Hello, Florida Gators fans!
While no one is truly enjoying 2020 due to COVID-19, Florida is having its best football season since 2016. They defeated the Georgia Bulldogs and look to win the SEC Eastern Division and play in the SEC Championship Game in Atlanta for the first time since that year.
Winning the SEC Championship for the first time since the 2008 National Championship team will be difficult. The most likely opponent will be the Alabama Crimson Tide who are currently 7-0 and have outscored their opponents by a combined 346-135 including yesterday's 63-3 beatdown of the Kentucky Wildcats.
If Alabama needs any more of an advantage leading into a potential SEC Championship Game on December 19, they have won. Florida had its game with the LSU TIgers postponed due to COVID-19. It was rescheduled for December 12. Then Alabama lost its game with LSU. They can't have Alabama play LSU December 12 because LSU is already playing Florida and Alabama and LSU don't have any common open dates. So currently Alabama-LSU won't be played. That means Florida will be playing the week before the championship game while Alabama won't which is an advantage to the Crimson Tide in the game.
One way to make it fair would be for the SEC to cancel the LSU-Florida game. Assuming Florida beats Kentucky and the Tennessee Volunteers, they will be 8-1 and even if they had "lost" to LSU they still would be SEC East champs over Georgia due to the head to head win.
Another way would be for the SEC to do some rescheduling which they said they could do the week after Alabama-LSU got canceled. The following changes could be made.
Alabama at LSU is played December 5.
Alabama at Arkansas (originally December 5) gets moved to December 12 (insuring Alabama is not off the week before the SEC Championship Game).
Mississippi at LSU (originally December 5) gets moved to December 19.
Mississippi is mathematically eliminated from winning the SEC West Division and LSU would need to run the tables and have Alabama lose every game and the Texas A & M Aggies and Auburn Tigers to lose at least once each (LSU would beat Texas A&M this Saturday). Auburn has beaten LSU so there are still tiebreakers involved. Let's just say I'd be shocked LSU will have to worry about playing for the SEC Championship. I'd be shocked if they beat A&M in College Station on Saturday.
These changes would allow Alabama to complete its schedule of 10 games which is also fair to Texas A&M in case Alabama loses to Auburn (I doubt they will but you never know). The Aggies need Alabama to lose twice to win the SEC West and one fewer game means one fewer opportunity for Alabama to lose.
It might be in the SEC's best interest for Florida to win the SEC Championship because there would be a good chance that if Florida wins that both Florida and Alabama make the College Football Playoff. If Alabama wins, it's more likely an unbeaten Alabama is the only SEC team that gets in (although then a 9-1 Texas A&M would have an argument). Is the SEC just trying to protect Alabama from playing LSU? LSU-Alabama last year had the highest ratings of any college football game since 2011 (another LSU-Alabama game). The ratings this season won't have been as good because LSU stinks this year but CBS certainly would love to have Alabama-LSU on December 5. In fact, you can argue that if LSU had to play a team on December 12 between Florida or Alabama it should be Alabama because they are a divisional opponent.
So there are plenty of things that can be done. The one thing that the SEC shouldn't be doing is what they are doing, sitting on their thumbs and doing nothing. Maybe Florida should just refuse to play LSU on December 12. If Alabama doesn't have to play LSU, why should Florida? Then both teams will have a bye the week before the SEC Championship and it will be fair.