LITTLE ROCK — Penciling in teams from the Southeastern Conference, bowl games in Birmingham and Shreveport best have an eraser.
Under the SEC’s recently announced bowl agreements, the Birmingham Bowl and the Advocare V100 Bowl will be fortunate if there are any bowl-eligible SEC teams to pick from when it comes their turn.
Just for grins, let’s use the 2012 SEC standings and apply the bowl structure that goes into effect in 2014, including the four-team College Football Playoff. For starters, Alabama would have been one of the four teams in the CFP along with Notre Dame. Since Ohio State was ineligible, there is a solid argument that Oregon and Georgia — on the lip of the goal in the SEC championship game vs. Alabama when time ran out — would also be included.
Under a contract that kicks in Jan. 1, 2015, the SEC will send a team to the Orange Bowl at least three times during a 12-year period. That could occur after the 2014 season since the first national semifinals will be in the Sugar Bowl and Rose Bowl with the championship game in Arlington, Texas. Put Florida in the Orange.
At that point, the Capital One Bowl would have first choice of the other SEC teams. Considering that Texas A&M had Heisman Trophy winner Johnny Manziel, the game in Orlando would go for the Aggies.
Remaining in the pool of bowl-eligible teams would be South Carolina, Vanderbilt, LSU, Mississippi State, and Ole Miss. Still to select would be games in Tampa, Fla., Nashville, Tenn., Jacksonville, Fla., Memphis, Tenn., and two sites new to the SEC — Houston, Texas and Charlotte, N.C. That’s six games divvying up five eligible teams before Birmingham and Shreveport ever get involved.
Admittedly, the SEC won’t always get two teams in the CFP. For instance, if the playoff was in effect this year, an unbeaten Louisville, plus two other impressive champions from power conferences, would limit the SEC to one representative. On the other hand, the Sugar Bowl will have an SEC team every year that the game in New Orleans is not involved in the playoff.
In 2012, Arkansas was one five SEC teams which failed to win the six games necessary to be bowl eligible. The number of non-qualifiers will be about the same this season and six Ws will be even more difficult to come by when league teams upgrade their schedules to meet the demands of TV and the mandate of SEC commissioner Mike Slive.
On a lighter note, a former co-worker with the sort of sense of humor conducive to being a political cartoonist forwarded some football funnies in an e-mail. To be politically correct, I deleted the names of specific schools in all but one instance where the color of the uniforms was essential. Even then, there are two options.
Why do (Texas or Tennessee) fans wear orange?
So they can dress for the game on Saturday, go hunting on Sunday, and pick up trash on Monday.
What does the average XXXX player get on his SATs?
What do you say to a XXXXX football player dressed in a three-piece suit?
“Will the defendant please rise.”
If three XXXXX football players are in the same car, who is driving?
The police officer.
How can you tell if a XXXXX football player has a girlfriend?
There’s tobacco juice on both sides of the pickup truck.
How did the XXXXX football player die from drinking milk?
The cow fell on him
How do you get a former XXXXX football player off your porch?
Pay him for the pizza.
How many XXXXX freshmen football players does it take to change a light bulb?
None. That’s a sophomore course.
How is the XXXXX football team like an opossum?
They play dead at home and get killed on the road.
Harry King is sports columnist for Stephens Media’s Arkansas News Bureau.