Looking over the past few years, there has been much debate as to whether the national champion is truly the national champion. Through the slides so far, we have discussed each year that was questionable (except the undefeated Auburn year where the Tigers got shafted).
The SEC has the most money, the best players, the best coaches and the best resume of any conference during the BCS era. What is about to be proposed may come as a shock to some, but hear me out.
The SEC could split off the rest of the conferences and create a Southeastern Athletic Association (referred to as the SEAA from now on) to compete with the rest of the NCAA on the field. What we would have is actually a slightly better situation than we've had since 1998.
Basically, the premise would be that the SEAA would play its 14-team schedule with no "cupcakes" at all. Record wouldn't matter on the national scale, because the strength of that schedule would be the best in the nation for any given team.
The SEAA would produce a champion, and the other conferences would all get together after their conference championships and play a buy-in game to the national championship against the SEAA champion. The winner of that game would be the NCAA national champion.
How would that have affected the controversial years? Just like this:
2007: Ohio State plays Virginia Tech for the buy-in, and the winner plays LSU for the title.
2008: Utah plays Oklahoma for the buy-in, and the winner plays Florida for the title.
2009: Texas plays Cincinnati for the buy-in, winner plays Alabama for the title.
2010: Oregon plays TCU for the buy-in, winner plays Auburn for the title.
2011: Oklahoma State plays Stanford for the buy-in, winner plays LSU for the title.
This would solve one major issue: No single conference would ever have two teams in the national title game, because the SEC would have traded that possibility for a guaranteed spot every year. (That's a small price to pay, by the way.)
If the SEC split off from the BCS and made a deal like this with the rest of the country, it might even get more support than the questionable playoff system that's on the horizon. The BCS cannot survive without the support of the SEC. If the SEC became its own entity, the SEAA would simply continue to be a pipeline that pumped players into the NFL and siphoned talent away from the rest of the country.
The BCS isn't powerful enough to compete with that.