The Texas A&M Aggies and Alabama Crimson Tide just altered the college football national landscape.
In Tuscaloosa, Ala., Johnny Manziel and Texas A&M upset the defending BCS national champions 29-24, and Nick Saban's Crimson Tide fall from perfection. What this victory from the Aggies does, however, is give way to national title life elsewhere outside the SEC.
Having won the past six consecutive BCS championships, the SEC's dominance has literally owned college football.
Only one of the six title games were decided by less than 10 points—Auburn over Oregon—and we saw the dominance epitomized last season as Alabama and LSU both dueled for the coaches' trophy.
Will Alabama get back into the BCS title mix?
Well, now, that doesn't appear to be the case. And it's a great thing for college football.
Adding Parity to the BCS
Controversy atop the BCS rankings is always appealing. We had some last season between Alabama and Oklahoma State, but that paled in comparison to previous seasons. Focusing on 2012 and the Tide losing just reduced the number of perfect teams.
Considering how chaotic each college football season turns out, having that one team who runs the table significantly lessens the national title debate. The 2004 season was arguably the most controversial, simply because the Auburn Tigers finished perfect but were left out of the main party.
In short, parity atop the BCS requires either an abundance of undefeated schools or plenty with one or two losses. The 2012 season still has this kind of potential, and it gets enhanced with no perfect SEC schools.
Let's say Oregon, Kansas State, Notre Dame and Florida State all finish with one loss. Well, Alabama and Georgia already have a loss, so let the insanity begin. Had the Tide run the table, there's no question we'd see Saban on the biggest college football stage.
Now, though, what we also get is an even-keeled Southeastern Conference.
SEC Playing Field is Leveled Off
As previously mentioned, the Georgia Bulldogs have a loss. That being said, Alabama dropping produces added confidence throughout the conference.
The Bulldogs were slammed by South Carolina who fell to Florida and LSU. But, Mark Richt's team also upended Florida and presents a defense capable of shutting 'Bama down in the SEC title game.
Not to mention, Florida upset LSU, who gave the Tide a nail-biter, and Texas A&M can be perceived as the nation's proxy since this season is the Aggies' first in the SEC. Plus, both losses are legitimate coming from the Gators and Bayou Bengals, and yet, they won at Alabama.
Revert back to a few years ago and this conference was basically predicated from Tim Tebow and Urban Meyer in Florida, as well as the one-hit wonder Cam Newton. In addition, the Tide stood out with running backs like Mark Ingram and Trent Richardson, but 2012 is simply a different story.
No one team has distinctively separated itself from the rest of the SEC. Yes, Alabama may still be viewed as the best. However, a Saban defense was burned by a freshman quarterback with an underrated passing game.
The conference simply isn't going to be dominated by a select few teams anymore. Perfection will become even scarcer in the future. As a result, say hello to the other five BCS conferences.
Opens the Door for Other Conferences
Only the Oregon Ducks of the Pac-12 gave the SEC a run for its money in the national title game. Losing 22-19 against Auburn, the Ducks have been among the notable few capable of matching the SEC's speed and quickness.
Instead, the Tide's loss takes on a new life elsewhere in college football. Outside of Eugene, Kansas State and Notre Dame become more relevant as does Florida State. No, the Irish aren't in the conference, but it's basically geared toward anyone not competing in the SEC.
From a futuristic potential perspective Stanford, UCLA, USC, Clemson and Ohio State are going to be in the mix. After all, the Buckeyes are 10-0 right now, despite being postseason ineligible, and Meyer will keep OSU near the top.
Interestingly enough, from 1998 through 2005, the SEC had just two BCS titles. So after the conference controlled the rankings virtually each week of the past six seasons, everyone else sees a slightly wider window of opportunity.
And to think, it came courtesy of Texas A&M who was not part of the SEC a year ago.
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