Oklahoma Sooners

Saves The Dates

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

2024 is upon us. The college football playoff landscape expands to a 12-team beauty contest moving forward.

The SEC officially released next year’s schedules recently. Not enough space to go through them all, but I will go through the historical SEC programs and Oklahoma and Texas.

Aug. 31: vs. Western Kentucky
Sept. 7: vs. USF
Sept. 14: at Wisconsin
Sept. 21: BYE
Sept. 28: vs. Georgia
Oct. 5: at Vanderbilt
Oct. 12: vs. South Carolina
Oct. 19: at Tennessee
Oct. 26: vs. Missouri
Nov. 2: BYE
Nov. 9: at LSU
Nov. 16: vs. Mercer
Nov. 23: at Oklahoma
Nov. 30: vs. Auburn

First Glance: Bye weeks before Georgia and LSU. @Tennessee, @LSU, and @ Oklahoma the week before the Iron Bowl. The Tide will be road warriors in 2024.

Aug. 31: vs. Alabama A&M
Sept. 7: vs. California
Sept. 14: vs. New Mexico
Sept. 21: vs. Arkansas
Sept. 28: vs. Oklahoma
Oct. 5: at Georgia
Oct. 12: BYE
Oct. 19: at Missouri
Oct. 26: at Kentucky
Nov. 2: vs. Vanderbilt
Nov. 9: BYE
Nov. 16: vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Nov. 23: vs. Texas A&M

Nov. 30: at Alabama

First glance: No road game until October. @ UGA and @ Alabama. Nice slate for Hugh Freeze to get Auburn back on track.

Aug. 31: vs. Miami (FL)
Sept. 7: vs. Samford
Sept. 14: vs. Texas A&M
Sept. 21: at Mississippi St.
Sept. 28: BYE
Oct. 5: vs. UCF
Oct. 12: at Tennessee
Oct. 19: vs. Kentucky
Oct. 26: BYE
Nov. 2: vs. Georgia (in Jacksonville, FL)
Nov. 9: at Texas
Nov. 16: vs. LSU
Nov. 23: vs. Ole Miss
Nov. 30: at Florida State

First glance: The last five games are brutal. Will Billy Napier still be employed by November? Only one cupcake on the slate.

Aug. 31: vs. Clemson (in Atlanta, GA)
Sept. 7: vs. Tennessee Tech
Sept. 14: at Kentucky
Sept. 21: BYE
Sept. 28: at Alabama
Oct. 5: vs Auburn
Oct. 12: vs Mississippi State
Oct. 19: at Texas
Oct. 26: BYE
Nov. 2: vs Florida (Jacksonville, Fl.)
Nov. 9: at Ole Miss
Nov. 16: vs Tennessee
Nov. 23: vs UMass
Nov. 30: vs Georgia Tech

First glance: Clemson in Atlanta, @ Texas and @Alabama, and a trap game @Ole Miss sandwiched between Florida and Tennessee.

Sept. 1: vs. Southern Cal (Las Vegas, NV)
Sept. 7: vs. Nicholls
Sept. 14: at South Carolina
Sept. 21: vs. UCLA
Sept. 28: vs. South Alabama
Oct. 5: BYE
Oct. 12: vs. Ole Miss
Oct. 19: at Arkansas
Oct. 26: at Texas A&M
Nov. 2: BYE
Nov. 9: vs. Alabama
Nov. 16 — at Florida
Nov. 23: vs. Vanderbilt
Nov. 30: vs. Oklahoma

First glance: USC and UCLA from the Big 10, and the best SEC slate of all the SEC contenders from a management standpoint.

Aug. 31: vs. Temple
Sep. 7: vs. Houston
Sep. 14: vs. Tulane
Sep. 21: vs. Tennessee
Sep. 28: at Auburn
Oct. 5: BYE
Oct. 12: vs. Texas (at Cotton Bowl in Dallas, TX)
Oct. 19: vs. South Carolina
Oct. 26: at Ole Miss
Nov. 2: vs. Maine
Nov. 9: at Missouri
Nov. 16: BYE
Nov. 23: vs. Alabama
Nov. 30: at LSU

First Glance: @ Auburn welcome to Jordan Hare Sooners where dreams go to die. Alabama and @ LSU to close the regular season. Are you sure you wanted this Oklahoma?

Aug. 31: vs. Chattanooga
Sept. 7: vs. NC State (in Charlotte, NC)
Sept. 14: vs. Kent State
Sept. 21: at Oklahoma
Sept. 28: BYE
Oct. 5: at Arkansas
Oct. 12: vs. Florida
Oct. 19: vs. Alabama
Oct. 26: BYE
Nov. 2: vs. Kentucky
Nov. 9: vs. Mississippi State
Nov. 16: at Georgia
Nov. 23: vs. UTEP
Nov. 30: at Vanderbilt

First glance: @ Oklahoma and @ Georgia who the Vols have lost seven straight to. Alabama lost the last time they came to Neyland.

Aug. 31: vs. Colorado State
Sept. 7: at Michigan
Sept. 14: vs. UTSA
Sept. 21: vs. Louisiana-Monroe
Sept. 28: vs. Mississippi State
Oct. 5: BYE
Oct. 12: vs. Oklahoma (Cotton Bowl – Dallas, TX)
Oct. 19: vs. Georgia
Oct. 26: at Vanderbilt
Nov. 2: BYE
Nov. 9: vs. Florida
Nov. 16: at Arkansas
Nov. 23: vs. Kentucky
Nov. 30: at Texas A&M

First glance: @Michigan, Oklahoma, and Georgia back-to-back, and a Thanksgiving trip to Aggieland. SEC was kind to Texas with the road slate to State, Vandy, and Arkansas who all are terrible now.

Whoever wins the SEC in 2024 will be tested for a deep playoff run.




By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

One of the underrated sporting events in the country starts today and ends on June 27th.

It is the College World Series. The field looks balanced this year with no clear favorite after Tennessee, the self-proclaimed greatest team of all-time, choked at home in the Super Regionals losing to Notre Dame in grand fashion.

The field includes four SEC teams and two others, Oklahoma and Texas, who will be joining the SEC by 2025.

The SEC is dominant in most sports these days. The College World Series is played annually in Omaha, Nebraska. There should be plenty of SEC chants going on over the next 10 days. The CWS is a double-elimination tournament.



All Times Eastern


Friday, June 17

Oklahoma vs #5 Texas A&M 2 pm ESPN: A match-up of two SEC teams. One current and one in future in Oklahoma.

This was a huge rivalry when A&M was in the Big 12 so these programs are familiar with each other.

In his first year at Texas A&M head coach Jim Schlossnagle has reached the College World Series. He took TCU to Omaha five times in his 18 years at TCU. The Aggies are hot currently, so give me Texas A&M in this contest.

Notre Dame vs #9 Texas 7 pm ESPN: This should be a great contest. Texas lost game one in the Supers at East Carolina. Then come back and walked off with a win in game two and blew ECU out in game three to earn a trip to Omaha.

The Longhorns hit the long-ball frequently and will be a tough out in the CWS. Notre Dame, like I mentioned earlier, is riding high after beating Tennessee in Knoxville to earn a berth.

This is a tough gritty team that is dangerous in an environment like Omaha.

Give me Texas in this contest because the Longhorns have made the CWS field 38 times since the inception of the CWS.

The 2022 tournament marks the 75th playing of the CWS. Texas has been there more than half of the time. No other program has more than 25 appearances. Give me Texas in this match-up.


Saturday, June 18

Arkansas vs #2 Stanford 2 pm ESPN: Stanford always has good pitching, and this year is no exception. Arkansas was the Top overall seed in 2021 and did not make the CWS but went to Chapel Hill and beat a tough North Carolina team in three games to earn a spot in 2022.

Arkansas is peaking at the right time. Watch out for the Hogs. Give me Arkansas in this game.

Ole Miss vs #14 Auburn 7 pm ESPN2: Ole Miss may be the hottest team in college baseball right now. They were Preseason #1 that slumped badly in the middle of the season, only to get hot at tourney time.

The Rebels were the one of the last teams (probably last) selected to the field of 64 and have gone on a run and won a Super in Hattiesburg by sweeping Southern Miss and not giving up a run.

Auburn got sent to Corvallis, Oregon for a Super Regional and beat Oregon State.

Auburn has been a major surprise in 2022. The Tigers have a good power packed line-up. The SEC goes head-to-head in this one. Give me Ole Miss in this contest.

Teams with deep pitching staffs will rise to the top during the tourney. When it is all said and done, here is how I see it playing out:


Bracket One:

Notre Dame



Texas A&M


Winner: Texas


Bracket Two:



Ole Miss



Winner: Arkansas


College WS Final:

Arkansas vs Texas

Winner: Arkansas


Arkansas is your 2022 National Baseball Champions.

The New Look SEC

By: Robert Craft

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

For the next several days, the SEC will take over Destin, Fla., as the league’s leaders and coaches meet to discuss name, image and likeness, future scheduling, playoff expansion, transfer portal windows and more.

There’s undoubtedly going to be grumblings about collectives and college football free agency, but after commissioner Greg Sankey told Nick Saban and Jimbo Fisher to zip-it recently, the spiciest of soundbites may have already happened.

Still, even if we don’t get Fisher vs. Saban Round 2, these SEC spring meetings could carry as much importance as they have in many years.

With Oklahoma and Texas set to join the league in 2025, the future of the conference could be hammered out at the Hilton Sandestin this week.

Here’s primer on the various topics expected to dominate the conversations:

Which scheduling model will the SEC choose? Heading into the SEC spring meetings, the conference is split on a couple different potential scheduling options starting in 2025 when new members Oklahoma and Texas join the league.

Pods (think NFL-like divisions) have been eliminated from the proposals.

The league is now considering two main formats: An eight-game (1-7) schedule where schools would have just a single permanent opponent (think Alabama–Auburn) and seven rotating opponents. This would allow every team and fan base to see the entire league every other year.

On the flip-side, it would eliminate a bunch of annual, storied rivalries.

There’s also a nine-game format proposal, where every school would have three permanent opponents, thus preserving more rivalries, and six rotating league games.

For now, divisions seem unlikely but haven’t totally been ruled out.

Expect plenty of horse-trading with whatever format the league chooses. The powerbrokers (i.e., Alabama, Georgia, LSU, Florida, etc.) are in favor of the nine-game format, understanding that it would generate the league even more revenue (i.e., more TV inventory, more butts in the seats) and produce better games. Again, it bears repeating, but it would also save important rivalries like Auburn-Georgia or Tennessee–Kentucky.

Notably, Sankey prefers a nine-game conference slate.

The bottom half of the league currently favors the eight-game format, wanting that extra non-conference game as a potential boost for their overall win-total.

Determining team’s permanent opponents will lead to some contentious debates. What’s equitable? And to whom? Is it fair if Auburn has to play Alabama, Georgia and Florida every year plus a rotating set of opponents? No. And other schools will make similar cases.

How serious is the league about an All-SEC playoff? Four Means More to the SEC than any other conference, so don’t expect Sankey or the league’s ADs to cave on any future eight-team playoff.

They were willing to sacrifice for 12, but when talks collapsed, the league began tinkering with ideas about its own postseason tournament.

The early details include an eight-team playoff tournament, likely starting around the same date (early December) as the current SEC Championship.

The question at hand is this merely a leverage play by Sankey and the ADs to essentially threaten the rest of the sport that if they don’t meet back in the middle on College Football Playoffs expansion then the league will be ready to do its own thing, or are they serious about exploring potential additional expansion (think poaching ACC schools like FSU and Va. Tech, among others), building a super conference and holding their own tournament?

The league would obviously benefit greatly financially from an intra-SEC postseason, and could still plot a path to playing someone from The Alliance (Big Ten, ACC, Pac-12 or Big 12) for “national championship.”

Down To Two

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

The first round of the College Football Playoff was played this past weekend. Let’s take a look and recap what happened.

No. 1 LSU and No. 4 Oklahoma played the first game, The Chick-fil-A Peach Bowl in Atlanta, Ga.

The Tigers (14-0) demolished OU (12-2), 63 – 28. Heisman Trophy winner Joe Burrow was spectacular, passing for 493 yards and seven touchdowns. He also ran for a TD.

“We go into every game thinking nobody can stop us,” Burrow said.

LSU scored 49 points in the first half. Justin Jefferson scored all four of his touchdowns in the first half and finished with 14 catches for 227 yards.

Tight end Thaddeus Moss, son of Hall of Famer Randy Moss, had 99 receiving yards and a touchdown.

LSU offensive coordinator Steve Ensminger learned shortly before kickoff that his daughter-in-law, broadcaster Carley McCord, was among five people killed in a plane crash in Louisiana. The small plane went down shortly after takeoff for what was supposed to be a flight to Atlanta for the game.

Head coach Ed Orgeron delivered the news to Ensminger, who was seen with tears running down his cheeks but stuck to the task at hand.

“What a tremendous, tremendous LSU Tiger,” Orgeron said after the game. “He called a great game tonight.” Coach O gave him the game ball.

No. 2 Ohio State and No. 3 Clemson was a battle of two unbeaten teams. The Playstation Fiesta Bowl was played in Glendale, Arizona. Clemson won a close game, 29 – 23.

I’m not sure how the defending champion Tigers are being overlooked but they feel disrespected by it.

The Buckeyes (13-1) jumped out to a 16-0 lead in the first half. They responded to a Clemson rally to retake the lead 23-21 in the fourth quarter.

The Tigers (14-0) needed four plays and 1:18, with Lawrence completing all three of his passes and mixing in an 11-yard run. The sophomore quarterback, who has never lost a college start, passed for 259 yards and two scores. He also ran for a career-high 107 yards, including a 67-yard touchdown late in the first half.

OSU drove the ball to the Clemson 23-yard line, but Justin Fields was intercepted by Nolan Turner with 37 seconds left.

“Everybody kept saying we didn’t play nobody, that we blow out teams. Tonight showed what we can do,” Clemson receiver Tee Higgins said. “We showed everybody we got fight in us.”

The Buckeyes played well on offense. Fields threw for 320 yards, 1 touchdown and 2 interceptions. J.K. Dobbins ran for 174 yards and a touchdown.

“I told Ryan, that Ohio State team, what an unbelievable game, their quarterback, their back, those guys played their hearts out,” Swinney said. “But in the end, our guys showed what they’re made of. They’ve got the heart of a champion; they’ve got the eye of a tiger.”

The semifinals played out the way I expected. The best two teams won and they will play the national championship game in New Orleans January 13.

This is basically a home game for LSU but don’t count Clemson out.

Play It Off

By: Kenneth Harrison

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

We are in the sixth year of the College Football Playoff.

The top four teams have been picked and I think this is the first year where the committee had an easy decision selecting all of the teams. We are going to preview the playoff games.

Both games will be played December 28. No. 1 LSU (13–0) versus No 4. Oklahoma (12–1) in the Peach Bowl.

The Tigers return to Atlanta after trouncing No. 4 Georgia in the SEC Championship. LSU is led by the clear Heisman Trophy front-runner Joe Burrow.

Burrow is the best quarterback I’ve seen at LSU in the past 25 years. This program is notorious for having poor QB play, so they are really enjoying this because I do not think they will be in this position again anytime soon.

Burrow has thrown for over 4,700 yards, 48 touchdowns, 6 interceptions with a 93.7 QBR (2nd).

Running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire has rushed for nearly 1,300 yards and 16 touchdowns. He also has 50 receptions for 400 yards so he makes plays all over the field.

Receivers Justin Jefferson and Ja’Marr Chase both have over 1,200 receiving yards with double digit TD’s.

The Tigers are ranked 32nd nationally in total defense.

This is Oklahoma’s third straight playoff appearance and they are looking for their first win.

Quarterback Jalen Hurts transferred from Alabama, so he’s played against LSU the last three seasons. He won’t be intimidated and their defense is not as good as they previously were.

Hurts is the epitome of a dual threat, passing for over 3,600 yards, 32 touchdowns, 7 picks and a QBR of 90.6 (4th). Hurts also ran for more than 1,200 yards, 18 TD’s and he averages 5.7 yards per carry.

CeeDee Lamb is his top target and big play threat. OU is 24th in total defense.

This game should be high scoring and both offenses should play well. Hurts has a bad habit of turning the ball over and I don’t see this game being any different. That will help LSU win by double digits.

No. 2 Ohio State (13–0) plays No. 3 Clemson (13–0) in the Fiesta Bowl in Glendale, Az.

Both teams are led by highly recruited quarterbacks from Georgia. They were also finalists in the 2017 Elite 11 with Justin Fields finishing first and Trevor Lawrence finishing second.

Fields has thrown for almost 3,000 yards, 40 TD’s, 1 interception and his QBR is 92.4 (3rd). I must admit I’ve been labeled an ‘OSU hater’ by a friend of mine because I give an honest opinion of Fields and last year Dwayne Haskins.

I watch the Buckeyes regularly and notice that quarterbacks typically throw short passes like slants, screens and crossing routes. The receivers get massive yards after catch, which makes the QB’s stats look good.

Running back J.K. Dobbins has rushed for over 1,800 yards, 20 TD’s and he averages 6.5 ypc. The defense ranks second in total D.

Clemson is the defending national champion and they have been disrespected all year. Lawrence played poorly for the first month of the season with several multiple interception games. He finished the year with 8 picks but he improved.

Receiver Tee Higgins and running back Travis Etienne are going to be first round picks in this year’s draft. The Tigers defense is the best in the nation in total defense.

This should be a close game but Clemson will win. The Tigers of LSU and Clemson will meet in the national championship.

Jason Bishop Show With Kipp Branch December 8

Jason Bishop Show With Kipp Branch December 8


NY6 Predictions

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Break out the pork chops, black-eyed peas, fried okra, and cornbread which is the traditional New Year’s Day meal in the Branch Family.

The meal will be ready to eat at 12PM on Monday, which is also the best football day of every year.

You also have the College Football Playoff that starts at 5PM that day in Pasadena, California with Georgia and Oklahoma and ending with Alabama and Clemson immediately after in New Orleans.

Under the playoff format you have the two playoff games that rotate between the Sugar, Rose, Cotton, Fiesta, Orange, and Peach Bowls annually; these are now called the New Years 6 Bowls.

Here are my predictions for the NY6 Bowls.

Cotton Bowl: #5 Ohio State vs. #8 USC

In this matchup you have two conference champions in OSU and USC that got snubbed by the playoff committee in favor of a one loss non-conference champion in Alabama.

Both teams will come to Dallas with a chip on it’s shoulder. I personally thought OSU would get in the playoff over Alabama if the committee was going to put a two loss Auburn team in the playoff. Which would have happened if the Tigers would have beat UGA in the SEC title game.

I think OSU has something to prove in this game and the Buckeyes handle USC pretty easy, 34-20 and Urban Meyer proposes a new playoff system in his postgame presser.

Fiesta Bowl: #9 Penn State vs. #11 Washington

Penn State might be the best team in the Big 10 after blowing the 15 point 4th quarter lead in Columbus against OSU and then sleepwalking into a loss to Michigan State the following week.

I think Penn State will be too physical for the Huskies and they will handle Washington 38-27. James Franklin is about to kick it into high gear in State College, PA.

Orange Bowl: #6 Wisconsin vs. #10 Miami

Former Glynn Academy standout Dee Jay Dallas is named Orange Bowl MVP after he scores 2 TD’s and has 140 yards rushing against the Badgers who will not beat Miami in Miami at the Orange Bowl. Too many athletes and Mark Richt owns Big 10 teams during his coaching career.

Peach Bowl: #7 Auburn vs. #12 UCF

Which Auburn team shows up? The one who beat UGA and Alabama in November or the one who blew a 20 point lead at LSU in October? Is Kerryon healthy? Does Auburn even want to be in Atlanta for the Peach Bowl?

I can guarantee you that UCF is thrilled to be there. If Auburn is motivated to play this game they win.

I think Auburn’s defense will be ready to play and the Tigers find a way to win 27-21. If Auburn comes out flat then look out for the upset, which I would be thrilled to see.


Rose Bowl: #2 Oklahoma vs. #3 Georgia

Oklahoma has the Heisman winner in Baker Mayfield at QB. UGA has the best defensive player in the country in Roquan Smith. What gives here?

For UGA to win they must control the clock and line of scrimmage with the running game and that will keep Mayfield on the sidelines.

The Sooners will score points but I think UGA gets enough stops and wins 38-34 and Nick Chubb is named Rose Bowl MVP with 175 yards and 3 TD’s, and will eventually have his #27 retired in Athens.

Sugar Bowl: #1 Clemson vs. #4 Alabama

Nick Saban lobbied to get the Tide in this year’s playoff and it is going to pay off.

Clemson’s DL is better than a couple of NFL teams and points in this game will be at a premium; so this one will come down to another heart stopping drive in the final minute with Jalen Hurts leading his team to victory 20-17 and being named Sugar Bowl MVP.

Georgia vs. Alabama in Atlanta for the NC on January 8th. Oh, my goodness what will the ticket prices be?

Rose Bowl Preview

By: Kipp Branch

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Georgia and Oklahoma have been matched in the Rose Bowl, one of the two national semifinals in the College Football Playoff. The winner goes to the National Championship Game.

It matches two relatively new coaches: Kirby Smart is in his second year at Georgia and Lincoln Riley is in his first year coaching Oklahoma.

It also matches two teams that got marquee nonconference road wins the second week of the season: Georgia at Notre Dame (20-19) and Oklahoma at Ohio State (31-16).

But on paper it’s pure offense vs. defense: Oklahoma has the nation’s most prolific offense with Baker Mayfield, who is the Heisman Trophy winner while Georgia has a great defense led by linebacker Roquan Smith.

One of the best big play offenses vs one of the best defenses at preventing big plays

Stats vs Power 5 Opponents (out of 65 Power 5/Notre Dame teams)

Oklahoma Offense vs P5 Teams

Plays of 10+ Yards Per Game : #3 (19.6)

Plays of 20+ Yards Per Game : #1 (8.2)

Plays of 30+ Yards Per Game : #1 (4.4)

Plays of 40+ Yards Per Game : #2 (2.6)

Plays of 50+ Yards Per Game : #2 (1.6)

Georgia Defense vs P5 Teams

Plays of 10+ Yards Per Game : #2 (8.4)

Plays of 20+ Yards Per Game : #3 (3.0)

Plays of 30+ Yards Per Game : #5 (1.3)

Plays of 40+ Yards Per Game : #11 (0.6)

Plays of 50+ Yards Per Game : #12 (0.3)

Oklahoma Defense vs P5 Teams

Plays of 10+ Yards Per Game : #31 (13.8)

Plays of 20+ Yards Per Game : #35 (4.8)

Plays of 30+ Yards Per Game : #57 (3.1)

Plays of 40+ Yards Per Game : #57 (1.6)

Plays of 50+ Yards Per Game : #58 (1.0)

Georgia Offense vs P5 Teams

Plays of 10+ Yards Per Game : #21 (14.6)

Plays of 20+ Yards Per Game : #10 (6.0)

Plays of 30+ Yards Per Game : #14 (2.8)

Plays of 40+ Yards Per Game : #25 (1.2)

Plays of 50+ Yards Per Game : #14 (0.9)

So, basically, OU is good at scoring and UGA is good at stopping teams from scoring.

UGA is good at scoring and OU is not good at stopping teams from scoring.

What does all of this mean? Absolutely nothing. Both teams earned their way to the playoff. I think both teams are equally talented and it will probably come down to who has the ball last.

Hard to believe Georgia and Oklahoma have never met in football isn’t it?

On defense, linebacker Roquan Smith leads the Bulldogs with 113 tackles and 5.5 sacks, two fumble recoveries and one forced fumble.

Lincoln Riley was just 33 years old when he took over for Bob Stoops in June. He’s now 34 and has taken the Sooners to the College Football playoff in his first season. Outside a loss at home to an improved Iowa State team on Oct. 7, the Sooners have outscored teams 553-287.

On defense, OLB Ogbonnia Okoronkwo leads the Sooners with 8.0 sacks and 17 tackles for loss, adding three forced fumbles.

Prediction: Mayfield is a stud and looks unstoppable at times. Georgia’s best defense may be controlling the ball and the clock on offense.

The Bulldogs have the personnel to do so, as Nick Chubb, Sony Michel and D’Andre Swift have combined for well over 2,500 rushing yards this season.

The biggest issue for Georgia is avoiding falling behind because it will be difficult to be successful in a shootout pitting freshman quarterback Jake Fromm against Mayfield.

This Georgia team looks like a team of destiny and they seem to rise to the occasion whenever they need to. UGA gives up some points and yards, but in the end, they find a way to win.

UGA 38. OU 34.

Dawgs play in the NC game on January 8th.

The Perfect Playoff System

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

Let me start by saying that I have absolutely no issue with Alabama receiving the fourth and final spot in the College Football Playoffs.

It’s not so much because I think the Tide deserve to be in the playoffs, but rather because of this lesson I learned at the age of 14; if you don’t want to be left out of something then don’t give them a reason to leave you out.

In this instance, both Alabama and Ohio State gave the committee reasons not to be chosen as that fourth team. Because of that I would’ve been fine with either of those teams making in.

The issue I have isn’t with who made the playoffs, it’s with the system itself. And no, I’m not listening to the Danny Kanell “Everybody is sucking at the SEC teet” greatest hits that he brings out this time of year.

Most everyone was pleased to get rid of the BCS because it didn’t allow for any subjectivity, so now we have a process that is almost completely subjective.

The guidelines with which the committee follows are reminiscent of a Jackson Pollack painting, they just throw whatever criteria they decide to use that particular season and voilà, by the end of the year they have four teams and a playoff.

One of the things I hate the most is that only the Power 5 conferences truly have a shot at making the playoffs. I have no idea how Central Florida would contend with Clemson in a opening round game, but I’m sure nobody gave the Coastal Carolina baseball team a second thought last year, until they won the College World Series.

And please don’t tell me teams like UCF need to schedule better out of conference games either. Did you not hear the all knowing and powerful Nick Saban talk about P5 schools only playing other P5 schools? No legit playoff contender wants to schedule someone like the Knights; if you win you were supposed to; if you lose it could all but end your playoff hopes.

There’s just something wrong with a competition that basically excludes half of participants before it even begins.

They also need to figure out something with conference championships, too. As I mentioned, under the current rules I have no issue with Alabama being in the playoffs.

However, those rules are stupid if a team that didn’t even participate in their conference title game, makes it the final four.

Notice I’m not talking about a team that loses in their conference title game, but rather a team that doesn’t even get there. The fact it’s happened two years in a row makes me trust this process about as much as I’d trust a male politician at a high school prom.

The solution is simple, if you don’t make it to the conference title game you don’t make it to the college football playoffs. I know that can be harsh when you’re looking at a team like Alabama this year, who’s only lost happens to be within the conference, but timing is everything.

You think Georgia’s in the playoffs if they win that first meeting with Auburn, but lose by 23 in the rematch? Possibly, but I doubt it.

Of course, I’ll end up watching all three of the games, which is exactly what the NCAA is counting on. So, they win yet again and it’s likely nothing will change.

Sorry UCF, I really did try my best.

Who’s In….Over Georgia?

By: JJ Lanier

TheSouthernSportsEdition.com news services

At this point in the season it is almost a foregone conclusion that Alabama and Georgia will meet up not only for the SEC Championship title game, but will enter that game as the first and second ranked teams in college football.

If that scenario were to play out obviously the winner would make it to the playoffs. The more interesting topic to me is would a 1-loss SEC runner-up make it too?

There are probably about 20 different hypothetical outcomes, but for this purpose I’ll go ahead and put Oklahoma in the playoffs (wins out including Big XII championship) and Alabama. (No disrespect to Georgia who could easily win the SEC, but it’s easier to go over scenarios for one SEC team as opposed to two, and as of today I personally think Alabama is the better team).

So, with two teams already in the playoff picture, who are some of the other teams Georgia would be contending with.

Wisconsin– It would be hard on paper to leave out an undefeated Big Ten champion, if that’s what ends up happening. However, I don’t think the Badgers are very good and their best win will be against,ultimately, a 3 loss Ohio State team.

Regardless of what the committee does, you can’t convince me they are better than Georgia.

Clemson– If the Tigers were to win out and take the ACC crown, they’re in no matter what. Defending champs, conference champs, impressive resumé, only 1 loss; there’s no way the committee will keep them out.

Another loss though, and I don’t see how they make it.

Miami- I haven’t thought all that much of the Hurricanes throughout the season, but if they were to win out that would include victories over Virginia Tech, Notre Dame, and Clemson.

Hard to put Georgia in over Miami if that were take place. (On a side note, if Miami made it in over Georgia what’s the over/under on the amount time elapsed before a video of Mark Richt urinating in a stuffed Uga goes viral?)

Notre Dame- The Fighting Irish are really the wild card here.

If they were to win out, it would include a victory over Miami, essentially knocking out the Hurricanes.

It would also leave them tied with Georgia, leading to the question, “What do you value more, head to head or overall strength of schedule?”

If you’re a Bulldog fan, you’re going to say head to head, as you should. If you’re a Notre Dame fan, it’s overall strength of schedule. And while it’s not completely an apples to apples comparison, it is worth mentioning that last year, when it came down to OSU and PSU, the commute went in favor of Ohio State’s overall schedule instead of Penn State’s victory over the Buckeyes.

As I mentioned above there are plenty of other scenarios that could play out over the next few makes, making what I just wrote entirely obsolete.

Regardless, here’s the point I’m trying to make: In the last few years, you could argue that a one loss, SEC runner up was deserving of making the playoffs because of the conference’s overall strength.

Ironically, the one year it may come to fruition, the one year where the two best teams in college football could possibly reside within the SEC, is the one year that the conference’s lack of overall strength may be what keeps it from happening.