BCS: Reign, Reign, Go Away...5 Teams That Could End the SEC's Dominance
The past five college football seasons have seen four different schools win the national championship. Each of those schools hails from the SEC.
In fact, the SEC has won eight of the 13 BCS titles since the system's inception in 1998.
Love them or hate them, the SEC must be recognized as the nation's premier football conference.
A good portion of the country is tired of the SEC winning it all. Looking ahead to next year, Alabama, Auburn and LSU all figure to be ranked in the pre-season top 10.
Let's face it, one of them is very likely to win the SEC's sixth consecutive BCS Title.
Chris Graythen/Getty Images
Yes, Terrelle Pryor and four other starters are suspended for the first five games next season. And yes, Ohio State will win each of those five games.
Games against Miami and Michigan State figure to be the only tests for the Pryor-less Buckeyes those first five games, and both are very winnable games.
Only eight total starters return, but Jim Tressel has a plethora of top recruits chomping at the bit to replace the departed starters.
Jamaal Berry and Jordan Hall will carry the load at tailback while Dan Herron is suspended, while Mike Adams (suspended), Mike Brewster, and J.B. Shugarts anchor one of the nation’s better offensive lines. Senior Joe Bauserman will handle the quarterback duties in Pryor’s absence.
Defensively, returning starters John Simon, Andrew Sweat and Nathan Williams will be counted on to lead the young unit. Former top recruits Dorian Bell, Adam Bellamy, Garrett Goebel and Jamie Wood look to step up big time next season in Columbus.
Pryor and the other four suspended will return just in time to face Nebraska, in Lincoln. If the Buckeyes escape with a victory, only a visit to Columbus from the Wisconsin Badgers looks to be in their way of running the table.
Tom Pennington/Getty Images
Bob Stoops and the Sooners bucked their BCS curse this season, with an impressive dismantling of Connecticut in the Fiesta Bowl. The program’s all-time leader in touchdowns, DeMarco Murray has moved onto the NFL, but the Sooners will bring back more talent next season than any other team in the Big 12.
Landry Jones returns under center for the Sooners, and he figures to build on the stat line of 4,718 YDS and 38 TD that he amasses this past season. Jones has developed into one of the nation’s premier passers and should be a pre-season favorite for the Heisman.
Murray may be gone, but the Sooners have plenty of options to choose from as a replacement. Mossis Madu and Roy Finch both saw action this year and will battle it out for the starting job. Trey Millard will likely handle short yardage and goal line duties; looking to build on the three TD he scored this season.
Oklahoma boasts one of the nation’s top WR corps for next season. The dynamic Ryan Broyles will return for his senior season, freshman Kenny Stills will also return and is set to improve on his 61 catch performance of this past season.
Defensively, Jeremy Beal and Jonathan Nelson may be gone, but the Sooners have plenty of talent returning. Tony Jefferson and Sam Proctor will anchor the secondary, while Tom Wort and Travis Lewis are star linebackers for an OU defense that had a solid 2010.
Kevin C. Cox/Getty Images
The Quack Attack fell just short of winning the BCS National Title last night, but there is plenty of reason for optimism next season in Autzen.
The Ducks’ high flying offense will see Darron Thomas, LaMichael James and Kenjon Barmer all return next season. Stud wide receiver Jeff Maehl is gone; look for the likes of Lavasier Tuinei and Justin Hoffman to fill the void.
Seven total returning starters from the nation’s top overall offense will be more than enough to keep this offense rolling at an elite level next season.
On the defensive side of the ball, only five starters return. Six fulltime starters who registered over 70 career starts between them are history. Among them are Zac Clark, Casey Matthews and Kenny Rowe.
Corner Cliff Harris returns, and figures to be a pain in the side of any offense Oregon faces. DE Terrell Turner will be counted on to anchor a new-look defensive line for Coordinator Nick Aliotti.
If Oregon can survive their season opening showdown with LSU in Arlington, look for the Ducks to be in the hunt for another berth in the national title game.
Marc Serota/Getty Images
Jim Harbaugh did a phenomenal job at Stanford. A 40-12 shellacking of Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl proved this program is for real. Harbaugh has left for the NFL, but Stanford still has luck on their side for next season.
And luck of course means Andrew Luck, who will return to school for his senior season after passing up being the first overall pick in the upcoming NFL Draft.
Luck is without-a-doubt the nation’s top signal-caller. He accounted for 36 total TD and close to 4,000 total yards this past season. He alone will give Stanford a fighting chance every time they take the field.
Stanford’s top two wide outs are gone, but 1,000 YD rusher Stepfan Taylor and TE Coby Fleener, who caught nine TD this past season, return. Only two starting offensive lineman return, but both were all-conference selections this past season.
The defense is losing seven starters, but all-conference safety Delano Howell returns to bolster what was the nation’s twenty-first best defense from a year ago.
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images
Head Coach Bret Bielema’s squad lost a hotly-contested Rose Bowl game to TCU, but will be right back in the BCS discussion next season.
QB Scott Tolzien is gone, but two peices of the three-headed monster in the backfield of Montee Ball, John Clay and James White will be returning and will once again gash opposing defenses. The trio combined for an astonishing 2,829 yards this season.
Jon Budmayr figures to replace Tolzien. He has only attempted ten passes in college, but with the running backs Wisconsin has, along with Nick Toon and Jake Byrne to throw to; Budmayr won’t be relied on to not win games for the Badgers. He just needs to not lose it.
Three starters return on an offensive line that was one of the nation’s best this past season.
The Badgers defense, nineteenth overall last season, will see seven starters return, including All-American DE J.J. Watt.
Watt anchors a dominant defensive line that has all four starters returning next year—something Big Ten coaches are absolutely thrilled about.
If the Badgers can survive trips to Ohio State and Michigan State, a home game against Nebraska may be the only thing standing in their way of reaching the national title game.