Thank you, Baylor Bears! - Ronald Martinez
Baylor bumped off Kansas State, Stanford got by Oregon in overtime, and, all of a sudden, the SEC Championship Game between Georgia and Alabama looks like a college football national title semifinal. What does it all mean?
So, is there anything you’d care to discuss?
The Georgia Bulldogs began the day on Saturday ranked fifth in the BCS standings, right behind the Alabama Crimson Tide team that is a win over the Auburn Tigers away from earning the right to represent the Western Division against the ‘Dawgs in the SEC Championship Game. As expected, the Red and Black took care of business against Georgia Southern, and we all went on about our days.
Then the top-ranked Kansas St. Wildcats were taken behind the woodshed by the Baylor Bears, not long before the No. 2 Oregon Ducks fell to the Stanford Cardinal in overtime. While this produces the vomit-inducing reality that the Notre Dame Fighting Irish are about to become the No. 1 team in the nation, it also means that, barring an upset in next weekend’s in-state showdowns, the December 1 clash in the Georgia Dome will settle not just the conference crown, but also a berth in the BCS title tilt.
All this is, of course, 87 different kinds of wonderful for the Bulldogs. Ere we get too far ahead of ourselves, however, we should bear in mind a trio of details:
1. Now we don’t have to root for Lane Kiffin. We needed two of the teams ranked above Georgia to lose in order for the SEC Championship Game to carry potential national title implications. Well, mission accomplished. I would never urge anyone to root for Notre Dame, per se, but it no longer harms the Red and Black’s prospects for the Irish to continue winning. Besides, is there any team in all the world you’d rather see Georgia play for a national championship than Notre Dame?
2. The Gators are still in this thing. If Georgia and Florida both win out, and the Irish stumble, you could see the Classic City Canines and the Sunshine State Saurians square off for the national championship. I know, I know, I know, it’s crazy; there’s no way the SEC champion could go to the national championship game and have to play a division rival it already beat during the regular season, but . . . oh, wait. Right.
3. Take ‘em one game at a time. The Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets would love nothing more than to torpedo the Bulldogs’ national championship hopes in 2012 the way the Engineers knocked Georgia out of Rose Bowl contention in 1927. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. Next Saturday, the Red and Black will play for the state championship. The following Saturday, Georgia will play for the conference championship. If the Bulldogs win both of those, they almost certainly will play for the national championship. However, the ‘Dawgs must win on each of the next two weekends for the third option to remain within the realm of possibility. Wreck Tech. That’s all that matters right now.