Published August 14, 2012 - 3:21pm
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Six straight national titles and a penchant for appearing in college football’s most important bowl games. How long will it take another conference to replace the SEC at the top of the Bowl Championship Series mountain?
In short, it’ll only get worse when the BCS transitions to its four-team playoff format in 2014. Adding two other teams to the title game mix will most likely give another team from the SEC a shot at a championship. The rich will get richer.
Let’s look at the statistics to determine how unlikely it is for the SEC to hand over the baton.
Appearances, record by conference in BCS Games
Big Ten 25 (11-13)
SEC 23 (16-7)
Big 12 19 (8-11)
Pac-12 17 (10-4)
ACC 15 (2-13)
Big East 14 (7-7)
*The Big Ten and Pac-12′s overall record may not match due to future sanctions levied by the NCAA.
As you can see, the ACC is downright embarrassing against college football’s elite. Last season’s conference champion, Clemson, took one on the chin in the form of a 70-33 beatdown against West Virginia. In fact, the Tigers’ defeat was the conference’s fourth consecutive loss in the BCS. The ACC’s last victory came during the 2008 season when Virginia Tech beat Cincinnati.
Depleted of most of its talented teams in recent years, the Big East won’t be able to match its seven-win total over the next decade. Miami and Virginia Tech are now in the ACC while West Virginia joins the Big 12 this season. Ohio State, Oklahoma and Southern Cal seem to be the only threats to the SEC’s next decade of dominance. The Buckeyes lead the way with nine all-time BCS appearances while the Trojans have won 6-of-7 marquee games since 1998.
The SEC’s winning percentage in national championship games sits at 87.5 percent, tops in all conferences. Like the Big Ten, seven different schools have represented the SEC in BCS contests and flex a 16-7 record. At the start of any season, there are usually four series contenders that can win a national championship from the SEC. That should continue with new additions Missouri and Texas A&M. No other conference can say this.
And we spread the wealth.
SEC records (by team) in BCS Games
Urban Meyer, Nick Saban and Les Miles. That’s about all you need to know when talking about the SEC’s BCS wins over the last five years. The conference’s players are usually the best in the country (Tim Tebow, Mark Ingram etc.), but its the SEC’s coaches that reign supreme.
These three are experts on executing a game plan and when you give them a month to do so, it’s usually perfection.
We haven’t even mentioned six-time SEC champ Steve Spurrier, one of the league’s many first ballot Hall-of-Famers. He’s still shooting for his first BCS appearance with the Gamecocks, equipped with one of the strongest programs in the East heading into this fall. Had the BCS been invented prior to 1998, Spurrier would’ve owned the spotlight.
Mark Richt anyone? Georgia’s longtime coach is one of the country’s best. He touts a 106-38 record in Athens, one of the top marks at any program in the nation over the last 10 years. He’s been to three Sugar Bowls and won two, including a 41-10 thumping of Colt Brennan’s Hawaii Warriors in 2007. Alabama’s loss to Utah at the same venue the following season is the only time the conference has fumbled the football in the spotlight during the BCS era.
Saban soon fixed that with two championships over the next three years.
Are there any conferences — or individual programs — that will challenge the SEC over the next 10 years?