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?

Please follow me on Twitter:

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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

War Eagle UGA '89

January 8th, 2011
12:33 pm

UGA 89 I wouldn’t do any trash talking because UGA was the one who sucked this year! LoL!!

Huh?

January 8th, 2011
12:47 pm

@MikeP

Nope. Haven’t seen one of those. Are you sure you didn’t just dream it? You do seem somewhat obsessed with “Big Brother”.

Chillahill43

January 8th, 2011
12:51 pm

Hey PB. Nobody mentuoned anythung about a civil war . The facts ate that the media is domimated by Northeast news and sports programers. You can get over that ypur self. I will not forget that for 4 years in a row the SEC has kicked everyother opponent they have faced in the Championship game. So you my ftiend can get over it. You clowns want to say the SEC is down because 2 of the loses in bowls this year came from 2. 6 & 6 football teams. The fact is the teams that were supposed to win have done just that. And have done it rather solidly. See LSU. See AL. See Ms St See FL. Then watch Auburn kick the Quack outta the ducjks.
The SEC is real football. All other is just white. (That’s background. So you PB dont consider all things rascist) noise. And once yall realize that UGA is a minor program in a major conference your hatered for all things good will dissappear!

hbcuclassics

January 8th, 2011
1:14 pm

HBCU Classics All-Americans

Offense

QB Matthew Johnson, Bethune**
QB Stanley Jennings, Albany St**
RB Walter Sanders, St. Augustine
RB DeAngelo Branche, Norfolk St
RB Frank Warren, Grambling
WR Raymond Webber, UAPB
WR Ronnie Childs, Albany St
WR Lennel Elmore, SC State
OL David Mims, VA Union
OL Johnny Culbreath, SC State
OL Mike Mavromichalis, Albany St
OL Natiel Curry, Bethune
OL Josh Harrison, SC State

http://www.hbcuclassics.com

Just_Sayin

January 8th, 2011
2:29 pm

Every time Auburn has a great season they wind up on probation within a year

Auburn

January 8th, 2011
2:57 pm

Think we care?

Even if you do — you can’t PROVE it.

Pluck the Ducks!!!

UGA Envy

January 8th, 2011
3:34 pm

Fan of the Game

January 8th, 2011
6:21 pm

TV is going to ruin college football and ESPN is leading the way!

AU_DAZE

January 8th, 2011
6:48 pm

All the Bammar hate being spewed in this commentary means our Tigers are doing their job. When the sidewalk alumni Tuscaloohooozers place their hopes and aspirations on AU being punished by the NCAA (case closed by the way), we can smile knowing “bammar’s back baby”…..as in back in the backseat again.
Haters gonna hate and your bile/spew is the wind beneath our wings! War Eagle…keep Hatin’….

trey

January 8th, 2011
9:19 pm

Go Oregon!!!

Quack

January 8th, 2011
10:28 pm

Big D Dawg

January 9th, 2011
12:50 am

I don’t always pull for the SEC, especially one of my hated rivals. Anything orange. We recruit the same players and when a rival wins the MNC it affects recruiting. I’ll be pulling for the Ducks, but I believe that the tiggers, plainsmen, war eagles will win.

woebegong

January 9th, 2011
7:24 am

I can’t understand all of this childish bickering amongst different fans of different programs on this blog. The SEC is the best conference in the country right now and the last five years results prove it. Any team that goes undefeated in the SEC has the other teams in the SEC to thank for the help they have given them to get that way. We do after all play each other in conference games and therefore by default, help prepare the victor to prepare for the big game. Solid coaching and the ability to change with the game, win most SEC conference games. If you do not think so, think about how many times the Auburn Tigers came back this year. Their coaching staff adapted to the flow of the game and changed what was needed to win that game. If you live in the SE U.S. you should all be proud when one of our conference teams gets to play for the big one. Hate each other all you want during the regular season, but do not forget, Auburn is playing for the NC, representing the SEC as well as their school. The money they get from this game is divided amongst all of the SEC schools so it benefits us all. All the bowl games are divided that way. It represents a good chunk of change for each school in the conference every year. At least if you feel the need to fight amongst yourselves about who is greatest and such, do not revert to a bunch of children by calling each other gays, uneducated morons, and all the other dribble you see on these discussions. I ignore 90% of what is written on these discussion because of that alone, but I do like to read, intelligent, thoughful and meaningful discussions that stick to the subject and show maturity.

Huh?

January 9th, 2011
9:21 am

@woebegong

“I can’t understand all of this childish bickering amongst different fans of different programs on this blog.”

First experience with a sports blog, eh?

woebegong

January 9th, 2011
9:24 am

UHU?
Nope, not by a long shot. I just think a lot of what is typed on here is darn childish. But then, I am only approaching 62 years old, so maybe I am just impatient with a lot of the immaturity displayed.

Auburn

January 9th, 2011
9:24 am

Auburn deserves this. It’s payback for 2004. The NCAA cheated us out of that NC by allowing Reggie Bush to play. This is a makeup call on their part.

Pluck the Ducks!!!

Huh?

January 9th, 2011
9:26 am

I’m about your age. This stuff didn’t use to come up on websites — that’s true. Instead, you had to gather around the barber shop or the water cooler at work to hear this kind of trash talk.

;-)

woebegong

January 9th, 2011
10:04 am

HUH?

You are exactly right. Another tradition gone down the tube. Now they meet at Mickey D’s, Burger Chef, or some other fast food venue. But the internet gives some folks a great venue to post their comments, so it is what it is. Just like to see serious comments instead of, UGAYers, cheaters and such. I wonder how many of us could even coach with the pressure there is on a coach these days at major colleges.

bruce mac

January 9th, 2011
10:43 am

Another year, another SEC National Championship in football. HO HUM

IRISH DAWG

January 9th, 2011
12:07 pm

AUBURN HAS PAID AND CHEATED IT’S WAY TO THE NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP. I HOPE THE DUCKS TAKE IT ALL AWAY. DUCK49 AUBURN38 GO DUCKS!!!!!

BWH Dawg

January 9th, 2011
12:33 pm

Wesley Fag Fag,

I know you are uncomfortable and angry about being gay, but stay on point. The SEC is the best in the country and ACC is at best the 5th or 6th conference in the country. Your Jackets play in the minor leagues, anbd I mean single A ball. The records prove it. After Auburn wears out Oregon, you will be nowhere to be found on Tuesday. You spit all of this venom and NEVER can back it up with a win from your Jackets or ACC brethren. Get some help in 2011 along with a new handle.

BCSstinks

January 9th, 2011
1:04 pm

For those of you saying that Oregon will not stop Auburn’s offense wow. Oregon has a better shot at stopping Auburn then Auburn does stopping Oregon. Both teams are very close but Oregon is an all around better team on both sides of the ball. We will know for sure tomorrow night.

Stanky Taint

January 9th, 2011
2:31 pm

@BCSstinks

It’s hard to say who’s better, but Auburn has faced better competition this year than have the Ducks. They’ve also had some closer games because of it.

Saban Commits Another Violation?

January 9th, 2011
3:59 pm

Solomon: Saban bumps into another controversy
Published: Saturday, January 08, 2011, 5:30 AM
By Jon Solomon — The Birmingham News

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Alabama bid farewell to three stars Friday. Mark Ingram, Marcell Dareus and Julio Jones officially announced they’re off to the NFL early.
But then you might have already heard about Ingram’s decision. On Wednesday, OKBlitz.com quoted Oklahoma City recruit Barry Sanders Jr. as saying Nick Saban told him Ingram was leaving.
The potential problem: Sanders Jr., a top running back prospect for 2012 and the son of an NFL great, is a high school junior. Extended conversations with juniors aren’t allowed.
Saban has bumped himself into another bump-rule controversy.
Saban said it was just a greeting and no NCAA violation occurred. Sanders Jr., in some of his quotes, made it sound like more. And Oklahoma State, another school recruiting Sanders Jr., is concerned about what Saban did or didn’t do.
“It was just a greeting, and that’s fine the way I understand the rule,” Saban said Friday. “There was no set-up. It was strictly I ran into a guy in the cafeteria in the school and I greeted him and asked him about his injury. So, you know, I’ll defend myself on that one.”
Sanders Jr. was quoted by OKBlitz.com as saying this about the encounter: “He just said, ‘We need running backs.’ How Trent (Richardson) would be a senior if I were to go (to Alabama). He told me Ingram’s leaving, he’s making it public probably Friday.”
That’s more than a passing greeting that the NCAA allows. Except Mark Adams, the high school offensive coordinator for Sanders Jr., told NewsOK.com that Saban was talking to him at the time of the running back discussion and Sanders Jr. might have been in the vicinity.
This is how it works in the never-ending, convoluted world of the NCAA bump rule.
Sanders Jr. said Saban also asked about the player’s recent foot surgery, according to OKBlitz.com. BamaOnline.com quoted Sanders Jr. this way: “Coach Saban came to my school this week to talk to some of my coaches and I saw him for a quick moment passing by in the halls.”
The NCAA doesn’t allow contact with a recruit before July 1 following the completion of his or her junior year of high school. Contact is defined as “any face-to-face encounter” between a recruit and his or her family with a university representative that exceeds an exchange of a greeting.
It’s not considered contact if the recruit approaches the coach, provided the encounter was not prearranged and the coach “does not engage in any dialogue in excess of a greeting and takes appropriate steps to immediately terminate the encounter.”
You can split 1,000 hairs on what exactly constitutes excess dialogue and when terminating the encounter must occur. But if Sanders Jr.’s quotes to OKBlitz.com are accurate, this sounds like a secondary violation.
This much is certain: Oklahoma State, where Sanders Jr.’s father starred, is fuming.
“I think the thing to do is read the bylaws and look at the descriptions of what the (OKBlitz.com) article says the player was told, and that speaks for itself,” Oklahoma State compliance director Kevin Fite said Friday. Fite declined to comment when asked if Oklahoma State has contacted the NCAA about the incident.
In an OKBlitz.com article published earlier Friday, Fite said “when another coach from another institution comes in and starts doing stuff like that in our backyard it certainly causes us some concern.”
If this sounds familiar with Saban, it’s because he has been here before. The so-called “Saban Rule” took head coaches off the road in 2007 partly because of Saban’s alleged bumping during non-contact periods.
Earlier that year, the Miami Herald reported Saban had improper contact with three high school juniors in south Florida. Saban’s response at the time: “I think it’s funny it came from Miami,” referring to the city where he had just left as an NFL coach.
In 2009, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal accused Saban of violating the bump rule when Memphis receiver Keiwone Malone committed to Alabama. Malone’s high school coach said no extended conversation occurred.
Saban’s not the first or last coach to have his name attached to the bump rule. But he certainly gets fingered often.
If the NCAA determines this latest encounter was a secondary violation, the association has leeway now to hand down one- or two-game suspensions to coaches. One area the American Football Coaches Association wants the NCAA to better police: impermissible contact.
Alabama spokesman Doug Walker said the school is aware of the reports about the potential violation and its compliance office is “addressing it in the appropriate manner.”
It took the son of a Heisman Trophy winner to publicly declare another Heisman winner out the door. In the process, it bumped Saban right back into a gray area he often finds himself navigating.

Another "Saban Bump"?

January 9th, 2011
4:01 pm

This much is certain: Oklahoma State, where Sanders Jr.’s father starred, is fuming.
“I think the thing to do is read the bylaws and look at the descriptions of what the (OKBlitz.com) article says the player was told, and that speaks for itself,” Oklahoma State compliance director Kevin Fite said Friday. Fite declined to comment when asked if Oklahoma State has contacted the NCAA about the incident.
In an OKBlitz.com article published earlier Friday, Fite said “when another coach from another institution comes in and starts doing stuff like that in our backyard it certainly causes us some concern.”
If this sounds familiar with Saban, it’s because he has been here before. The so-called “Saban Rule” took head coaches off the road in 2007 partly because of Saban’s alleged bumping during non-contact periods.
Earlier that year, the Miami Herald reported Saban had improper contact with three high school juniors in south Florida. Saban’s response at the time: “I think it’s funny it came from Miami,” referring to the city where he had just left as an NFL coach.
In 2009, the Memphis Commercial-Appeal accused Saban of violating the bump rule when Memphis receiver Keiwone Malone committed to Alabama. Malone’s high school coach said no extended conversation occurred.

Mr. Obvious

January 9th, 2011
5:17 pm

Auburn murders (and I do mean murders) the Ducks. AU’s defense will destroy the O running game and the O defense will not be able to stop Newton. ESPN is hyping the game, just like the SECC, but it won’t even be close. If I have learned one thing this year, it is this . . . don’t bet against Auburn. 49-24

buckeye

January 9th, 2011
5:56 pm

man the sec is a remarkable 4-5 in bowls this season thats intimidating. how in the hell is the sec as tough as you morons on here make it out to be with that record… my bad i forgot when the sec loses to another team its either ” hey look at the last 5 years”, it didnt mean that much to them, well look at the matchup you got the 3rd best acc team against the 4th best sec team, blah, blah, blah. you ignorant southern people so blinded by your git r done the south will rise again pride… just face it you guys are no different than any other conference you just hype it up. its funny how you guys bitch about the bcs and want a playoff but when you get 5 or 6 teams in the top 25 its fine. i remember earlier this year when bama was number one nobody complained, but when they lost and dropped all of the sudden the bcs was stupid and wrong. same with auburn when you guys thought they should be number 1 it was like ” kill the bcs” but now that your number 1 now the bcs is fine.. so in theory if the bcs is false wouldnt that make the last 4 national championships false too… you dumb hicks i guess the bcs sucks when they dont favor the sec all the time… you idiots need to quit crying and acting like everybody is out to get you and quit beating your chest and acting like your southern football is so great when the fact is your 4-5 and if i can remember you guys didnt do so well last bowl season either. but my bad im the one who is delusional… sorry! maybe i need to bang my cousin and get a rebel flag then my eyes will be open. oh yea when les leaves and scam newton enjoy your two team conference again…hahaha florida and bama will continue to own the sec the rest of the sorry excuse conference will be mediocre at best. but at leats the vols can beat vandy and ole miss i forgot about them they are great with there little moron coach who cant even count…….. hahahahahahahahaha good day ladies……..

buckeye

January 9th, 2011
6:02 pm

oh yea also food for thought tenn almost beat lsu, auburn sruggled with lsu, oregon beat tenn by what like 40 points all in one half too. oregon is gonna kill auburn… oregon 51, auburn 31, bank on it!

WDE!!

January 9th, 2011
9:10 pm

Rooting for someone to get their neck broke? Keep it classy there “cmac” Let me guess….Disgruntled doggie fan? After tomorrow night you will be nowhere to be found, just like Buckeye and all the other haters. War Cam Eagle!!

BDB

January 9th, 2011
9:15 pm

As a true Orange and Blue Gator, I will be pulling hard for Auburn.
Go Represent!

Tony Geinzer

January 9th, 2011
9:16 pm

Tony, as much as I hate the Ducks, I wish they’d win because if Auburn did, I’d encourage you to vote TCU because they are at the Door of a National Title and Alabama will be one barrel of a club next fall and I think the early money in the East is Kentucky only because its their first full year with Joker Phillips and he’ll make Florida and Tennessee cry.

dawg 777

January 9th, 2011
9:32 pm

BOBBY LOWDER’S WIFE ONCE SAID THAT BOBBY ACTS LIKE AUBURN TIGERS ARE HIS PROFESSIONAL FOOTBALL FRANCHISE . ANT THAT THE TRUTH! AUBURN’S SEMI PRO TEAM.

Michael ATL

January 10th, 2011
12:49 am

5 SEC national titles in the BCS Era (1998- )?
1998 Tennessee over FSU
2003 LSU over OU
2006 Florida over Ohio St
2007 LSU over Ohio St
2008 Florida over OU
2009 Alabama over Texas

Which it is easy to miss something.

YAD

January 10th, 2011
5:55 am

Is the game tonight the last game of the 2010 season or the first game of the 2011 season? Shouldn’t college football be over by now?

YAD

January 10th, 2011
5:58 am

Hey buckeye, how did the Big 10 fare this bowl season?

buckeye

January 10th, 2011
10:59 am

hey yad, big ten is 3-4 not a whole lot differnt than the sec bro……

SEC Hive MInd

January 14th, 2011
8:50 am

Where exactly is the University of SEC? Root for your own team.