Why the Gators Deserve the BCS Spot Over Georgia
Too many teams, too few spots.
That was the predicament that the SEC found itself in after six teams finished in the top 10 of the final BCS standings.
The logjam meant that several worthy teams would be left out of the BCS entirely, and the oddest man out was Georgia, which lost the SEC Championship Game 32-28 to Alabama on Saturday afternoon.
Yes, the same Georgia team that came within eight yards of playing for the BCS National Championship didn't receive the Sugar Bowl bid.
Instead Florida, which suffered its only loss of the season to Georgia—a 17-9 loss that prevented the Gators from playing for the SEC Championship—jumped the Bulldogs and will play Big East co-champ Louisville in New Orleans.
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Not really, but life isn't fair.
But every team in Football Bowl Subdivision (FBS) knew the rules going in, and No. 3 Florida, as a result of being a non-conference champion in the top three, earned its spot by beating four teams in the top 12 of the final BCS standings.
Georgia, on the other hand, went 1-2 against the BCS top 12.
The head-to-head meeting is important, but it isn't the only factor in determining the overall merit of a team. Earning it for a full-season matters.
Debating between Florida and Georgia for the Sugar Bowl is really two separate arguments.
It's unfair to punish Georgia for playing in the SEC Championship Game, but Gator head coach Will Muschamp said it best last week when responding to Alabama head coach Nick Saban's concerns on the matter prior to the SEC Championship Game.
"Well, I can switch and go to Atlanta if he doesn’t want to go to Atlanta and play (Georgia)," according to the Palm Beach (Fla.) Post. "Be careful what you ask for, Nick."
Muschamp is right. He would much rather have been playing for the SEC title and a spot in the BCS National Championship Game. But just because he wasn't doesn't mean his team shouldn't be rewarded for what was probably the best overall resume of any one-loss team.
Florida earned its spot, and Georgia did too.
Georgia fans, if you're going to be angry over playing in the Capital One Bowl, be angry at the rule that limits two at-large teams per conference.
Barrett Sallee is a Featured Columnist for the Bleacher Report. Click here to read more of his work.