If Miles believes his LSU team has to play tougher SEC East teams than the Bengal Tigers’ West rival, Alabama, then Spurrier proposes that only division games count toward the division title.
Seems simple enough. Everybody plays everybody within their division, and the team with the best record goes to the SEC Championship Game. Ties are broken by head-to-head meetings.
Certainly, the league title game would end up with almost always the same two teams it would otherwise, right?
Not necessarily. The division-only format would’ve made a difference in who made the SEC Championship Game in five of the last seven seasons. Last year, eventual national champion Alabama would’ve been left out, and Texas A&M would’ve gone. Both were 5-1 in the Western Division, with A&M winning the head-to-head meeting. In 2011, Georgia would’ve missed the game in favor of South Carolina.
Florida would’ve gone in 2010 over South Carolina and in 2007 over Tennessee. Both years, the Gators were 5-1 inside their division. In 2006, Arkansas went to the SEC title game, but inside the division, the Razorbacks were 5-1 with a loss to LSU, which was 5-1 with a loss to Auburn, which was 5-1 with a loss to Arkansas. If you used the BCS standings as a tiebreaker, LSU would’ve gone to the championship game.
Those two games every team plays every year against the opposing division wind up making a pretty big difference.
Contact Anniston Star Sports Editor Mark Edwards at firstname.lastname@example.org.