Somewhere along the way the Big 10 (hereinafter referred to as B1G, mainly because it looks cool) kinda figured out this whole national championship thing.
Oh, we all know Ohio State won the first one back in 2014. But, in fairness, there wasn’t all this grinding of teeth and hand-wringing we have now.
You know Jeff Long is happy he’s not having to be the front man for the College Football Playoff. We know Arkansas’ not involved, but does he excuse himself during any discussion of Louisville?
After all, when Cardinals coach Bobby Petrino was canned by Long, there was some anger on both sides of that deal. It could be argued that would be a bigger conflict than discussing his current team affiliation.
But we digress.
When this whole CFP thing came about in 2014, those of us in in the Southeast Conference couldn’t remotely think of a situation where anybody else could be arguing over getting two teams in.
The SEC Network was starting up and many of us wags in the media thought any other conference should even be allowed beyond maybe a token appearance to at least give everybody else a chance.
Now we have the B1G with at least an argument that they could argue for at least three teams to be in. Yeah, three teams from one conference in the top six teams headed into the final weekend.
Didn’t see that one coming back in 2014.
Oh, it was relatively easy to picture something with three or four SEC teams all clamoring to be included. It was in 2011 when going into the final week of the regular season Arkansas was in the top three with Alabama and LSU.
That fell apart with the Tigers dismantling the Razorbacks, but it was a similar situation to this year, but the Hogs dropped to fifth in the polls and sixth in the BCS rankings.
We would have had the same argument we’re having now except, of course, it would have been the SEC doing the bragging while the B1G was yelling
When the CFP came into being, the head of the whole deal, Bill Hancock, was making the rounds at SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala.
“Bill, what happens when you have two or three teams from one conference better than anybody else at the end?” he was asked.
“We’ll cross that bridge when we have to,” he said with a smile.
The bridge is now directly in front of the CFP voters and the SEC isn’t part of the argument. Now that is due, in part, to the rather startling fact that the SEC flat-lined behind the Crimson Tide.
Also, the B1G has the best collection of coaches in college football and they’re all ganged up in that one conference. Colin Cowherd on Fox Sports pointed that out earlier in the week. After the initial shock, reality set in and that’s exactly what has happened.
The SEC has Nick Saban and, well, there’s a long, long dropoff to whoever is second. There are some decent coaches all throughout the league, but some that have been exposed as being over-rated and others who are proving to be middle-of-the-pack right now.
And right now the B1G has passed the SEC, at least from this viewpoint. Oh, probably not if you want to take the top-to-bottom approach, but at the top they have, just in sheer numbers if nothing else.
Arkansas, for example, would do well playing the teams in the bottom half of the league. Against Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin, Penn State, well, not so much. It could be uglier than some of the games they played this year.
All the SEC has this year is Alabama to throw at the B1G.
In fact, that could be the best thing of all come to think of it. The CFP can go ahead and put three teams from the B1G in there (and it could happen if Clemson and Washington stumble this weekend).
That way when the Crimson Tide beats them, the world can return to normal.
After all, the only thing that really matters is who wins that last game, right?