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:

www.twitter.com/MrCFB

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

3rdN8

January 7th, 2011
8:10 am

Don

January 7th, 2011
8:11 am

Sure hope Auburn continues the trend.

NCDawg

January 7th, 2011
8:15 am

This makes a playoff picture easy. SEC Champ against the best of the rest. BCS solved.

Bama Fan #2

January 7th, 2011
8:15 am

Hope the ducks win and everybody knows that Cam Newton has no business playing for
the cow college this year!! Sour grapes YOU BET!!! ROLL DUCKS ROLL!!!!

Paul N Destin

January 7th, 2011
8:16 am

All bowl games should have been completed no later than Monday. This stuff is a joke. The NYT has a article this weekend about a certain schools pay for play…should be interesting..

5IML

January 7th, 2011
8:19 am

I would like the Ducks to win on Monday but I don’t think they will.

KidRay

January 7th, 2011
8:19 am

Big Rutgers fan here and I watch SEC football all the time. Question: Are other SEC fans rooting for or against AU? I’m thinking all but Bama are pulling for their conference brethren. Is that about right?

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:21 am

Yeah this extended bowl season is rough

5IML

January 7th, 2011
8:21 am

Good news for opposing teams:

Saban has called a press conference for 1PM today. Ingram, Dareus, and (probably) Julio for going pro. Good luck to them all. We, Bammers, certainly appreciate all they have done during their time at the Capstone. RTR!

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:21 am

KidRay there are lots of Dawgs who might be Ducks on Monday.

jeff

January 7th, 2011
8:22 am

Kid–I’m a Florida grad and fan and pulling for Auburn to continue the SEC trend. I usually always root for SEC teams in the bowl games, though sometimes I make an exception for Tennessee lol.

David

January 7th, 2011
8:24 am

Please add a note that the SEC never had to face USC in any of the BCS championships.

jeff

January 7th, 2011
8:25 am

5IML what about Barron and Hightower. Alabama could have the kind of junior exodus that the Gators had last year (Pouncey, Hernandez, Dunlap, Wright, and Haden.)

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:25 am

Seems to me there was a much-hyped offensive team out west (Hawaii) that came into the Sugar Bowl a few years ago and got thumped. I am thinking this could happen again. If so that certainly says a lot about the SEC and its teams.

Buzzeng

January 7th, 2011
8:25 am

Glaringly absent in all those numbers is the absence of any ACC presence (other than then 1-3 record in BCS). One gets the feeling that that 1-3 might be 0-0 if there was not a requirement to give the ACC one… I’m an ACC fan (Go Jackets!), but it’s clear the ACC is no power house in football and it doesn’t even look like they are in the hunt to become one…

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:25 am

@David….that is not the SEC’s fault

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:26 am

@jeff yeah we never got the chance to do anything about those USC teams back in their hayday…would have been some good football

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:26 am

my last one was directed at David not jeff..sorry.

KeithB

January 7th, 2011
8:29 am

It only matters if you are a fan of the TEAM that wins. The rest of the stats are useless.

GTPhenom2

January 7th, 2011
8:30 am

David, USC won’t be in any BCS championships anytime soon. The SEC has also never faced Idaho State in an BCS game. Same deal.

DC

January 7th, 2011
8:32 am

Wooah eagle baby! I really feel comfortable about this game. I feel about the same going into the South carolina game. Same game plan too I hope….shut down the run and let the QB try to beat us. I like our chances 10 fold if that happens. Also, Bama and UGAY fans who want Oregon to win are so sour…I cheered on Bama in the Capital one and UGAY in the whatever bowl in middle of nowhere .com bowl..I cheered b/c it is the SEC and I don’t want to have any doubt that SEC is the best this year…but thats just me…

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:32 am

You know a pretty decent SEC expansion that would actually make sense would be FSU to West and Clempsun to the East. Keep their rivalry with SC and revive the one with UGA, just might be difficult against Tennessee with all that ugly orange….FSU would still play Florida each year but add quality games that matter with LSU, Auburn, and Bama…win-win for everyone.

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:33 am

more SEC *ss kissing from tony barnhart? SURPRISE!

Chris Matthews

January 7th, 2011
8:37 am

Hope Oregon wins! Auburn is a disgrace to the SEC!

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:37 am

@wesleywhatwhat …..the truth hurts doesn’t it..

Gator Mike

January 7th, 2011
8:38 am

Word is that Oregon is treating this as a pure busines trip like UF did in 2006 when OSU simply assumed they would win. The Oregon players placed a 10 pm curfew on themselves while The AU guys are not as strict. It should be a good game, but I do not see AU as a sure thing this year. I am pulling for AU, but I have a feeling that the Ducks have a very good chance at winning.

404

January 7th, 2011
8:39 am

Barnhart: “Get your SEC kool-aid here.”

Sandman053

January 7th, 2011
8:40 am

Gator Mike I think it is gonna be a heck of a ballgame

Gator Mike

January 7th, 2011
8:40 am

Corretion: Jan 2007 BCS Game vice 2006.

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:41 am

lol @ “82dawg”

typical kool aid drinker.

DC

January 7th, 2011
8:43 am

Gator Mike, college kids treating this game as a business trip might not be the greatest. ALWAYS ALWAYS respect the opponent yadda yadda…but if they are too professional when that game starts and things dont go their way it might go against them.

To add on to my earlier post…I want AU to get the ball first and score fast. Just like they did against USCe. Put the pressure on that they (Oregon) need to keep up and if they dont we will dust them. Make them think they need to take more chances early.

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:44 am

@wesleywhatwhat ….no not really, until another conference can step up and do the same, the results speak for themselves.

Dr Phil

January 7th, 2011
8:46 am

Which teams/conferences have the highest arrest records/number of misconduct actions? NCAA violations for misconduct?

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:46 am

talk to me after oregon blows out auburn.

of course, then it will be a lot of “yeah, but look at the past 5 years…”

DC

January 7th, 2011
8:46 am

wesley, what other conference is better than SEC? Simple question to answer if we all are kool-aid drinkers.

robesi

January 7th, 2011
8:47 am

Once again, an “article” by Barnhart that you can’t trust. Mountain West is 1-1 in BCS bowl games? Really? Let’s see…TCU just won one, Hawaii lost one…I suppose you just haven’t gotten over the fact that ‘Bama got smoked by the Utes.

Keep slurping on the SEC, Tony…see what happens when they face the Pac-10.

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:48 am

dr phil – the SEC have been fulmer cup winners 2 years out of 5 listed.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fulmer_cup

DC

January 7th, 2011
8:48 am

You are saying the Pac-10 is better than the SEC top to bottom??? Stanford doesnt have staying power…USC is USC…Oregon is trendy and will be trendy for some more seasons…whos next CAL? WASHINGTON???? Come on man..if you are a fan of Oregon so be it..but don’t let your hatred blind your football IQ

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:49 am

what kind of tool is obsessed with other teams in a particular conference besides their own?

USMC dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:50 am

I don’t know Tony, my ACC friend reminded me that the ACC is 2-0 against the SEC…
It looks like the SEC is slipping…(read sarcasm…)

From a Georgia BullDawg fan to our cousins, the Auburn Tigers… war eagle!
(Boy, that didn’t feel right, but GO SEC!)

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:50 am

wesleywhatwhat …such a whiner ….if the Ducks win good for them.

Chi Town

January 7th, 2011
8:51 am

Quack!

F those redneck Aubarn fans.

wesleywhatwhat

January 7th, 2011
8:53 am

“82dawdg”, learn to spell. the word you’re looking for is WINNER.

typical blind SEC apologist. such a sad life most of them lead. let’s talk after the oregon/auburn game, but remember – no “yeah we lost this game but we were great 2 years ago” talk, ok?

ratherBgambling

January 7th, 2011
8:54 am

Auburn will be able to stop Oregon a couples of times, Oregon won’t be able to stop Auburn at all.

Auburn by double digits…………Book It!

Mike

January 7th, 2011
8:54 am

Boycott the BCS game, all sponsors, and networks until the NCAA suspends Cam Newton!! Don’t watch the game!

jumbeauxtiger

January 7th, 2011
8:54 am

5IML,

That’ s 3 great players the Tide is losing.

Personally I will miss Patrick Peterson. He’s the best player I have seen at LSU since Tommy Casanova.

I don’t see Oregon stopping Auburn’s offense.

82Dawg

January 7th, 2011
8:55 am

wesleywhatwhat …sorry, I would not call you a “WINNER” …Whiner is correct for you..

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…note that many people had no problem with this certain school playing 5 suspended stars in the Sugar Bowl because they felt sorry for this certain school and figured they needed all the help they could get.

Note also that UGA really wanted USC and the 2007 Rose Bowl, and it was obvious that the Rose and the PAC-10 wanted no part of a SEC spanking of their conference darling.

JDawg

January 7th, 2011
8:59 am

David, please note that USC has never had to face Bama, UF, or LSU in a BCS Championship game.

Auburn Man

January 7th, 2011
9:02 am

I was proud to be pulling for Bama last year in the NC game. I’m an Auburn fan AND and SEC fan. It strikes me as odd that Bama fans have convinced themselves that their problems are external and they should for some reason hate Auburn even while Auburn is representing their conference too. Bammer lost 3 games this year. At the root of ALL those losses was Saban getting out coached and Bammer players quitting on the team. You do not give up a 24 point lead the way Bammer did against Auburn and give all the credit to AU. The Tigers won that game because Saban choked, J. Jones quit and gave up and when faced with adversity the Bammer players couldn’t handle it. Point your anger where it belongs at your Coach and your teams inability to get it done when it was more difficult to keep believing they could win instead of quitting because they were no longer able to do end zone dances or self congratulatory chest thumping after every good play. Most Bammer fans are bigger than the few that are spewing hatred at Auburn. The State of Alabama does have two consecutive Heisman’s and may end up with two National Championships too. Are y’all too obtuse to understand what that will do for recruiting and national respect for the States football programs? I would love it if the lunatic fringe in Tuscaloser would focus on your BIG time problems that will be there again next year. I guess as time goes by we are becoming aware of just how far Saban is from EVER being the giant that the Bear was. If Bammer ever gets back to the NC game I’ll be pulling for ya, I’d rather pull my own teeth with a pair of dirty pliers, but I’ll be pulling for the SEC.

War Eagle!