Only SEC can stop itself from winning another BCS title

Chris Leak holds the championship trophy at the BCS National Championship game in 2007. The win started a streak of five straight BCS titles by SEC schools.

Doug Finger/Staff photographer
Published: Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 8:00 a.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, August 4, 2011 at 12:11 a.m.

The train is rolling along, a runaway combination of speed and power barreling toward the rest of college football with dollar bills twisting in the wind behind it and the hand brake snapped in half.

We revel in it while the rest of the BCS conferences try to figure out how to make the SEC jump the tracks. The league is boastful and pretentious about it's runaway train. The cover of the conference's media guide this year is simply a big number.


Five straight national titles by four different teams. It's an unprecedented run with no end in sight. Because the SEC has never been better. And once you get through the rigors of this conference and the best conference championship game atmosphere in college sports, playing for a national title is almost a formality.

That's why I'm convinced there's only one thing that can stop the SEC from making it six straight titles.

The SEC.

That's right. It won't be Oklahoma or Nebraska or, hee-hee, Ohio State. If the league is going to see its streak end, it will because the conference champion won't get the chance to win one.

And isn't it about time it happened?

At the Big 12 Media Days, Oklahoma coach Bobby Stoops said it was “up to the other conferences” to stop the SEC.

Good luck.

How many other conferences have four teams you can see winning the national title? I'll take Alabama, LSU, Arkansas and South Carolina and give you the field. All of those teams have flaws, but they also have enough star power to slap Band-Aids on those open wounds.

This isn't a cycle. It's the way it is and it's the way it's going to be for awhile. Fans aren't going to become less passionate, athletic directors' arms aren't going to shorten all of a sudden. The talent pool isn't going to get any smaller, and the players in the South are only going to get stronger and faster.

Certainly, the league has needed some breaks to get those teams into the big game. Whether it was a blocked field goal (see: Florida, 2006 and Alabama, 2009) or some other teams choking, the SEC has received some help during this run of five straight.

And maybe that is about to change. Maybe this year the field goal hits the upright or the best player on the best team tears a knee ligament, or the door is about to open for an SEC team and it's shut by a taunting penalty.

You can't count on bad luck, though.

Any more than you can count on good luck.

Instead, the best bet for some team outside the SEC to win it all is that the SEC lives up to its reputation. If every game is a dogfight, as we heard in Hoover, and the teams play each other so tough, then the best chance for an Oklahoma-Nebraska or Oregon-TCU matchup in New Orleans is that the SEC teams beat each other.

Certainly, you can see a scenario where the SEC Championship Game pits a couple of two-loss teams. When the defending national champ is picked fifth in the division, you know the road is going to be treacherous for the favorites.

I know that the last time an SEC champ had two losses, LSU played for and won the national title. But what are the chances of that happening again?

No, I believe the best chance the other BCS conferences or even the non-Automatic Qualifiers have to stop this Southern-fried dynasty doesn't lie in their hands.

What they really need is for the Southeastern Conference to be at its best, week-in and week-out.

And no team survives.

Contact Pat Dooley at 352-374-5053 or at You can listen to The Pat Dooley Show weekdays from 4-6 p.m. on 104.9 FM. And follow at

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