Saturday, August 14, 2010
Could SEC cannibalism finally end streak?
Debate all you want about what the best conference in college football is, the Southeastern Conference is the King of College Football.
And, until another team from another conference wins a national title - the SEC has won the last four BCS Championships - for this column we are going to assume the SEC is at the head of the class.
Take that one step further and since Alabama and Florida have combined to lose only one regular season game in two years (UF's one-point loss to Ole Miss in '08) and duked it out for the conference title the past two years, the Tide and the Gators certainly have to be considered the valedictorians of that class.
The consensus does nothing to change that as we stand at the threshold of the 2010 season.
Alabama and Florida were ranked No.1 and No.3 respectively when the USA Today Preseason Coaches' Poll was released last week.
Now, if you've either followed, or been a fan of, the SEC during their four-year reign, you have no doubt wondered at some point if the weekly grind of the conference schedule would allow any SEC team to play for a national championship.
Only one of those past four BCS champs (Bama last year) went unscathed through the conference, and LSU - who won it all in '07 - captured the national title despite two losses.
In fact, the only losses those past four BCS champs suffered were conference losses.
My point is, it's nothing new that the SEC annually beats up on each other during the season, but somehow finds a way to reach college football's summit when the dust settles.
My question however is, is this the year that streak ends?
The SEC West is arguably stronger from top to bottom this season.
Despite the fact that LSU has gone 8-5 each of the last two years, they get Bama in Baton Rouge with a bye week the week before.
Speaking of which, the Tide's final six SEC opponents of '10 all have an extra week (bye weeks) to prepare for Alabama.
As far as the East, Florida has had little trouble in the last two seasons navigating through their division, but they will be trying to do that with a new QB (John Brantley) who hasn't started a football game - much less in college - in four years.
So, what about the Tide and the Gators, or anyone else in the SEC?
Will they be able to extend "The Streak?"
At the very least, you have to admit the odds are stacked against them, don't you?