The Norman Transcript

National Sports

December 1, 2013

National title hopefuls in SEC hoping for Ohio State collapse

NORMAN — Florida State is the new No. 1 in The Associated Press college football poll. It’s the first time since 2000 the Seminoles have held the top spot.

But that’s not what everybody is talking about Sunday.

Ohio State moved up to No. 2 and Auburn to No. 3 after the Tigers’ latest mind-boggling magic trick resulted in Alabama’s first loss of the season.

The Crimson Tide dropped from No. 1 to No. 4, and the Tigers advanced to the Southeastern Conference championship game to face No. 5 Missouri.

The SEC championship has been something of a de facto play-in game to the BCS championship game over the past two seasons. This season, there is no guarantee the SEC champion will play for the national title, not with Florida State and Ohio State both unbeaten.

The Seminoles play Duke in the ACC title game on Saturday. The Buckeyes get No. 10 Michigan State.

Win and they’re off to Pasadena, Calif., for the BCS championship game on Jan. 6. The SEC’s streak of seven straight titles broken. Right?

Well, the SEC will not go quietly.

Auburn athletic director Jay Jacobs started lobbying for the SEC’s one-loss champion moments after the Tigers’ 34-28 Iron Bowl victory. He told reporters it would be “a disservice to college football” if a one-loss SEC champion did not play for the national title.

“That has to happen,” Jacobs was quoted as saying by Al.com.

This late in the season, no unbeaten team from a BCS automatic-qualifying conference has ever been ranked behind a one-loss team in the BCS standings, which were to be released later Sunday and do not include the AP poll.

The strange thing is this has become an SEC or Ohio State debate, based strictly on strength of schedule. If the argument is solely based on quality of opposition, then Florida State should not get a pass.

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