Archived Story

SEC’s BCS title hopes lay in Kiffin’s hands

Published 9:44am Thursday, November 15, 2012

Some may call it irony, others may say it is fate, but for the Pac-12 faithful, it is karma dude.
Just a few short years ago, Lane Kiffin bolted from the Tennessee Volunteers to take his dream job as head coach of the USC Trojans.  Not many outside of the SEC knew it was written in his contract, that if offered the USC position, he could opt out of his Tennessee contract.
In 2010, Pete Carroll chose to return to the NFL opening that “dream job” for Kiffin, so he abruptly bolted for L.A.
After the street riots subsided and the flames from the burning couches were put out, order was restored in Knoxville but Lane Kiffin became a hated man, not only by the Tennessee fans, but by just about every SEC fan poled.
In 2011, Alabama needed a USC win over Oregon in Eugene and an Oklahoma State meltdown against Iowa State to be able to play for all the marbles.
When USC dumped Oregon in Eugene, you would not believe the calls I received that evening. Praise and well-wishes were in abundance that night.
They got the help they needed and the rest is history.
Fast forward to 2012 and once again, because Alabama could not beat Texas A&M, they need help again from the left-coast to reach the title game.
They also need to win the SEC championship game against a very good Georgia Bulldog team.
All this talk about Alabama possibly being able to beat some of the NFL teams and how dominant they were during the season, made you believe they actually played a tough schedule, or at the least, a schedule that had some teams ranked—after the season began.
Forget the preseason hype, because that is exactly what it was—all hype.
Let’s face the facts and tell it like it is; the only two teams of any consequence on the Bama schedule were LSU and Texas A&M.
The Aggies exposed the Crimson Tide early and forced them to play catch-up the entire game. I said last week that Alabama would be tested and Oregon would be one team they would not want to play in the championship game.
Alabama got a glimpse of what Oregon runs, only a slow-motion version of the “quack-attack”. The Ducks are much quicker than the Aggies and they keep the pressure on for 60 minutes.
Here is how Alabama or Georgia gets into the championship game:
No. 18 USC beats No. 17 UCLA this Saturday.
USC defeats No. 3 Notre Dame on November 17 at the Coliseum.
USC defeats No. 2 Oregon in the Pac-12 championship.
If either No. 13 Stanford or No. 16 Oregon State beat Oregon and USC defeats Notre Dame then Oregon and Notre Dame would drop below the winner of the SEC championship game.
I do not see Kansas State losing to either Baylor or Texas, so one spot will be secured in two weeks.
Luckily for the SEC, the Trojans have a lot of incentive; they are playing for a birth in the BCS Rose Bowl. They need to win the Pac-12 conference and finish 14th or better in the BCS rankings.
Kansas State and Notre Dame do not play a conference championship game, so their seasons are over in two weeks.
I have a somewhat different perspective about all of this nonsense surrounding college football and the BCS.
Until 2014, the debate for who is the best team, will be nothing more than just that—a debate.
Until next time.
Meyers is a college football columnist.