Nothing lasts forever, but it sure felt as though the SEC stranglehold on the BCS championship’s crystal ball would.
Nearly 48 hours have elapsed since Texas A&M, a spread offense newcomer from the Big 12, went into the heart of SEC Country and bested Alabama. This blogger is still unsure if it actually happened, given the very foreign implications the Aggie win had on the BCS standings. See, SEC domination has meant more than six consecutive BCS championships, three of the last five Heisman Trophy winners and countless chants of “S-E-C!” in stadiums nationwide. The first BCS standings of 2010 had Oklahoma and Oregon on top, but that lasted all of one week. One would have to flip through the archives to November 2007 for the last BCS standings prior to that, that did not feature at least one SEC program in the top two.
Of course, the 2007 season regular season predictably ended with SEC member LSU backdooring its way into the title game and winning No. 2 of the conference’s six straight national titles. Those raucous final few weeks of ’07 should give pause to the bewildered masses whose three-letter refrains the rest of the football following nation has had to endure have them scrambling for logic in this haze of the surreal.
A good example of such reaching is this is the following excerpt from Outkick The Coverage:
2. The SEC has six of the top nine teams in the most recent BCS standing.
This is not getting enough attention.
It’s a feat that is almost impossible to manage. In fact, I’m not sure that any conference will ever be able to do this again.
This level of dominance should count for something when it comes to playing for the BCS title.
Do you know how many home games the top six teams in the SEC have lost all year? Three. (A&M lost at home to Florida and LSU. Bama just lost at home at Texas A&M). The only losses these six teams have?
To each other.
Would Kansas State, Oregon, or Notre Dame be undefeated in the SEC this year?
This cannibalization of one another was the inevitable reckoning that was bound to end the SEC’s era of domination. LSU, Alabama, Texas A&M, Florida, South Carolina and Georgia are all fantastic teams. So are Kansas State, Oregon, and Notre Dame, the three programs that occupy the top of the latest BCS standings. Would any of the three go unbeaten in the SEC?
It’s debatable; Kansas State did beat A&M 53-50 last season. That was a much different Aggie team — one without Kevin Sumlin or Kliff Kingsbury on the sideline or Johnny Manziel behind center — but the 2011 result of KSU-A&M bears as much relevance to the BCS pursuit as how Oregon or K-State might fare in the SEC. That is to say both are irrelevant; what matters for UO and KSU is if they win out, they will meet each other in Miami for the national championship.
The SEC champion still has a glimmer of hope in K-State playing a good Texas team, as well as Baylor nearly one year to the day Robert Griffin III sewed up the Heisman in an upset of Oklahoma. Oregon must still face two top 20 opponents in Stanford and Oregon State, as well as the Pac-12 South champion. Notre Dame has walked a razor’s edge all season, and the finale at USC is no duck walk for the Fighting Irish.
Whether the SEC’s winner is Alabama or Georgia, either would jump to the front of the line among one-loss teams. However, any suggestion that the SEC champion should leapfrog an undefeated counterpart for one of the two title game berths is Step 1 in coping with a traumatic event: denial.
The SEC has dominated for six years, but it couldn’t last forever. Nothing can.
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