This is what it has come down to, huh?
Adam Kramer of Bleacher Report and Kegs 'N Eggs stumbled upon an interesting discovery. The online sportsbook Bovada has now created a wager where it is the SEC against the world. You are either picking the conference that has won the last seven national championships or you have every other team in the country outside the SEC. There is no in between.
Which side are you taking?
Most would likely side with history and the odds of the SEC winning another title. But there are valid reasons for going against the grain and hoping some team from another conference can end the streak. One of them would have to be the fact that you have more than 100 teams on your side, while the SEC only has 14.
Sam Cooke once said that a change is going to come. It is said that all good things must come to an end. Eventually the streak will end.
Why not now?
There's no question the SEC is the best conference in college football and should be the favorite to win yet another title. But winning seven straight crystal footballs was hard enough. Now eight?
There are a lot of factors that play into making this happen. The best teams must make sure to reach the SEC Championship Game to increase strength of schedule. Injuries must be avoided. Players must step up to the plate consistently. Simply put: Winning isn't easy, especially when playing some of the top programs in the country each week.
A change is eventually going to come.
Quarterback is arguably the most important position in sports. You can win games just by having an elite quarterback. A team can even reach the national championship thanks to the incredible performances of a quarterback. In fact, you need a great quarterback to win the big game.
A.J. McCarron, Cam Newton, Greg McElroy and Tim Tebow combined for the last five national championships. All were terrific college quarterbacks and made more than enough game-changing plays to put their teams over the top.
Great quarterbacks give contenders a chance, and there are plenty of them outside the SEC. Tajh Boyd of Clemson, Marcus Mariota of Oregon, Teddy Bridgewater of Louisville and Braxton Miller of Ohio State. There are also solid quarterbacks who have a chance to become difference-makers in Kevin Hogan of Stanford and Blake Bell of Oklahoma.
Elite-level quarterbacks always give a team a fighting shot to win that one game. You have many to choose from in other conferences.
Physicality is one of the first words that comes to mind when discussing the SEC.
The SEC is bigger, stronger and faster. We play the game tougher than the rest, which is why no other team can compete with us.
Well, it didn't take long for other teams to begin copying this style of play in hopes to join the national championship party.
Stanford returns seven starters from one of the most physical front sevens you will find. Ohio State and Florida State are young and athletic enough to wreak havoc on the quarterback consistently. Clemson also showed it has potential to be a great defense in last year's 25-24 bowl victory over LSU. Notre Dame also proved to be a physical and aggressive bunch last season.
The SEC may be known as the best defensive conference in college football, but other programs are beginning to learn the blueprint and have put together impressive defensive performances.
If a non-SEC team is going to win for a change, there is a great chance Ohio State will be that team. Much of the credit is going to quarterback Braxton Miller, a deep backfield and a young defense that has high expectations.
But what about Urban Meyer?
Meyer has won two national championships with the Florida Gators. Both times his team only lost one game in SEC conference play, which includes a victory in 2008 over Nick Saban's Crimson Tide. He knows what it takes to beat the best of the best in this conference because he's already done it.
It's tough enough for a team to knock off the champions. It's even tougher to expect a coach who hasn't coached under the bright lights of a national championship. Experience is everything in big games. Meyer is the kind of coach you want on your side.
Louisville is no longer the underdog. It is a legit national championship contender if everything goes right. The Cardinals have a Heisman candidate for a quarterback in Teddy Bridgewater and an easy schedule to where running the table isn't too far-fetched.
What if a 12-0 season actually takes place? What if Louisville is the only undefeated team in the country? Better yet, what if the SEC champion has two losses?
Last season, Ohio State caused controversy when it finished without a loss. If it wasn't banned from postseason play, many wonder if Alabama would have been forced to settle for a lesser bowl game. There's a good possibility that Notre Dame and Ohio State would have played in the big dance.
This could happen for Louisville this year. Granted, the schedule isn't nearly as difficult as the Big Ten, but an undefeated season is just that. It's no easy feat for any team these days and should be rewarded with high praise. An unbeaten team always puts pressure on the voters and could end up knocking the SEC out of the title picture if similar events as last season take place.