By: Tyler Greever, KCOU Sports
They all gathered around the tree. It really was their first Christmas.
The excitement had built, the anticipation was finally over. College football’s long-awaited tree was finally here: a playoff.
Under the playoff tree laid four gifts. Oh what fantastic gifts they must be! The four best teams in the country battling it out for the national championship. No computers picked the gifts out and they had come from all over. True holiday spirit.
The first gift is unwrapped. It’s a shiny replica of Jameis Winston’s Heisman trophy. Sure, it’s just a replica, not quite the real thing. But the Seminoles are still here. Let’s keep it.
Next up is the boring constant: a very nice Alabama button down. It’s not really that flashy but damn, doesn’t it look good? We’re tired of getting it but you can’t help but admire it. Keep.
Ohhhhhhh now we’re getting somewhere. This gift almost blinded the whole committee upon unwrapping. It’s a brand new iPhone 6 in bright Oregon yellow. It’s so sleek, so fresh. It might not have a case but damn, you’ll look good toting it around. Definitely a keeper.
Finally, the last gift. This one’s arguably the best one. There are so many possibilities! It’s the one you couldn’t quite peg in the weeks leading up to it. You quickly undo that bow, rip the paper off and…
What? It’s an…ugly Missouri Christmas sweater. Who the hell bought this? Why is it here?
That’s what Mizzou is to the nation and what it will likely be for the committee if it wins the SEC Championship. An ugly Christmas sweater that nobody wants to wear.
Really, it’s pretty understandable. Interwoven between Santa Truman and reindeer Golden, Ray, Murphy, and Mauk is an ugly stain that weirdly looks like, “IU.” Right under the red and green splashed Pinkel visor is a giant Bulldog.
If you’re not wearing this to a party centered on ugly sweaters, what are you going to use it for?
Well, if the SEC champion is indeed the Tigers, then those parties might start popping up all over the Southeast. Because as unimpressive as the resume may prove to be, that sweater will have a gleaming SEC title on it. And no one from the prideful SEC is going to disparage its own champion, the supposed real representative of the sport’s true elite.
Hell, I went with the notion that the Tigers would be the SECOND team from Dixie in the playoff. I’m respecting Alabama’s work. I think it’s still possible the committee keeps the Crimson Tide or leaves them out altogether. If the latter happens? Then it’s a real possibility the Tigers are the lone SEC representatives.
Are you going to be the committee who puts on the sweater? Can you wear it in Columbus, Ohio? Tuscaloosa, Alabama? Starkville, Mississippi? Waco, Texas? Fort Worth, Texas? If you decide you can, you better be ready. Those fans of programs in other power conferences that have some fair arguments are going to roast you.
Are you going to be the committee who returns the sweater to the shop in Columbia, Missouri? If you decide you can, you better be ready. You’re dealing with a store that doesn’t want debit or credit; just respect. For the store, it’s been a rare currency. Many thought it couldn’t get through an initial lull in customers.
But now? Business could be thriving. And it doesn’t want to be stunted.
So the committee may have an ultimatum if Mizzou can pull off a win in Atlanta: put on the sweater or return it.