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As the SEC angles for yet another title rematch, we restore SANITY


Who wouldn't want to see West Virginia's high-flying offense in the BCS title game? (US Presswire)  
Who wouldn't want to see West Virginia's high-flying offense in the BCS title game? (US Presswire)  

To: An open letter to the coaches' and Harris poll voters

From: Society For Normal Intercollegiate Football This Year (SANITY)

Dear Voter:

It has come to our attention that ya'll are thinking the same thing again. An SEC rematch in the BCS championship game.

It's 13 days and counting until the first BCS standings are released. You Harrisites will debut Sunday. Voting patterns will be scrutinized. They already have been in the coaches' poll. To your credit, New Orleans couldn't have been crazier for LSU-Alabama II in January. Unfortunately for local hype, there happen to be televisions outside of the Big Easy too. They were largely switched off for what was supposed to be the biggest game of the year.

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It was in that moment the commissioners may have decided to go to a playoff. They say live sports are immune to a DVR. To a lot of us that was a repeat, more stale than the one where Dr. Phil cures 30 years of obsessive-compulsive behavior in 30 minutes.

That's why we at SANITY have taken this early opportunity to reach out here on the first day of October to start a national movement. There is still time -- two months, in fact -– before the final BCS standings. Your votes are going to be a huge part of it -- two thirds of the BCS formula. The BCS computers will do whatever they're going to do. That's why a rational appeal to common human sense can't come early enough.

After five weeks it's clear the season is boiling down to the SEC axis of Alabama/LSU/Georgia/South Carolina/Florida vs. everybody else. And by everybody else, we at the Society more or less mean Oregon, West Virginia, Notre Dame, Florida State, Kansas State and Texas.

No surprise, there are five SEC teams in the AP top 10. (Florida is No. 11 in the coaches' poll.) You can see what's coming. It's like a Jimmy Kimmel joke -- old, tired and played. SANITY's panel of analysts haven't calculated it exactly yet but with that many SEC teams at the top, there are what seems like about 47 possibilities for an all-SEC game of some sort in January in South Florida.

LSU vs. Alabama again. Maybe Georgia-South Carolina. Again. The season was so wired last year that it didn't matter who won LSU-Alabama. The season began with five SEC teams in the top 10. For the conference not to play for a seventh consecutive title, all five would have to lose twice. The odds against that happening right now are higher than Georgia's defense ... in the national stats. Wait, what did you think I meant?

All it would take is what it took last season -- a team that didn't so much as win its division playing in the conference championship game. That was why former SEC commissioner Roy Kramer -- the BCS godfather, for goodness sakes -- advocated that conference champs only be eligible for the playoff beginning in 2014.

And let's not forget that Bama made it last year by the hair on Nico Johnson's chinny, chin chin. If the Big 12 had not endured spasmodic realignment episodes and was still playing a conference title game, Oklahoma State could have leapt -- easily, actually -- over the Tide.

Instead, the coaches and Harris pollsters group-thought their way into a rematch that put us in a REM state.

Please, no more. SANITY is pleading for, well, sanity. Give someone else a chance.

Oregon is duckier.

West Virginia is Mountaineerier.

Texas is oranger.

FSU is newer.

Kansas State is a flat-out mystery. Don't ask us to explain.

See, that adds to the intrigue. And if Notre Dame keeps winning, SEC Fan, SANITY already has the license for "Catholics vs. Cornbread" T-shirts. Hopefully, at least one of those teams finishes undefeated to remove a lot of doubt. That is, unless you voters elevate a one-loss SEC team over an undefeated conference champion – or Notre Dame. Just to catch you up, that possibility is already a topic on every radio show from Gainesville to Starkville at the moment.

Oregon jumped LSU at No. 2 a couple of weeks ago. That was a good start. That's also why the national movement starts here and now. SANITY is appealing to its membership -- at its core, the other 10 FBS conferences -- to lobby voters to keep an open mind. If you know a voter, remind him that the TV is an equal opportunity appliance. There are cable networks -- Pac-12, Longhorn and Big Ten -- that will enlighten you. (OK, scratch the Longhorn for accessibility reasons and Big Ten for football aesthetic issues but you get the point.)

The state of Oregon rules the West Coast. The Ducks you know about, but Oregon State's Mike Riley has beaten three teams ranked in the top 20 to start the season. The best player in the country -- West Virginia's Geno Smith -- was recruited by the late Bill Stewart and has played in both the Big East and Big 12.

You don't have to stop winning, SEC. We love the tailgates, the drama, the pageantry, the flasks. You just can't keep bogarting the big game. Last year was one of those unintended consequences that changed the world. Think about it. If LSU had played Oklahoma State would the commissioners have installed a playoff? Doubtful. For better or worse, the rematch was the tipping point.

It's OK to score 70 these days and feel good about it. Baylor-West Virginia was not a crime against God and man. Johnny SEC probably choked on his bourbon a little bit when he saw that one. Then he had to admit, it's the way of the world. Anyone catch Tennessee-Georgia?

Turns out, it is possible to reinvent the wheel route.

Championship games that SANITY would take right now:

LSU-Oregon: OK, it's also a rematch from 2011 but this time De'Anthony Thomas is a year older and Les Miles has a quarterback. Could Honey Badger transfer at halftime to the Ducks?

Alabama-FSU: The Process North vs. The Process South.

Texas-Oregon: Chip and Mack lead two corporate giants.

Notre Dame-anyone: It would be much fun watching Lou Holtz' head actually separate from his body on national television.

By the time LSU and Alabama meet on Nov. 3, they will have played three times in a year. Good teams, great programs, outstanding coaches, but I don't want to be around my relatives that much. Christmas, maybe Fourth of July, but that's it.

I know more about Alabama's interview policy than I do my own children. The LSU football secretary and I have begun emailing back and forth fun cookie recipes. We both agree, by the way: Martha Stewart is a punk.

What we have developing now is not a national championship race, it's a backyard weenie roast. That's Saban over by the barbeque pit wearing the "Kiss the Cook" apron.

I like my dog the same way I don't like my title chase -- overdone. Please, give someone else a chance. For all of these reasons, we respectfully ask for your consideration on this matter.

Yours in SANITY,

Dennis Dodd

Anyone in need of a credential from all the BCS title games? Dennis Dodd has them. In three decades in the business, he's covered everything from the Olympics to Stanley Cup to conference realignment. Just get him on campus in a press box in the fall. His heart lies with college football.

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