Bielema: SEC will get a ‘minimum’ of 2 teams in College Football Playoff
At last year’s SEC Media Days in Hoover, Ala., new Arkansas head coach Bret Bielema gave a stirring address to the masses, offering poignant responses about player safety, the speed of the game and how he planned to bring physical football back to Fayetteville.
Well, Bielema was hardly a one-hit wonder at the podium. At the SEC spring meetings on Wednesday, he boldly predicted the SEC "will get a minimum" of two schools in the inaugural College Football Playoff (as reported by ESPN’s Brett McMurphy) — a four-team event that will eventually crown the national champion.
Bielema’s conference hubris seems a tad ambitious for the 2014 season, given the lack of established, name-brand returnees at quarterback. (After Auburn’s Nick Franklin and Ole Miss’s Bo Wallace, the 3-14 rankings of the projected QB starters have numerous permutations.)
Plus, Alabama and LSU — the SEC’s most dominant programs of the last five years — incurred substantial losses to graduation and the recent NFL draft.
Using history as our guide, though, the Crimson Tide and Tigers certainly have the stuff to earn a top-four slot in the new playoff. After all, both ‘Bama and LSU played for the national championship during the 2011 season — the only in-conference title game in BCS history — and the SEC captured seven straight BCS national titles from 2006-12.
On the flip side … it’s somewhat irresponsible for Bielema — or any major-college coach — to make such proclamations about the new college playoff. For reasons like:
To be fair, Bielema didn’t say his Razorbacks (0-8 in SEC play, 3-9 overall last year) would make the quantum leap into the 2014 college playoff, even though Auburn had miraculously ascended from 0-8 flameout in 2012 (conference mark) to BCS title-game participant 2013 (losing to Florida State in the final seconds).