Until a team from another conference really challenges the SEC in the BCS National Championship, you have to wonder which Southeastern Conference team will win it all in 2012.
USC seems to be the favorite right now to challenge the SEC for supremacy, but the Trojans might have to run the table to get consideration for the title game.
With the SEC increasing its membership from 12 to 14 next season, it's unclear if that will hurt or help the conference in its quest for a seventh consecutive BCS title.
It's not like Texas A&M or Missouri are considered contenders, but who should be considered the top five teams that will bring another title to the SEC?
Alabama may be losing a number of key players to the NFL, but the Crimson Tide have something every other program in the nation does not:
You don't think Saban makes a big impact in a game? Just look at how the Tide played in winning their second BCS title in three seasons.
Quarterback A.J. McCarron developed into a solid player and gained a serious amount of confidence in beating LSU.
For everyone worried about the loss of Trent Richardson, all you had to see was how well Eddie Lacy ran the ball in the title game.
Alabama's toughest task will be replacing all of that talent on defense that will be playing on Sundays next fall.
South Carolina should have running back Marcus Lattimore back from a knee injury, and quarterback Connor Shaw is now an experienced leader.
Steve Spurrier had one of his finest seasons as a coach, and if he can get the Gamecocks to play that way again in 2012, South Carolina could be a surprise team.
South Carolina's defense will be able to play with the best in the SEC.
The Gamecocks won't play Alabama during the regular season, but they will get Georgia (Oct. 6), LSU (Oct. 13), Florida (Oct. 20) and Arkansas (Nov. 10), as well as SEC newcomer Missouri on Sept. 22. Carolina will also face rival Clemson in the season finale on Nov. 24.
Carolina will have to replace All-SEC performers Melvin Ingram (defensive end) and Rokevious Watkins (offensive lineman), as well as receiver Alshon Jeffery and safety Antonio Allen.
Arkansas won every game it played, except for when it faced the top two teams in the nation—Alabama and LSU.
If the Razorbacks can get over that hump in 2012, then Bobby Petrino's team should have a shot at winning it all.
The offense should be one of the nation's best with quarterback Tyler Wilson back for his senior season and running back Knile Davis returning after a horrific leg injury.
The Razorbacks will have to battle through a tough schedule, though.
Arkansas' SEC opener is against defending champ Alabama on Sept. 15, so the Razorbacks will learn early if they have what it takes to be a serious contender.
Petrino's team also faces Texas A&M (Sept. 29), Auburn (Oct. 6), South Carolina (Nov. 10) and LSU (Nov. 23).
Georgia made the huge leap from an SEC afterthought to the conference's championship game in 2011.
But the Bulldogs opened and closed the season with two losses each. Sandwiched in between, though, was 10 straight wins.
Quarterback Aaron Murray delivered a big season for Mark Richt. He finished with 3,149 yards and 35 touchdowns, and he'll be back.
Georgia's defense also improved after the opening losses to Boise State and South Carolina.
If the Bulldogs would win a BCS National Championship, it would be Georgia's first title since Herschel Walker was a freshman in 1980.
Once again, Georgia avoids LSU, Alabama and Arkansas, so the schedule is a major plus.
LSU may have come up one game short of winning it all in 2011, but the Tigers will return a boatload of talent next season.
Defensive back Tyrann Mathieu is just one player that LSU will count on in 2012. The defense will reload, while the offense will have its running game set with Michael Ford and Spencer Ware.
Zach Mettenberger is expected to take over at quarterback for seniors Jordan Jefferson and Jarrett Lee.
LSU's toughest non-conference game is against Washington, and the Tigers must play Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina and Florida, as well as newcomer Texas A&M.
You have to like LSU's chances of getting back to the title game next season.