There CAN be an Alabama-Florida rematch for BCS title


What we learned over the weekend:

1. There CAN be an Alabama-Florida rematch for the national championship. Last week I said that if Alabama and Florida were undefeated, ranked 1-2 and played a close SEC championship game, there would not be a rematch for the BCS title. That statement was based on the logical position that the human voters, who make up two-thirds of the BCS formula, would not watch one of those teams lose on Dec. 5 and less than 24 hours later vote them in to the BCS championship game.


But after seeing the first set of BCS standings on Sunday, I think it is now possible if No. 3 Texas loses at some point. That’s because there is a huge gap in the BCS average between No. 2 Alabama (.9526) and No. 4 Boise State (.8083) and No. 5 Cincinnati (.7870). Boise State’s computer ratings are only going to go down as the season progresses while Cincinnati’s will go up.


Secondly, I can’t remember when we’ve had this much of a competitive gap between the top two teams in the standings and the rest of the Top 10. Example: If you’re a voter in one of the polls, do you put a 12-0 Iowa into the big game over a 12-1 SEC team that just lost a close game to the No. 1 or No. 2 team in the nation?



2. Georgia Tech needs to pull for Clemson—hard. While it is possible that the ACC’s Coastal Division could end in a three-way tie among Miami, Georgia Tech, and Virginia Tech, all of the tiebreakers are falling towards the Hurricanes because they won the head-to-head matchup with the Yellow Jackets.

If those three teams tie at 7-1, then the spot in the ACC championship game goes to the team with the highest BCS ranking on Nov. 29. Miami is 10, Georgia Tech is 12, and Virginia Tech is 14. So that favors Miami. If the top two teams in the BCS standings are within five spots of each other, the winner of the head to head competition gets the spot. That also favors Miami.


The point is that Georgia Tech could run the table, which would include a win over Georgia, and finish ahead of Miami in the BCS standings. But if Miami is within five spots of Georgia Tech, then the Hurricanes go because of the head-to-head results. So Georgia Tech’s best chance of getting to the ACC championship game is win out and hope that Miami stumbles somewhere. The Hurricanes have five conference games left against Clemson, Wake Forest, Virginia, North Carolina, and Duke.




3. Georgia really needs a week off. I got criticized last week for even suggesting that Georgia’s schedule was a contributing factor to the Bulldogs’ poor play at Tennessee on Oct. 10. The fact is that you will not find a team in the country whose first six games were stronger than Oklahoma State (5-1), South Carolina (5-2, with a loss to No. 2 Alabama), Arkansas (3-3, with losses to No. 1 Florida and No. 2 Alabama), Arizona State (4-2), LSU (5-1 with a loss to No. 1 Florida), and Tennessee (3-3, with a loss to No. 1 Florida). There were no breathers in that bunch and teams get physically and emotional fatigued. You just can’t get up to play every week. You have to be able to win when you’re tired and don’t play well.


For those of you keeping score at home, Georgia last had a week off before the Florida game in 1997 and 2007. The Bulldogs won both games.


4. This Alabama team is much better than the one that started 12-0 last season. The Crimson Tide of 2008, which rose to No. 1, could really only beat you one way on offense. They would get behind that that huge offensive line and just grind you into submission. And that worked until Alabama played Florida in the SEC championship game. This Alabama team is much more diversified on offense, and showed it against South Carolina as running back Mark Ingram ran for 246 yards, with a lot of it coming out of the Wildcat formation. This team can do more things in the passing game with QB Greg McElroy (even though he has struggled for two straight games) and WR Julio Jones and TE Colin Peek. Defensively, despite the loss of LB Dont’a Hightower, the Crimson Tide can just beat you up. I believe all of this is by design because Alabama has been tweaking its team in anticipation of a rematch with Florida in the SEC championship game on Dec. 5.


5. Florida had no business beating Arkansas on Saturday. The Gators turned the ball over four times. Arkansas and QB Ryan Mallett were moving the ball with great consistency. The Arkansas defense had a great scheme to slow down the Florida running game. The game was looking like a carbon copy of Florida’s 31-30 loss to Ole Miss last year in the Swamp. But Florida did not lose because of No. 15, Tim Tebow. If he has any lingering effects from his concussion it did not show as Tebow carried the ball 27 times. When Arkansas missed a field goal that would have given them the Hogs the lead, was there any doubt No. 15 was going to take the Gators down the field and put them in a position to win? Tebow is the difference maker of all difference makers. That’s why the Gators will be undefeated when they play in the SEC championship game on Dec.  5.



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283 comments Add your comment

Truth Is!

October 19th, 2009
9:30 pm

Tony, I’m getting a little concerned. Clearly the bogus call with the Dawgs and Lsu assured the matchup of Fla. and Lsu. Now the bogus interference call and the bogus unsportsmanlike call against Ark. assured the Gators victory. It seems that the SEC is attempting to insure that the topranked teams remain there. It reeks of improper action to insure an outcome.


October 19th, 2009
9:49 pm

Tony, nice article….but Florida didn’t win because of Tebow, they won because of the officials. I really didn’t have a dog in that fight and I thought it was obvious that the officials were not going to let Arkansas win. I don’t question their ability, I question their intergrity.


October 19th, 2009
9:49 pm

Of course there can be a rematch of the Florida – Alabama SEC CG and you are watching it unfold as a direct result of the SEC Director of Officiating.

But as I am a Georgia fan let me present this from a Georgia fan’s view:

From my perspective Georgia is 3 ref flags on 3 bad calls from 5-1.

The Big 8 refs called a flag on Jones for a tackle that even the commentators said was not a penalty and that was on 4th down that would have stopped an OSU drive that resulted in a TD.

The Big 8 refs called a flag on the UGA punt returner who returned the punt to the OSU 5 yard line and could have easily resulted in a UGA TD.

That’s a 14 point swing on a game UGA lost by 14 points.

The SEC ref called a flag on our Number 8 which gave a short field to LSU in the end. If they the length of the field to go, I think we could have stopped them.

All three were judgment calls and judgment calls always seem to go against UGA.

On another front, I saw a UF player score a TD Saturday and wave his hands up at the crowd and not get flagged. Arkansas on the other hand got some questionable judgement calls.

Does anybody else out there think that the SEC officials tell their refs not to flag certain teams like UF so they can get them into the BCS CG for the money and recognition? I am beginning to think so.

Also does anyone know if the GT grad is still in charge of SEC officials? If so it is time for him to go. I wonder if the official who called the Jasper Sanks non fumble and the UGA non celebration against LSU are GT grads. Can someone check?

If you do not think there is something wrong with SEC officiating then read the following that just came out from the Associated Press:

SEC officiating crew makes another gaffe – The Associated Press

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. — The Southeastern Conference says there’s no video evidence to support the personal foul call against Arkansas’ Malcolm Sheppard in the fourth quarter of the Razorbacks’ 23-20 loss to Florida.

It was the same group of officials that called the LSU-Georgia game earlier this month, which included a late unsportsmanlike conduct penalty the league said shouldn’t have been called.

Now in my opinion, those officials wanted LSU to win and they wanted UF to win and they made the calls to try and ensure the outcomes. I saw a UF receiver catch a touchdown pass against Arkansas, drop the ball, run up to the crowd and throw up his hands to them. Was HE flagged? Of course not. The score was too close and Florida might have lost.

The SEC wants Number 1 Florida to stay Number 1 and Number 2 Alabama to stay Number 2 for the SEC CG ratings and for the money and recognition that come from the BCS title game.

And I will also ask as was asked before: Does anyone know if that GT grad is still in charge of SEC officials in the SEC home office. If so it explains a lot about the calls against Georgia that the cameras cannot locate and the commentators cannot see or explain. If the GT grad is still there then he needs to go. If the SEC commissioner will not remove him then the SEC commissioner needs to go too.

I am beginning to see some dirty stuff from SEC refs. I just don’t know for sure if it is being dictated by the SEC Director of Officiating or if there is some payout to the refs going on.

To be sure if somehow by the grace of God the Dawgs are close in the 4th quarter and Georgia has a big play that puts them in position to win, an SEC ref will throw a flag to negate the play. You can count on it as a SEC policy decision to ensure the SEC maintains the position to play in the BCS CG.

Ga boy

October 19th, 2009
10:10 pm

Saw the talking football show on CSS tonight and several mentioned the bad calls in the Fla-Ark game BUT NOT Tony???? Tell me why Tony? Those 2 were as bad as I have seen lately-particularly the personal foul call where the lineman blocked the Gator lineman who was about to hit him. NO COMMENT TONY? Still shilling for the SEC eh?

Cautiously Optimistic

October 19th, 2009
10:30 pm

First off its way too early to be talking about a rematch. Second, I cant believe we are already considering a rematch when everyone and there brother said the Dawgs didn’t deserve a shot because we didn’t win our conference. The way I see it the loser had there chance to beat the other so they would be out. To me, that says we should have got our shot in 07 if the loser gets to play in the championship game. I’m not saying we should have been in the NCG but why should a team that lost to the other get a rematch when they didn’t win the conference???

Issues w/ the refs

October 19th, 2009
10:33 pm

Enough is enough… so the same crew that worked the prime 3:30 CBS game in Athens two weeks ago is rewarded by allowing to work the prime 3:30 CBS UF/Ark game? Tony, go ahead and tell us we are acting crazy and “nothing to see here” STOP covering up for your buddy, SLIVE! Ask the hard questions!

Gen Neyland

October 19th, 2009
10:35 pm

Rematches have been tried in the past. Only real interest is to the two teams fanbases. Unless there is a NCAA playoff of any nature that finds the rematch a reality, can it…

Issues w/ the refs

October 19th, 2009
10:35 pm

Let me guess… this same crew will work the UF/USC game in Columbia

Gen Neyland

October 19th, 2009
10:41 pm

Issues w/ the refs : Slive issued a gag order on the SEC coaches to shut their traps. Yet, some of the calls we’ve seen this year that have helped decide close games have been worthy of the complaints by the fans. My team has been excluded from this arguement (so far) Slive can’t tell us to shut up so let ‘er rip. Maybe instant replays of judgemental penalty calls will be in order…


October 19th, 2009
10:52 pm

That figures. In ‘07 when West Virginia lost on the final weekend and set up what looked to be UGA playing for the National Championship, everybody went nuts and said the UGA couldn’t play for it all when they didn’t win their own conference. I seem to remember Nebraska doing it, and I assume it will be just fine for anybody but the Dawgs.

Cautiously Optimistic

October 19th, 2009
11:02 pm

BC as I said why should the team that loses get a shot when we didn’t in 07? Makes no sense. The team that loses had there chance to prove themselves. If you dont win your conference you cant get in right?????????? But it’s about ratings so the BCS will bend the rules if it sees fit. It’s not BCS…………it’s BS!!!

Issues w/ the refs

October 19th, 2009
11:06 pm

Gen Neyland… keep your fingers crossed and hope this crew does not show up in Tuscaloosa on Saturday.

Janice Wilfurt

October 19th, 2009
11:25 pm


Tell the truth that after last year you wanted Alabama and Florida in a rematch in the title game. The BCS might consider it however since its in Pasadena they probably are hoping for Texas, USC, Oregon maybe Iowa to play the SEC Champion.


October 19th, 2009
11:40 pm

Dawgs are hilarious — as usual. After blaming the LSU loss on something other than your team’s and your coach’s obvious shortcomings, you would think the thrashing by UT would have hobnail-booted some reality into your heads. Instead, everyone’s now trying to work the refs in advance of the UF game. Try to win an important game straight up for a change. Respect might even follow. What a bunch of whiners (as opposed to winners).


October 19th, 2009
11:50 pm

Mr. Barnhart. I know you also work for CBS, but if you are going to write for the AJC, during your time for the AJC do not give us your SEC biased BS. People in the media outside of the ones with money ties to the SEC are calling BS on the calls in the UF game. Terrel Owens even called BS on his Twitter page. A wide receiver calling BS on a pass interference play. Yeah, but you do not have the intgerity to say Arkansas got hosed. You make it sound like Florida and Alabama are ahead of everyone talent wise. Bama might be, but UF should have a loss right now. The refs, not Tebow, won that game for them.


October 19th, 2009
11:59 pm

So Georgia can’t play for the National Championship in 2007 because it did not win the SEC, but the LOSER of this years SEC Championship game CAN play in the BCS Championship game?

Janice Wilfurt

October 20th, 2009
12:03 am

The SEC is the BEST conference in America for a long time now.

ua-uf rematch?

October 20th, 2009
12:34 am

In your dreams fatboy barnhart.

[...] Tony Barnhart of the AJC writes that there can be a Florida-Alabama rematch for BCS title. [...]

Not Disappointed!

October 20th, 2009
7:06 am

Come on Dawgs! Beat Florida. See you in late November on the Flats!

Ramblin Wreck!

[...] his nose at the sight of Boise-Cincy-Iowa at 4-5-6 in the BCS, suggested Monday that he’s getting the itch for a title game that doubled as SEC Championship West: 1. There CAN be an Alabama-Florida rematch [...]


October 20th, 2009
4:50 pm

Will the AP just finalize their mythical national championship after the SEC championship game?


October 20th, 2009
7:01 pm

Tony: You are such an SEC homer. If Texas loses, but Iowa goes 12-0, the Hawkeyes will and should face the SEC champs for all the marbles. Iowa will have beaten Penn State, Wisconsin and Ohio State…ALL of them ON THE ROAD! And it’s not the Hawkeyes fault the Big 10/11 has no conference title game. Both Florida and Bama are very good. But both have weaknesses, especially on offense. They are not head & shoulders better than all other Top 10 teams. So if Texas loses, an undefeated Iowa would & should play an undefeated SEC champ for the BCS title. Yet I for one believe a few other upsets may still occur before such a scenario plays out, such as a Buckeye win over Iowa. Then a free-for-all could occur to determine the best one-loss team to face an undefeated SEC champ (i.e. Boise State will NOT be in the title game).

Coach O

October 20th, 2009
8:47 pm


You’re pretty funny.

and AugustaHorn,

Let’s talk about an undefeated Iowa after the season’s over.

Call it Like It Is

October 20th, 2009
9:08 pm


Stop smokin that crack.

Gators roll big and win another SEC and NC unlike sorry GA who will finish 6-6.

Enough Said!

Call it Like It Is

October 20th, 2009
9:19 pm

Hey, all of you morons complaining about the refs!

The refs do not win or lose games.

Both AK and FL were the benefactors of bad calls.

However, the bottom line was AK CHOKED! They had an opportunity to win the game with two missed field goals and a missed touchdown pass to a WIDE open fullback.

The bottom line is all of you UGAY fans can’t stand the fact that FL won the game. Well guess what? The feeling is mutual! FL hates GA and their tasteless celebration gig two years ago, and all of the trash (can’t back it up talk to GA Tech and FL fans) every year.
But what happened to GA in 2008? Going into the season as the #1 ranked team, and did not do SH^&!

Choked against TN and yet allowed another opportunity to even play for a NC slip through ya hands. So until GA wins a NC, you ain’t got nothing to say, brag, or trash talk any fan on this blog.

Your team this year stinks and you and everyone here knows it. Yet, you blow the horn like you are a repeat champion.

Give me a F Break! U can trash talk or moan when you actually won something.

Until then, we do not really care.

Enough Said!

Facts anyone?

October 21st, 2009
9:54 am

GT outplayed and outgained LSU in the “Peach Bowl”??????????

1st downs 19 15
Rush yards 161 164
Pass yards 163 150
Total offense 324 314
Penalties 6-60 4-40
Turnovers 0 3

LSU 7 28 3 0 38
Georgia Tech 3 0 0 0 3

Hmm…I guess you watched a different game than the rest of us.

U.S. Postal Education

October 21st, 2009
10:00 am

Call it like it is -

I missed the Alaska – Florida game this weekend. Thanks for the recap.

[...] will continue apace, especially if the nightmare Alabama-Florida rematch scenario occurs. It likely won’t, but if that somehow happens, the campaigning will redefine whorish. [...]


October 21st, 2009
2:34 pm

10/19 @ 9:22AM – “The best team in the SEC is alabama. talk about focus. The Tide is a brutal juggernaut that will be hard for any team to beat. Saban’s recruiting successes are starting to pay dividends as other teams battle attrition and lack of depth. The Tide is just plugging in another star…”

Yep, that about sums it up. Teams take on the personality of their coach. Saban is intense and wants his teams to physically dominate their opponents. He did the same at LSU.

Richt seems to care less and wants his teams to be good dancers. Therefore, they are reduced to celebrating wins over Vandy. How the mighty Dawgs have fallen! Que lastima!

Mark Hooper

October 21st, 2009
3:39 pm

Tony, you are about as useless as Tim Tebow will be when he hits the NFL. Honeymoon over you fist pumping, pious poser! Meanwhile, Tony, why don’t you try to ramble on about something that remotely makes a lick of sense, you Georgia bafoon.

James Wilt

October 21st, 2009
4:28 pm


I actually am keeping score at home and Georgia DID NOT have a bye before Florida in ‘97 yet still won. In fact, since 1990 they have had a bye 3 times, 1990, 1991, & 2007. Record 1-2.

When Florida has the bye, they are 12-1 since 1990. When neither had a bye, Florida is 2-1.

So, Georgia having a bye while Florida does not helps Georgia a bit, but not as much as you would have us believe.

Jim Ragan

October 22nd, 2009
12:44 pm

Mr. Barnhardt-add 2004 as another year that UGA had the week off before playing UF, while that same weekend the Gators had to go on the road to play Miss. St. Georgia won the following weekend against the Gators 31-24, which I believe was Ron Zook’s final year there at Gainesville.