To get to the national championship you have to play a championship schedule if you are not in the SEC. This means that your out of conference scheduling has to be contenders. With the huge media influence of ESPN over the SEC the rest of the Power 5 conference have to travel great lengths to line up a tough top ten championship schedule. One loss and you are still in the running if you build out that schedule correctly.
Now, if you are in the SEC the powers that run the NCAA, ESPN, have a protected investment and while the SEC is a very good conference they are not top to bottom SEC Strong as they like to promote. Auburn plays a tough schedule but does Alabama? How’s the travel bill, Coach Saban? Still able to use the bus to and from each game? These things are driving coaches across the football landscape crazy. Does your conference have 8 games or 9? Does your conference have a championship?
A smartly run conference, like the SEC, has the ability to drive two teams in to the final four routinely. They know that winning the championship is not necessary so when we see an undefeated Alabama going against a once beaten Auburn and suddenly Auburn beats Alabama or Georgia well that was a heck of a game. Or was it? Did the SEC just figure out what we all can see and manufacture their way in to a two team slot for the final four?
It’s time for the NCAA to either enforce the championship conference games across all or do away with it. I personally like it and think it brings an air of loyalty to the conferences when they crown a champ. But at what expense? The value of a final four or what ever it needs to be is that only Conferences Champions play. We should value the championships at the conference level and not allow a second place finish to qualify for a final four slot. Sorry Alabama but you have to win your conference to be a finalist next time. Just say it, NCAA. Do the right thing and force the teams competing in their conference championship game to make it real. Oh and Final Four? Why? You have five power five conferences so how does that work? Their needs to be a a one game play in for the fifth ranked power 5 team and the fourth ranked power five team. They play in to the final four. No one can truly define who is better when looking at the fourth and fifth ranked team in the Power 5. No one. Let them play in. Or expand the playoff menu. Here we go.