risky enough the last two years to have unbeaten teams play in the game against teams that have no shot of playing for a national championship. Auburn dispatched South Carolina in 2010 and LSU came to its senses in time to roll over Georgia last year.

South Carolina was 19th in the BCS and Georgia 16th, Even if either team won and claimed the SEC championship, neither was going to finish among the top four.

The league dodged those bullets, but I can’t help but wonder what it will do if this proposal passes. Last year, the league was covered with Alabama. But if we finally get a playoff and the SEC Championship Game could eliminate the league from that playoff, well, I wonder how much longer it will be around.

You could make the same argument for any of the championship games. Since the playoff is going to add two games to the post-season, are we nearing an end to the conference title games?

I hope not. But it’s very possible.


  1. I do understand what Pat is saying, but agree w/ you Jon, absolutely no way this would happen. The scenario as described above has to be voted on first. It will not even pass the smell test if each conference believes their title game could possibly become a deal breaker if something simple as an upset were to happen.

  2. While I totally get your argument, Pat…I think Jon (above) is right. It is a CA$H COW, and in times past, it helped ELEVATE an S.E.C.-Team like FLORIDA in 1996 BACK- into the picture. But you never know lately –
    with anything!

  3. And go back to the old SEC system, where not everybody played each other and so you could have undeserving teams win the title? You want a Georgia team that goes 8-0 in conference (and 9-3 overall) without playing Alabama, LSU or Arkansas to win the title over a 7-1 Alabama who played both those other teams and is 11-1 overall and ranked in the top 4?
    How is that better?

  4. Am I the only one? I think college football is consuming itself over MONEY. In the near future I see more gator fans doing what I have done; stop buying season tickets, stay home and enjoy the game in A/C with a wide-screen, good food and a few beers. I wonder: How many people can name all the schools in the SEC? Better yet, have someone explain why the SEC is still named the SEC. Why are schools west of the Mississippi in the SEC? Or, SMU in the Big East; really the Big East!! It is a great way to spend an afternoon in October, sitting there watching 20 year olds giving brain damage to one another!! Is this a great sport, or what!!