College football fans, meet Bret Bielema. Bret, meet college football fans fiending for any sort of news to get through this offseason. Together, you'll all get through this summer.
Tuesday, Bielema was making some media rounds when he touched on another reason he left Wisconsin for Arkansas. We've been over this before, but these remarks are interesting considering the College Football Playoff era we're about to enter.
Bret Bielema why he made move from Wisconsin to Arkansas "SEC will get minimum of 2 teams in 4-team playoff"— Brett McMurphy (@McMurphyESPN) May 27, 2014
Bret Bielema: the gift that keeps on giving, especially throughout the offseason. Wisconsin fans will, of course, have plenty of ammunition to respond with here. Namely, let's see if Bielema can win a single SEC game before talking CFP eligibility.
Anyway, Jason Kirk over at SB Nation has a more reasoned look at why Bielema's comments are a little out of line. I'd also recommend reading Luke Zimmermann's breakdown of a recent CFP committee mock selection to gain more insight into how this whole thing might work. From Kirk's post today:
We can assume the hypothetical 2013 Playoff would've included both Alabama and Auburn, along with Florida State and either Baylor, Michigan State, or Stanford. Going back some more, our Bill Connelly found after reviewing the alternate Playoff history of the 1998-2012 seasons that two SEC bids would've been all but assured in 2011 and definite possibilities in 2012, 2009, 2008, 2007, and 2003. If we randomize those, we could say the SEC would've gotten two Playoff bids something like three to six times since 1998 ... but never three teams in a single year.
We won't really know how the Playoff committee's vague criteria will play out (despite the weekend release of a mock committee ranking) until we see the first Playoff field announced this December, but unless the committee acts in a fashion we're not expecting, there's a scant chance of three teams from a single conference.