Folks Aren't Just Whistlin' Dixie in Declaring the SEC's BCS Dominance
Sometimes when I'm just sitting around with nothing to do, some random thoughts run through my head.
Today, I began to wonder if USC could have beat LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl if they would have played the way many of us expected them to play.
My answer to this question was not only no, but it got me thinking a lot more about the BCS, it's champions, and people's perception of which conference is best.
For starters, I'm going to provide a quick piece of information to back up my answer as to why USC would have lost to LSU in the 2004 Sugar Bowl.
The simplest reason why is because no SEC school has ever lost a BCS National Championship Game.
The SEC has reigned supreme in BCS National Championship Games, going an astonishing 5-0 when given the opportunity to play for the title beginning with Tennessee winning the first in 1999 and Florida winning the most recent in 2009.
This fact could have also been disastrous for USC in the 2005 BCS Championship Game had Auburn not been left out of the game despite going undefeated.
The fact that Auburn went undefeated and was left out of the championship game brings me to my next point. Despite what people think, the SEC has not been the most dominant conference throughout not just history, but throughout the short history of the BCS.
Tennessee won the first ever BCS National Championship in 1998, just one year removed from the disappointment of not winning the national title in 1997.
However, the SEC would only appear in and win one of the next seven BCS National Championship Games. That hardly has the ring of historical BCS dominance that fans of the SEC have been claiming they have had.
No, the SEC has not had history of BCS dominance, but they have most certainly have had recent dominance. The SEC has gone on to win three-straight BCS title games, and four of the last six.
The saying is heard every year that if you can run the table in the SEC, you will be playing for a national championship. The last few seasons have certainly warranted that expression.
What happened to that saying when Auburn was able to run the table? I know this was before the SEC was dominating the BCS titles yet, but LSU had just won the year before.
Speaking of that LSU team, where is the respect for the SEC champion who actually won the "National Championship Game?" Would we actually see a split national championship today if the SEC champs won the BCS title game?
The answer of course is no because the SEC is clearly the most dominant conference in the country today. However, as you can see, it truly wasn't that long ago that the SEC wasn't receiving anything near the level of respect that they get today.
So why the sudden change in attitude regarding the SEC? I think the answer lies in what happened at the end of the 2006 and beginning of 2007. This was the season that the Florida Gators won their first ever BCS title.
Florida was a one-loss team who had to do some hard lobbying by coach Urban Meyer to get people to vote the Gators into the BCS title game.
Many people around the country felt that Ohio State and Michigan were the two best teams in the country. They played a season-finale game that was one of the best ever in the history of their rivalry.
What ensued after the game was a huge uproar from fans signifying that the two should be allowed to meet again in Tempe and play for the national championship.
Unfortunately for Michigan, they had a couple of things working against them.
First was the time of the season that the loss occurred. Everyone knows that the best time to lose is early in the season. It worked for Oklahoma and Florida last year.
However, the annual Michigan-Ohio State game is always the last game of the year for the two teams. Perhaps national championship aspirations should force these two into considering a move to earlier in the year like when Oklahoma and Texas play or Miami and Florida State.
The second factor is actually the same as the first, the timing of the game. This was the last game of the year for both teams, but everyone outside of the Big Ten still had at least one and maybe two games left to play.
This gave voters a chance to forget about the phenomenal game that Ohio State and Michigan played. It gave Florida the stage all to themselves and the ability to leave the last impression.
The last impression stuck and Florida went on to dominate Ohio State. This subsequently cemented the SEC over the Big Ten as the best conference in the country.
Since that time, the SEC has failed to not claim the national title and are heavy favorites to win it again this season. Meanwhile, the Big Ten has failed to win one single BCS game, championship or otherwise.
So for all those fans that think the SEC's dominance has been perpetual, you obviously have short memories. For all those SEC fans that think it will last forever, well I wouldn't be too sure about that either.
I'll leave all you die-hard SEC people with one little nugget of wisdom: You all have a very precious present. Enjoy it because the present is always fleeting, and you never know what tomorrow may bring. Just ask the Big Ten.
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