SEC notebook

With Alabama win, BCS debates rage on

 

Special to the Miami Herald

It is fairly certain that No. 2 Alabama will play No. 1 Notre Dame in Sun Life Stadium on Jan. 7, but that is not going to settle a debate with other one-loss teams out there. You think the new system will end the griping?

In two years, when the new format for deciding the national champion kicks in, a committee of college administrators will choose the four teams, but there is likely going to be a bottleneck just like this year with one-loss Oregon, one-loss Kansas State and one-loss Florida.

Several administrators here for the Southeastern Conference Championship Game have said the committee will likely be similar to the committee that chooses the field for the NCAA basketball tournament. That group is conference commissioners and athletic directors.

An administrator, who will be involved in the process, dismissed the idea of former college coaches being part of the committee.

But what about retired NFL player personnel directors and ex-scouts with input from their scouting brethren?

In 2011, when there was debate whether Oklahoma State or Alabama, both with one loss, should face unbeaten Louisiana State in the BCS title game, scouts quickly dismissed the Cowboys. They had watched both teams and declared Alabama vastly more talented. The Crimson Tide ended up in the game and won the title.

“Can’t see that happening,” an administrator here said Saturday when asked about scouts.

Greg McGarity, the athletic director at Georgia, also doubts the selection process will leave the family. He said the committee will be administrators: athletic directors and commissioners.

Bama bruisers

The main reason many picked Alabama to beat Georgia was the offensive line. The Crimson Tide could have two first-round picks in 2013, left guard Chance Warmack and center Barrett Jones. Georgia is rated as just average on the line.

It certainly showed in the first half Saturday.

Alabama ran for 152 yards to just 45 for Georgia. Eddie Lacy, Alabama’s 220-pound junior running back, had 90 yards in the first half. Todd Gurley, Georgia’s 220-pound freshman running back, gained 46 yards.

The M&M QBs

The two quarterbacks, Georgia’s Aaron Murray and Alabama’s AJ McCarron, have had splendid seasons and both could declare for the NFL Draft next spring. The NFL scouts have their issues with both, mainly with arm strength.

Murray, who is from the Tampa area, was forced out of the pocket several times in the first half Saturday and his throws on the run were short of the intended receiver. Late in the first half, Murray had a receiver running down the left side of the field, but the throw was short and intercepted.

In several games this season, particularly in the 29-24 loss to Texas A&M, underthrown McCarron passes cost the Tide.

Murray has a truckload of school passing records, but his size is a concern. He is listed at 6-1, but he is closer to 5-11 and when the pocket collapses on him he is gets smaller and smaller.

Alabama is more desperate than Georgia and needs McCarron to return. The heir apparent, Phillip Sims, transferred to Virginia and the backup is Blake Sims (no relation), a sophomore who played quarterback in high school, but played wide receiver his first season at Alabama.

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