Can the SEC continue its run in the BCS?

Happy Friday, everyone. After all the blogs and all the games and all the discussion since mid-July, it’s hard to believe that we are in the final days of the 2010 season. I was going to do Five Burning Questions to get us into the weekend but with the SEC involved in three bowl games in the next four days, I have only two questions for you this morning:

1. After an 0-3 start to bowl season, the SEC is now 3-4 after Arkansas’s loss to Ohio State in the Sugar Bowl. How will the SEC finish and can it avoid a losing bowl season?

2. The SEC has won four staight BCS National Championships. Will the run continue Monday night against Oregon in Glendale, Ariz.?

Let’s start with question No. 1: We knew the SEC East was significantly weaker than the SEC West this season but the final numbers were pretty striking. Here are the records of the SEC West teams against the East during the 2010 season:

Alabama, 2-1: (beat Florida, Tennessee; lost to South Carolina).

Arkansas, 3-0: (beat Georgia, Vandy, South Carolina).

Auburn, 4-0: (beat South Carolina twice, Kentucky, Georgia)

LSU, 3-0: (beat Vandy, Tennessee, Florida).

Ole Miss, 1-2: (lost to Vanderbilt, Tennessee; beat Kentucky).

Miss. State, 3-0: (beat Georgia, Florida, Kentucky).

So on the season the SEC West was 16-3 against the East. Four teams went undefeated and only one (Ole Miss) had a losing record.

The SEC West is 2-1 in bowls with Alabama winning the Cap One, Mississippi State winning the Gator, and Arkansas losing the Sugar. LSU plays Texas A&M tonight in the Cotton Bowl while Auburn plays Monday night in the BCS championship game. Kentucky will try to salvage something for the SEC East when it faces Pittsburgh (and interim coach Phil Bennett) on Saturday in the BBVA Compass Bowl in Birmingham. All three games look like tossups to me and the SEC needs to go 2-1 in order to finish .500 in the bowl season.

Now to the second question. We all know that the SEC has won four straight BCS national championships. When you throw in LSU’s 2003 championship and the 2004 Auburn team that went 13-0 and got shut out, the SEC has been in the national championship picture for seven of the past eight seasons. Here are some tidbits on that run you might find interesting, courtesy of the smart people from the SEC office:

**–A win by Auburn would give the SEC its fifth straight national championship, but just as significant would be the fact that Auburn would be the fourth different school to win a title in that five-year span: Florida (2006, 2008), LSU (2007), Alabama (2009).

**–Since 2006, half of the slots in the five BCS championship games (5 of 10) have been taken by SEC teams. The other five slots were taken by the Big Ten (2), the Big 12 (2), and the Pac-10 (1).

**–There have been 40 sets of BCS standings since October of 2006. In that span an SEC team has been ranked No. 1 in 18 of those 40 weeks. The rest of conferences: The Big Ten (13 weeks), Big 12 (five weeks), Pac-10 (four weeks).

**–In that same 40-week run, 11 of the 12 SEC teams have been ranked in the BCS Top 25 for at least one week. LSU leads that list with 37 weeks ranked. Vanderbilt was not ranked.

**–And finally, the SEC is 7-1 in BCS bowl games since 2006. Here is the breakdown of BCS records by conference:

SEC…………….7-1

Pac-10………..3-1

WAC…………..2-1

Big East……….2-2

Mountain West…1-1

Big Ten…………..2-5

Big 12…………….2-5

ACC………………1-3

Independents…..0-1

That’s a lot of numbers but it points out that the SEC has had an unprecedented run in the BCS since 2006. Now in that stretch it should be noted that the SEC has never faced a Pac-1o team in a BCS bowl. The SEC’s five national championships in the BCS era, which started in 1998, have come against the Big 12 (Texas and Oklahoma), the Big Ten (Ohio State twice), and the ACC (Florida State).

In fact, ESPN.com’s Pat Forde points out that since 1959, the SEC and Pac-10 have met just nine times in bowl games. The score? SEC 5, Pac-10 4.

So, as we leave you and head to Glendale, Ariz., we ask: Will the SEC continue its remarkable run on Monday night?

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Barnhart and Durham:  Today we preview tonight’s Cotton Bowl matchup between Texas A&M and LSU and look ahead to next Monday’s BCS championship in Arizona. Glenn Gilbeau, who covers LSU for the Gannett News Service, will join us from Dallas. Noted talk show host Paul Finebaum will join us from Arizona to talk BCS championship. We’ll also have an interview with White House Press Secretary Robert Gibbs, who grew up in Auburn, Ala., and will be in Glendale pulling for his Tigers. Please join us at 10 a.m. www.790thezone.com

387 comments Add your comment

jwr

January 7th, 2011
9:02 am

At one time I was on the Suspend Cam bandwagon, but why shouldn’t Cam play? He didn’t personally benefit from anything that happened, and Auburn didn’t directly or indirectly pay for anything. Cam committed no crime, the University of Auburn committed no crime. Why hold Cam and AU responsible for the actions of Mr Newton and a rich booster?

travy

January 7th, 2011
9:03 am

i hope the ratings are crap. playing this late is a crime. who even cares anymore?

What's a d a w g?

January 7th, 2011
9:05 am

I doubt that anyone really gives a flying fk who you pull for, 5m and bm2, etc. All that sour you’re suffering from doesn’t affect anyone but you. It sure as hell doesn’t affect the outcome of the game. So go ahead and make a fool of yourself. After an entire, excruciating year of reading the garbage you post, we’re all Fairly accustomed to it. It just makes it that much easier to pour salt in your wounds every Monday. Let’s see now, what were the scores of Auburn’s last two regular season games. Oh yeah, I remember. I know you do too. HA! It’s Great To Be An Auburn Tiger!
War Eagle!!

jwr

January 7th, 2011
9:05 am

Heck, what could the booster have done if he donated 6 figures to Mr Newton’s church and Cam went to play for Dan Mullen anyways?

Answer: nothing, because Cam wasn’t personally involved with the “deal”.

War Eagle

January 7th, 2011
9:07 am

Better a sister in a house of ill-repute than a brother at Bama.

LT

January 7th, 2011
9:08 am

To DC – grow up a little and drop the homophobia – “UGAY”. you’re either 12 years old or latent.

GatorDrew

January 7th, 2011
9:11 am

sandman… you’ve struck upon the problem with SEC expansion ideas. The noles get in over my cold, reptilian body (more importantly, Jeremy Foley’s). And I’m sure USCw feels exactly the same about Clemson. All of the ADs in the SEC have a verbal agreement that their instate rivals from another conference do not get in. UF-FSU/UM, UGA/GT, USC/Clemson. Why would we want to do something to aid them?? Has to come from somewhere else.

Auburn Man

January 7th, 2011
9:11 am

@ travy I’m with you on this mid-January stuff. Too late at 8:30 pm too. The NCAA and the schools have sold their souls to ESPN.

Gator Mike

January 7th, 2011
9:13 am

DC – I sure hope you are right because I am pulling for AU. My only point is that the Ducks seem to have the same focus which the Gators had when they played OSU for the BCS title. As we all remember, OSU scored on the opening kickoff which did not adversely affect the Gators focus because they went on to blow out the buckeyes.

Go War Eagle!

joe

January 7th, 2011
9:15 am

I don’t care what anyone says…LSU lost that game to TN.

Mtn Dawg

January 7th, 2011
9:15 am

Nick Fairley needs to lose. I hope Auburn wins but Fairley needs to lose.

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
9:17 am

@Auburn Man …the 830 stuff is for the west coast viewers…

The Barn is Burning

January 7th, 2011
9:17 am

Quack Attack!

No question that the Ducks will beat those cheatin, lyin, theivin, lousy Barn Rats!

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
9:18 am

joe is correct.

if not for the corruption in the SEC that forces refs to protect the highest ranked team, LSU would have an L on their record after the TN game. they certainly lost it on the field.

Tim

January 7th, 2011
9:18 am

I think everyone knows that Cam knew everything about the $ and they will eventually find it. Thats why I think the majority of college fans want the Ducks to win. How ironic is it that the Duck’s kicked off a kid for stealing a laptop and Auburn picked one up (along with a lot of additional baggage).

Go Ducks! Quack Quack!

DC

January 7th, 2011
9:19 am

LT you read all of my comment and all you got was the UGAY? haha that cracks me up…thUGA better? its a name…just like Barners Bammers Lesticles Urban Cryer…

You’ll be ok.

Gator mike,

I do see the loss last year for Oregon helping them prep for this game no doubt..but prep work can only do so much..if you are outclassed, you are outclassed. Monday needs to hurry up and get here.

Chi Town

January 7th, 2011
9:19 am

Hope the weather on Monday messes up the cable reception for all the Barners watching the game in all the trailers down in Lee County.

Out of State Monkey

January 7th, 2011
9:19 am

I noticed Tony the SEC shill happened to “choose” 2006 as the starting point for his analysis as then he would have had to include the Puppies’ beatdown against those hicks from WVA in the Sugar Bowl the year before. That’s probably the Big East’s only BCS winner ever and it came against the Puppies. And UGAY wanted a piece of USC at the Rose Bowl the next year? C’mon man.

By the way “SEC Tony” also left out this year’s Sugar Bowl results too I see. What’s wrong Tony, doesn’t work for your numbers, or are you like all the other SEC homers and pretending that the Pigs are still in the SWC?

But I understand Tony, the only other conference you’ve got to write about around here is the A She She, so I suppose I’d write about the SEC too…unless you want to talk about some real football like they play at UCF.

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
9:20 am

yeah, DC is a moron. and probably hiding something on his closet.

DC

January 7th, 2011
9:22 am

@82Dawg, I understand that its for the west coast those times…BUT, if you are going to do a game that late it better be on a weekend…these start times are not respectable to people that work haha

TS

January 7th, 2011
9:23 am

To Chi Town @8:51

Quacker please!

Go Tigers!

Good grief

January 7th, 2011
9:23 am

What people seem to forget is that we’ve seen this same Oregon team before, numerous times actually. Going back to the mid-90’s they began having 50+ games against conference opponents. The only difference this year is that they didn’t stumble late in the season. They tried to against Cal, but Cal is so horrible they invented new ways to lose. Oregon will wish they were playing Ohio St. again this year after they see not only the size, but the speed of the SEC big boys. I just love how ESPN is hilariously trying to pretend this is a brand new Oregon team that just came out of nowhere.

SecIsFootball

January 7th, 2011
9:26 am

Auburn Man….I am a BAMA alum I know A LOT of AU fans. I grew up in Mobile and went to high school with many and now live in Atlanta where you have a huge alumni base. Not one of the people I know was cheering for Alabama last year. Two of my co-workers from AU each paid $60 for Texas Nike Polo shirts to wear. We are talking about the same fan base which rolls toomer corner when ALABAMA LOSES!!! If we would have lost the NC game last year, there would have been more TP in the trees at the corner than there was for any one AU game. So, with that said, I would not cheer for AU for any reason whatsoever. I just assume Oregon wins this year any another SEC team wins it again next season.

As for your comments about Saban and the Iron Bowl this year, you guys won because you were the better team. Julio didnt quit. He owned your defensive backfield the entire game with about 150 receiving yards. Not sure how you see that as quitting. We couldnt stop the AU pass rush and our DB’s got beat in the second half. We beat you guys the year before in a very similar manner. Should I attribute that to AU quitting and the Malzahn (he is who is responsible for your success) got out coached? No…in the end we were the better team who overcame some adversity and won. Glad you see this year as differently but as an AU fan, I expect nothing less from you. You guys just keep acting like last year was a flash in the pan for Alabama while this year for AU will be the norm. We lost A LOT on D last year. You guys lose you entire offensive line and a number of players off of a D that was ranked in the lower half of the SEC. Enjoy this while it lasts because once you lose Cam (85% of your offense) and replace him with Barrett Trotter (I laugh ever time I think about that) AU will go back to where it historically belongs in the history of the conference.

With all that said…GO DUCKS!!!

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
9:27 am

people still talk about “SEC speed”, lol? oh man, this game monday is gonna be fun to watch.

you guys don’t forget to come back here tuesday morning and complain to barnhart that if 4 or 5 plays had gone the other way, auburn would have had a chance to win…

Mtn Dawg

January 7th, 2011
9:27 am

Auburn 42 Oregon 33.

Mark C.

January 7th, 2011
9:30 am

Roll Ducks Roll

PMC

January 7th, 2011
9:31 am

What did we really learn from Bowl Season?

The SEC west is really good. Arkansas is good but didn’t play flawlessly and it hurt them. They improved on defense this year but were still going to give up 30. Adams dropped too many balls that hit him in the chest.

The SEC east is beyond hot garbage. The SEC east was absolutely awful this year.

Mtn Dawg

January 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Auburn 450+ yards total offense. Newton 130+ yards rushing.

Geezer

January 7th, 2011
9:32 am

Go Oregon, Stomp them Barn’ers! Auburn is a disgrace to SEC and College Football and Cam Newton and his Dad a disgrace to the state of Georgia!

JDawg

January 7th, 2011
9:33 am

Beatdown? Wasn’t it a 3 point game?

And I wouldn’t beat my chest about UFC. I mean, they won their first bowl ever by beating a team who: a) finished 6-7; b) didn’t beat a team with a winning record all season; and c) lost to Colorado.

Ormewood

January 7th, 2011
9:33 am

SEC is clearly the best conference. It’s not even worth discussing. As a non-SEC fan however, I don’t understand why UGA, UF, Bama, LSU, or any other fan base would pull for Auburn in this game. I would never, ever pull for my team’s rivals to win anything. Never, ever.

DawginLex

January 7th, 2011
9:33 am

The WV sugar Bowl was Jan 1 2006. The Hawaii game was Jan 1 2008

2 seasons later

Stafford and Moreno

Yes we wanted to play USC and yes we would have won.

GSU Eagle 91

January 7th, 2011
9:33 am

The SEC has had a good run….and it may continue after Monday’s game is over….
I am pulling for Oregon but Cam is the difference and I think Auburn wins a close contest.
What really irks me…is the way some of the SEC bandwagoners jump from school to school if it is convenient.
How could a Gator fan pull for Auburn..or LSU…No way a true Bama fan would pull for Auburn…
As a GA Southern grad, and fan, I would NEVER pull for Appalachian St, even though they are in the Southern Conference together. Never…I despise them all 52 weeks per year…Not just 1 week….
Tony..I cannot get a “feel” for the Monday night game…These teams are unique, with Auburn basically a one-man Army, and the Ducks employing schemes we have not seen much of before…I just hope it goes down to the end…Like Texas and USC…
No one is giving Texas A&M much of a chance tonight. LSU has been an excellent bowl team under Coach Miles..They should win by at least 10….

Paul in RDU

January 7th, 2011
9:33 am

Tony mailed this one it. Doesn’t tell us anything we don’t know – the SEC has played in a bunch of BCS games, won more than any other conference and is currently the best FB conference.
Plenty of errors as usual – since 2006 the WAC is 3-1 in BCS games, the Mountain West is 2-1, the ACC is 1-4

Good grief

January 7th, 2011
9:36 am

wesley,

Yeah, you make a great argument. Since the SEC has such a horrible track record in BCS title games and all……

David

January 7th, 2011
9:37 am

Tony, no offense, your beloved Ga has contributed greatly to the weak eastern division teams. Central Florida exposed just how average that entire division is. The west is the elite conference division in football. The conference needs to beef up the east by removing Vandy and bringing in a Florida State.
No way a 3 loss team should get in the SEC championship game. Ga is very indicative of the eastern division.

Good grief

January 7th, 2011
9:37 am

Paul,

Since the creation of the BCS, what is the ACC, 2-15?

Mtn Dawg

January 7th, 2011
9:37 am

Thomas 200+ yards passing, James 100+ yards rushing

Fink

January 7th, 2011
9:38 am

I don’t have any reason not to be confident in Auburn.

Yes, they won games close at the start of the season- the definition of a 4th quarter team.

But, wins @ Alabama, vs LSU, vs Arkansas show mw how good this team is. Also, to see the growth of the team- from South Carolina in Sept to South Carolina in Dec- this Auburn team is not going to be a push over.

Only thing that concerns me is the long layoff between games. War Eagle!

Paul in RDU

January 7th, 2011
9:40 am

jwr

January 7th, 2011
8:57 am
@ David:

I suspect that if USC had been facing the SEC in BCS bowls, their experience would be pretty close to another touted conference leader who is 1-3 (and tried real hard to go 0-4) against SEC teams
__________________________________________________________________________

USC vs SEC teams since 2000
9/2/2006 @ Arkansas (10-4) W 50 14
9/17/2005 vs. Arkansas (4-7) W 70 17
8/30/2003 @ Auburn (8-5) W 23 0
9/2/2002 vs. Auburn (9-4) W 24 17

Yep – they really have had problems against SEC teams. Didn’t the 2004 AU team go unbeaten?

Stan

January 7th, 2011
9:41 am

All these people that pretend to question why SEC fans (really all fans) pull for their conference brethren in bowl games crack me up. As though this is some sort of weird phenomenon or something. Even ESPN has the Bowl Cup Championship every year, which means they keep track of how conferences do and analyze it. You want your conference to do well since thats who your guys are associated with.

Fink

January 7th, 2011
9:41 am

@ Ormewood

You don’t understand the pride ppl have in SEC football

Paul in RDU

January 7th, 2011
9:42 am

@Good grief
The ACC has a terrible record but you missed my point – this was an incredibly lazy article from TB – he wasn’t even bothered to update the BCS records for any of the conferences using the results from this year

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
9:43 am

lol @ “good grief”,

so the game between oregon and auburn will be determined by the SEC’s “track record in BCS title games”?

what a clown.

i suppose alabama’s game against texas 12 months ago will decide who wins this game between two different schools?

brilliant.

remind everyone – what SEC school did u go to? just so we can all steer people away from going there for an education.

Fink

January 7th, 2011
9:43 am

@ Paul in RDU

If USC played Auburn in 2004?

Well, Auburn had their shot at USC in 2002 and 2003- both times ended up embarrassed.

Barry Badrinath

January 7th, 2011
9:45 am

Fink,

Look no further than OSU in 2002. About 8 of their wins were God awful ugly, no one gave them a chance against Miami and look what happened.

ga gator

January 7th, 2011
9:47 am

Ormewood

I mostly agree that one should not root for your rivals. However in the non-playoff world that we live in, perception is very important and most SEC fans realize that if the conference run continues, then it will always make a one loss SEC team a viable option for the Title game.

woebegong

January 7th, 2011
9:47 am

An Auburn win helps all of the SEC schools in recruiting. No fan of Auburn during the year but my dogs for sure were not worth a nickle. No matter, Auburn is representing the SEC for the BCS title and everybody who has an interest in SEC football as a whole, should be hoping they win. Some of you jokers just amaze me with your childish, short sighted view of things.

Paul in RDU

January 7th, 2011
9:49 am

Fink – That is my point exactly.

Out of State Monkey

January 7th, 2011
9:50 am

I know why SEC homers root for the other teams in their conference, because it gives them something to feel good about even though their own team blows. Most of these people can be found in the states of Tennessee, Kentucky, and Georgia.

I can’t wait to see that SEC speed on display in September when that pathetic WAC/Moutain West newbie with the stupid blue field comes to Athens. But at least UGAY fans can root for other teams in their conference that’ll beat their behinds too like Alabama, right?