A playoff without a playoff

Kyle Riviere
Weekly Citizen Sports Editor Kyle Riviere

Every once in a while in college football, things just work themselves out.

It's rare; we've grown accustomed to absolute chaos at this time of year. Just last season, controversy reigned as Alabama was selected to play in the BCS Championship Game over Oklahoma State despite not even winning their own division within the SEC.

Well, the Crimson Tide may make it to the title game with a loss again this year, but at least they will have to earn it this time around.

College football will not get out of the 19th century and officially adopt a playoff system until 2014, but we'll get our taste of payoff action this weekend anyway.

With Notre Dame finishing undefeated with their 22-13 win over USC, they punched their ticket to Miami for the BCS Championship Game. With their spot reserved, they now patiently await their opponent.

That opponent will come out of this year's de facto national semifinal game between second-ranked Alabama and third-ranked Georgia as they clash in Atlanta for the SEC title.

This kind of scenario is nothing new to the Crimson Tide. They've already played in the SEC Championship Game in a national semifinal-type situation twice in the past five years.

In 2008, then top-ranked and undefeated Alabama played No. 3 Florida in Atlanta with a trip to the BCS title on the line. Florida upset the Tide and went on to beat Oklahoma in Miami to claim their second national championship in three years.

The very next season, top-ranked and undefeated Florida played undefeated and No. 2 Alabama again for the SEC crown. Alabama won this time and went on to beat Texas in Pasadena for their first national title in nearly 20 years.

Standing in the way of their third BCS championship in four years will be a No. 3 Georgia squad that has won six straight after an embarrassing 35-7 loss to South Carolina last month.

The Bulldogs have had the best offense in the SEC with the exception of Texas A&M as they average 38 points a game.

And though their defense struggled early on, they have really picked up steam as of late—only giving up 11 points per contest since the loss to South Carolina.

Despite all of those weapons, I think Alabama will win the game.

The Tide defense struggled immensely against Texas A&M's offense in their lone loss, but Georgia's offensive scheme is completely different.

Aaron Murray is not a quarterback that can beat them with his feet, and they don't use a spread or up-temp attack. They play a pro-style system that I think Alabama's defense is tailored to stop.

And as good as the Georgia defense is, I think the Tide offensive line will be the difference. They're the best unit in the nation, and I think they'll out-muscle the Bulldogs in the trenches at key moments.

I think we'll be seeing a BCS Championship Game with a retro feel as Alabama meets top-ranked and undefeated Notre Dame on Jan. 7.