Crowded SEC race could mean BCS nightmare

579324.jpg

Crowded SEC race could mean BCS nightmare

From Comcast SportsNet
By Ralph D. Russo, The Associated Press
Chaos! You want BCS chaos?

If No. 3 Arkansas beats No. 1 LSU on Friday in Baton Rouge, La., now you really have some chaos.

Remember the 2008 season? Texas beat Oklahoma, Texas Tech beat Texas and Oklahoma beat Texas Tech, producing a three-way tie among highly ranked teams atop the Big 12 South standings. This would be similar, though the Southeastern Conference has a different tiebreaker system.

It can be a little confusing on paper, but heres all you need to know: If Arkansas beats LSU and Alabama takes care of Auburn on Saturday, and the Tigers, Crimson Tide and Razorbacks finish in a three-way tie for first in the SEC West, the team with the lowest rating in the BCS standings is eliminated.

Then the tie between the two highest-rated teams is broken by head-to-head result.

Its a better system than the Big 12 had at the time, which simply was to pick the team with the best BCS rating of the three. Had the Big 12 used the SEC system or something similar in 08, Texas would have played for the Big 12 title with a chance to reach the BCS title game. Instead Oklahoma moved on, pounded Missouri for the Big 12 title and lost the BCS title game to Florida 24-14.

Longhorns fans are still bitter.

Even with the SECs tiebreakers, a possible three-way tie is still going to be messy.

If Arkansas hands LSU its first loss in Tiger Stadium, it seems logical that voters in the Harris and coaches polls, which are used to rank teams in the BCS standings along with computers, would jump the Razorbacks past the Tigers.

But it would be hard to justify having Arkansas ahead of Alabama, considering the Tide beat the Razorbacks 38-14 in Tuscaloosa back in late September.

So Alabama is No. 1, Arkansas is No. 2 and LSU, which beat the Tide 9-6 on the road in overtime and has by far the most impressive nonconference wins of the three, would be No. 3?

The fact is there are no good solutions. And the reality is the team that loses the head-to-head tiebreaker and doesnt play No. 13 Georgia in the Southeastern Conference championshipand risk becoming a two-loss team and being eliminated from national title contention is probably better off.

Now that, right there, is chaos.

Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

ravens_john_harbaugh_122113.jpg

Brady, Harbaugh found common ground on plane ride back from Michigan

FOXBORO -- What could have been an awkward plane ride for Tom Brady and John Harbaugh was made less so thanks to a high school lacrosse player. 

Brady and Harbaugh shared a private plane back from Michigan where Jim Harbaugh and his University of Michigan program put on an event for National Signing Day. About a year earlier, Brady told a room full of reporters that Harbaugh and his coaching staff should study the rule book and "figure it out" after hearing that they were pretty upset about the unusual formations the Patriots ran during their AFC Divisional Round win over Baltimore. 

They may not have been on the best of terms.

"I was pissed off," he told ESPN's Ian O'Connor before the start of this season. "It was uncalled for. And the rules are deeper than that, and I know the rules, and I stand by why that play shouldn't have been allowed. ... So yeah, that should never have been said."

But on the flight was Harbaugh's daughter Alison, a high school lacrosse player. When Brady took some time to share a few thoughts on competitiveness with her, he and Harbaugh found common ground.

"We had a lot of fun," Harbaugh said of the flight. "I don't know if he's talked about that at all, but we ended up sharing a plane ride along with my daughter and a couple of his people, friends of his. We just had a chance to just talk for a couple hours. And really more than anything, Alison got a chance to listen to Tom Brady talk about competing and what it takes to be great at what you do.

"And one of the funny things about it was, he was so nice to her. He gets off and they go, and we get back on the plane and we're talking, and she says something like, 'Boy, Tom really is a nice guy.' And I look at here and go, 'Tom?' I'm thinking 'Mr. Brady' would have been more appropriate. She said, 'He said to call me Tom.' I got a kick out of that.

"It was good. Lot of respect for him and a lot of respect for what he's accomplished. He's very tough to compete against. The best quarterback that's played, certainly in this era, without question in my mind. That's how I would rank him. And it's just another tough challenge to have to play against him."

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

Lowry, Sullinger and Blount interrupt interview with DeRozan

DeMar DeRozan didn't get a chance to answer one question in his postgame interview before being interrupted by Kyle Lowry, Jared Sullinger, and LeGarrette Blount.