Tuesday, November 27, 2012
Will Muschamp tweaks Nick Saban
By Edward Aschoff
If it were up to Alabama coach Nick Saban, the loser of Saturday's SEC championship between his second-ranked Crimson Tide and No. 3 Georgia would be headed to a BCS bowl game.
But with the way things will probably shake out, No. 4 Florida, which has beaten four top-10 BCS schools this season, is likely headed to the Allstate Sugar Bowl, while Saturday's loser will probably fall to the Capital One Bowl.
"It's not really a great scenario," Saban said on Sunday. "You play your way into the [SEC] championship game, which means you're the best team in your division. ... It doesn't seem quite right, but it is what it is. I don't really know what me commenting about it is going to do to change it. But I don't feel good about it."
Florida coach Will Muschamp, a former Saban assistant, has a solution.
"Well, I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn't want to go to Atlanta and play the Dawgs," Muschamp said Monday. "Be careful what you ask for, Nick."
This is actually all very interesting, considering Saban was in a similar position last year. His Alabama team was ranked second in the BCS standings behind LSU heading into the final week of the season. The Tigers beat Alabama earlier in the year, leaving the Tide out of Atlanta. However, with Alabama ranked in the top 2 entering the final weekend, it had already clinched a BCS title berth, despite not even winning its division.
Saban's squad cruised to the BCS title game and eventually defeated LSU. He didn't think Alabama's lack of a conference title appearance should have hindered Alabama's chances at playing for a national championship then, but now, if the Tide loses to Georgia, it won't "seem quite right" that Florida will play in a BCS bowl game and Alabama won't.
It's a legit gripe for Saban. Both Alabama and Georgia won their respective divisions. Florida, which lost to Georgia head-to-head, didn't. But it also seems highly unlikely that a two-loss SEC runner-up will stay ahead of an 11-1 Florida team.
What Saban said was expected. No coach will say some other team deserves a better bowl than his. While he might have thought something completely different last year when his team was in a similar position, you can't fault him for lobbying for his team again when the roles are slightly reversed.
It also shows you yet another major flaw in the BCS. The SEC deserves to send more than just two teams to the BCS this year, yet because the BCS limits conferences to just two teams, the SEC is left having to cut a quality team come Saturday.
Now, that's something everyone in the SEC can lobby for.
Muschamp isn't lobbying and he isn't complaining. He understands that his team didn't get things done on the field in order to make it to Atlanta. He understands the consequences of a loss, and is fine with them.
"It is what it is this year," he said. "I'm not a guy that's going to sit there and belly-ache about the rules. They were set before the season started. We knew the deal. I'm not going to sit there and complain about it. We should have won the game."