It sure would be an interesting postseason this year if major college football had an eight-team playoff to determine its national champion. I believe that is the case whether or not there are one, two or three unbeaten teams from BCS conferences at the end of the regular season.
With the Southeastern Conference having no remaining undefeated teams the league won’t have a chance to place a representative in the BCS title game this year unless two of the three remaining unbeatens--Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame--stumble down the stretch.
If there was a playoff a couple of SEC teams that look like they would be ready to make a strong run based on the way they are playing now are Georgia and Texas A&M.
I think Alabama falls into that category, too, but, as Texas A&M showed, a team with a quarterback who can throw the ball with an offensive line who can protect him can give Alabama problems because the philosophy of its defense is to stop the run and make the opponent beat them by passing. If you are good enough to do it, you are going to have a chance to beat them. There just aren’t many college quarterbacks who are good enough to do that, but you saw one on Saturday when Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M went into Tuscaloosa and beat Alabama.
A&M is a lot better football team than most people thought they were going to be in their first season as a member of the Southeastern Conference. I think a lot of that has to do with how well the Aggies are playing on defense. They stopped Alabama from being able to run the football and that really set the stage for them to win that game.
Georgia vs. Alabama in the SEC Championship Game should be a good match. Georgia has a little more balanced football team than Alabama. I believe Alabama has probably got a little stronger offensive line than Georgia, but I don’t think there is much difference in the quarterbacks or the running backs. Georgia throws the ball a little more than Alabama.
Defensively, with all of the talent Georgia has on that side of the line of scrimmage and the way they have come on strong, Georgia might be even better than Alabama. That is one of the reasons I voted Georgia fourth and Alabama fifth in the Legends poll this week.
I voted Texas A&M in the Top 10 behind Florida, South Carolina and LSU, but the Aggies could very well be better than those teams right now. I would sure like to see a playoff system so we would be able to see on the field at the end of the season exactly how good the top eight teams in the country are.
Georgia looked bad at times early in the year, but has really come on strong and I think the Bulldogs would be a very tough opponent in an eight-team playoff. Georgia is playing as well as any team in the country in recent weeks and it seems to me the same is true with Texas A&M, a team that has improved considerably since the start of the season. The Aggies could be capable of making a run at the championship.
Auburn closes its home season on Saturday against Alabama A&M, a team I don’t know much about, but I do know it is Senior Day. I hope it is a good experience for those young men who have to be suffering going through a season like this one, a season that is disheartening for me to see and it is disheartening for Auburn fans everywhere. Those seniors contributed to three bowl wins and a national championship and that is something they can be proud of for the rest of their lives. Long after the details of the 2012 season have faded from their memories, they will remember the excitement of their championship year and being a part of an unbeaten team.
(If you have a question or a subject you would like me to write about in future columns, you can email it to PatDye@autigers.com.)
Editor’s Note: This is part of a series of columns that College Football Hall of Fame member Pat Dye is writing for AUTigers.com about the game he played and coached. An All-American player at Georgia and one of the top head coaches in SEC history at Auburn, he also served as a head coach at East Carolina and Wyoming. Dye participates in the Legends Poll, a Top 25 rating of the best teams in college football as determined by a panel of all-star former head coaches. Dye writes three columns for AUTigers.com--The Dye-Log, the Dye-Gest and Pat’s Picks.
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