5 Teams That Can Snap the SEC's BCS Championship Streak
The SEC has been dominating college football for the last half of a decade. The Florida Gators under Urban Meyer were a force to be reckoned with. The LSU Tigers under Nick Saban had great teams and the Alabama Crimson Tide have now had dominant seasons under Saban.
The National Champion has come from the SEC for each of the past five seasons. 2011 should be an exciting season. But are there any teams in college football outside of the SEC that will seriously contend for the National Championship come January?
Here are five teams that have a legitimate shot at knocking the SEC off its perch.
5. Boise State
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Could this be the year that Boise State finally lands itself in the BCS Championship?
The Broncos have only lost once in the last two seasons, yet have been consistently "snubbed" by the BCS. Three straight WAC championships have not gotten Boise State where they want to be. Could 2011 finally be their year?
An away game at Georgia should give Boise State an opportunity to prove its worth. Boise State will once again need to go undefeated to have a chance. With the return of quarterback Kellen Moore for one more season, the time is now for the Broncos.
4. Florida State
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The Seminoles gained momentum last year, going finishing with a strong record of 10-4. Coach Jimbo Fisher has brought in solid recruiting classes lately and this will undoubtedly strengthen their depth chart. Quarterback E.J. Manuel is back to lead the offense and defensive end Brandon Jenkins will once again wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks.
A September matchup versus Oklahoma in Tallahassee will be an intriguing game. If the 'Noles can beat the Sooners, they will jump up in the rankings and be in prime position to reach the BCS Championship. The ACC is not the toughest conference, so the Seminoles will have a good shot to run the table.
Although a dark horse, Florida State could return to its former glory days in 2011.
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The Badgers come into this year bitter after a tough loss to TCU in the Rose Bowl last season. Returning tailback-duo James White and Montee Ball return to lead the offense. Transfer Quarterback Russell Wilson comes to Madison and gives the Badgers an athletic option at quarterback to replace the graduated Scott Tolzien.
An away game October 29 at Ohio State will be challenging, but the Badgers could very well go undefeated in the Big Ten.
With the Big Ten adding a championship game this year, the Badgers will have a legitimate shot at reaching the BCS Championship.
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The Pac-10 is gone. The conference has a new look this year and is now called the Pac-12. Colorado and Utah have joined up and their additions make the conference much more appealing in the eyes of the BCS computers.
Quarterback Darren Thomas returns to lead the high-octane offense. They also have Heisman runner-up LaMichael James back for another season, so the Ducks should not lose much on offense.
A September 3 matchup at LSU gives the Ducks a tough non-conference schedule, winning them favor in the BCS rankings system. If Oregon can hold off a tough Stanford squad, they will most likely find themselves in the BCS Championship game conversation.
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The preseason number one team in the nation is the front-runner to reach the BCS Championship in January. The Sooners return QB Landry Jones and star WR Ryan Broyles to lead an explosive offense. The Sooners also play tough on the defensive side of the ball.
After crushing Connecticut in last season's Fiesta Bowl, Oklahoma is focused on taking the next step. They will have a tough start to this season, with a non-conference showdown at Florida State. The rest of the schedule is favorable, with only four other road games. The Sooners will play Texas and Texas A&M at home.
If the Sooners can pull out a win in Tallahassee, they will be in prime position to knock the SEC off its title throne in the BCS Championship game.