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Alabama and the SEC Roll: You Want a Shot at the Title? Put Up or Shut Up

Jonathan Fravel@jfravel135Senior Analyst INovember 20, 2011

CHOKE; late in the season!
CHOKE; late in the season!

Come Sunday morning, the top three teams in the SEC west division will be listed as the top three teams in the country. Time and time again, other conference fans deny that the SEC is the best conference in college football.

Well, it's time to just stifle that silly talk and take a look at how these teams performed under pressure. This has been an incredible week of realignment and the stars are once again shining brightly in the southern sky.

Friday night frights hit the Big 12 leader, Oklahoma State. Oklahoma State lost 37-31 in double-overtime to Iowa State, allowing for 538 yards of total offense by the Cyclones. The Cowboys led 24-7 early in the third quarter, and allowed ISU to post 17 unanswered points. The Heisman candidate, Brandon Weeden, was intercepted in overtime.

The loss eliminated any chance for a BCS title shot for the formerly second-ranked Cowboys.

Less than 24 hours later, the Pac-12's Oregon Ducks dropped their second loss on the season, this one to the USC Trojans. USC has two losses as well, one to Stanford in overtime and one loss to a mediocre Arizona State (6-4, 4-3) in Week 4, a 43-22 beatdown.

Minutes later, No. 22 Baylor took a kickoff with just 51 seconds left in the game and drove the ball down the field in five plays, against the No. 5 Oklahoma Sooners, scoring on a 34-yard pass by sensational QB Robert Griffin III to a wide-open receiver Terrance Williams. Baylor won 45-38.

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And earlier in the day, the No. 7 Clemson Tigers, pride of the ACC Atlantic division, dropped their second loss in three games, this one to North Carolina State, 37-13 in a game that was marred by four turnovers by the Tigers.

OXFORD, MS - NOVEMBER 19: Kenny Hilliard #27 of the LSU Tigers runs against Joel Kight #15 of the Ole Miss Rebels on November 19, 2011 at Vaught-Hemingway Stadium in Oxford, Mississippi. LSU beat Mississippi 52-3. (Photo by Joe Murphy/Getty Images)
Joe Murphy/Getty Images

The Big 10 remains a respectable conference with Michigan State and either Penn State or Wisconsin representing their respective divisions in the inaugural Big Ten Championship game to be held in Indianapolis.

But no one is considering the winner of the Big Ten Championship a contender for the national title. One might ask why? But that's a topic for another article.

Meanwhile, the SEC leadership just took care of business. LSU remained undefeated, pummeling the Ole Miss Rebels 52-3, Alabama soundly defeated Georgia Southern 45-21 and the Arkansas Razorbacks blew out the Mississippi State Bulldogs by a score of 44-17.

No one will be wearing a crown until the final game is played in January, but it looks like the Southeastern Conference champion will have the inside track on defending the BCS crown and adding fuel to the argument that the SEC is simply the best conference in football, by representing the conference in the BCS championship game.

In fact, the SEC might be so good that the national championship game could be played by two Southeastern Conference teams, both from the West division, just to make a point.

So if you're an SEC basher, state your case. But make sure you got your shiny shoes on and and and a fresh haircut because the bull-crap detector will be going off and is going to be a distraction for the judge. Don't use smoke and mirrors, please, just the facts.

College football is a great sport. Athletes from every conference certainly deserve our praise and admiration for going out and playing with grit and passion every Saturday from September to December. There are great players and very good teams in every conference across the college landscape. Every game this week has been fun to watch.

Every team deserves support, without question and fans should be proud of their teams, whoever they are and from wherever they are based. But once again, the southern teams are proving that the best football teams in the land play below the Mason-Dixson line, and the better teams are under the banner of the Southeastern Conference. It's a fact.

And during bowl season, you're gonna hear the chant in the stands from our great fans, "SEC, SEC, SEC!" Just deal with it! 

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