Meet the SEC's Best Allies: Lane Kiffin and Texas
The BCS has always made for strange bedfellows.
But this year may make for the strangest bedfellows of all, Texas and Lane Kiffin hold the SEC's opportunity to defend six straight BCS titles in the palms of their grimy little hands. Think about this for a minute. Texas is Kansas State's only real threat left on its schedule. (Baylor winning this weekend would be a pretty big upset). Meanwhile, Lane Kiffin has the chance to knock both Notre Dame and Oregon out of the BCS title game in back-to-back weeks.
If Texas and Lane Kiffin's USC take care of business against Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame guess what we're left with -- an all-SEC BCS title game.
That's because the winner of the SEC title game will be the highest ranked one-loss team in the country and would be guaranteed to play for the title. (I've even argued that a one-loss Alabama team would deserve to jump over an undefeated Notre Dame team). Meanwhile, if Florida goes into Florida State and takes out the Seminoles, the Gators would be 11-1 with road wins over Florida State and Texas A&M and home wins over LSU and South Carolina. That would be four top 15 BCS wins, more than any team in the country is likely to have. (Presently Oregon, Kansas State and Notre Dame have zero top ten BCS wins combined. The Gators have three). The Gators lone loss? A tight neutral site loss to Georgia.
So if the undefeated three of Kansas State, Oregon and Notre Dame all lose your all-SEC title game is Alabama vs. Florida or Georgia vs. Florida. (Yes, we could have a second straight SEC rematch this year).
If the Gators lose to Florida State, the next highest ranked one-loss team would probably be Oregon, which means that we'd end up with the SEC title game winner against the Ducks.
Yep, it's come to this, Lane Kiffin, the most hated coach in the country by SEC fans, and Texas, the school so arrogant it flipped Mizzou and A&M to the SEC, have control of the SEC's fate.
Oh. My. Goodness.
(Verne Lundquist chortle).
If Lane Kiffin goes 0-2 against Notre Dame and Oregon and Texas loses on the road at Kansas State, the SEC's six-year title reign ends.
It's as simple as that.
The only thing that can keep the SEC alive for a seventh title -- Lane Kiffin and Texas.
Kiffin was only in Knoxville for a year, but his stormy tenure as SEC villain in chief was so well-defined that his name is still cursed three years later. How bad was that year for Kiffin? SEC commissioner Mike Slive, who likes every single person on earth, still won't even mention Kiffin by name. Meanwhile Texas, the school that was too scared to join the SEC, now finds itself as the last, best hope to knock off Kansas State and Bill Snyder, the soon-to-be national coach of the year.
Yes, Texas, the school that held the Big 12 hostage and led to the loss of Nebraska, Colorado, Missouri, and Texas A&M, could now end the Big 12's chance for a national title.
It's perfectly fitting.
And the irony is downright delicious.
The most-hated coach in the South and the program that was scared to join the best in the South brought together for one last dance, win and the SEC's title hopes remain alive, lose and the title reign ends.
In the next-to-last year of the BCS, can you imagine the outrage if Lane Kiffin and Texas pulled off upset wins to ensure a second straight all-SEC title game? It's too good to be true.
How wild have things gotten this year in college football?
Mike Slive is rooting for Lane Kiffin.