LSU-Alabama BCS title game is another win for SEC

One of these coaches will hold the BCS trophy. But the SEC already has won it. (AP photo)

One of these coaches will hold the BCS trophy. But the SEC already has won it. (AP photo)

NEW ORLEANS – If it is true, as Socrates once said, that, “Envy is the ulcer of the soul,” every other college football conference in America has been speed-eating Tums for the past six years.

LSU and Alabama play in the BCS championship game on Monday night in the Superdome. But this is sort of like two gladiators battling for the right to be viewed as the favorite son of the emperor. The emperor already has won.

This will make six consecutive BCS titles won by SEC schools. It will make eight championships in the 13 years the game has been played, far exceeding the closest member of the lower class (the Big 12 with two).

One would have to go back to the early 1900s of Ivy League domination to find a conference with such a run. But to wax on about the greatness of Princeton, Yale and Harvard football is sort of like referencing the Tyrannosaurus rex ruling over the animal kingdom. Ivy League football didn’t have a lot of competition back then, unless you count Ivy League crew.

The SEC is 7-0 in championship games. So the irony is it will take two conference schools playing each other for the first time for it to suffer its first loss. The SEC has redefined the blueprint for world domination.

When asked Sunday if he foresaw anything that could derail this train, LSU coach Les Miles said, “Not at this point.”

Feel free to add the words, “… in this decade” or “… in this century,” depending on your perspective.

The SEC 2011 media guide cover will be updated for next season.

This is what the 2011 SEC media guide cover looked like. It will need to be updated for next season.

SEC commissioner Mike Slive knew the passion and culture of college football that existed in his conference. He recognizes the SEC’s mega-millions television contracts have enabled athletic departments to lure the best coaches and build Taj Majal-like practice facilities. The obvious ripple effects: better recruits and more wins.

But even he admits this streak was unfathomable. It’s stupid-great. It’s Joe DiMaggio’s 56-game hitting streak, UCLA’s 88 straight wins in men’s basketball and Edwin Moses’ 122 straight hurdles wins great. The six straight titles will have been won by four schools (LSU, Alabama, Florida, Auburn) but that doesn’t diminish the run’s significance.

“It’s one of those records that I think will never be broken,” he said. “I’m an optimist by nature, but I don’t think anybody can have expectations of this. I remember a few years ago thinking, ‘Wow. We won two straight.’”

Slive’s reading list last summer included an appropriate book: “”56: Joe DiMaggio and the Last Magic Number in Sports.”

“That’s when I realized this is a record that in many ways is as phenomenal as DiMaggio’s record, and just hard to imagine in the future,” he said.

Then again: “We could break our own record.”

LSU has a good chance to be a preseason No. 1 next season. Alabama won’t be far behind.

Clearly money is a huge factor, but as Slive points out, “We’re not unique in our ability to develop significant revenue. At least one other conference has been able to do that.”

Slive didn’t come out and reference the Big Ten by name. It’s not polite.

Alabama defensive coordinator and former Georgia safety and Kirby Smart also referenced the conference’s high profile coaches, but said the reason for the conference’s success goes beyond that. “Regionally, high school football, in my opinion, is so great in the SEC states,” he said. “My dad’s a high school coach, and I’ve always believed that. …  Everybody talks about the [defensive] line, but there are other skilled players. In the South, if you’re a really good athlete, you may play cornerback.  That’s not necessarily true everywhere else — they’re [wide receivers].”

Since the AP poll started in 1936, the previous conference title streak of three was held by the SEC (1978-80) and the Big Ten (1940-42). That has been obliterated. The titles have elevated the conference in the eyes of the nation’s top recruits.

Recalling his days as a high school recruit, Alabama linebacker Courtney Upshaw said his top three signing choices all were recent national champions from the SEC.

“I just felt like my main thing was to get to an SEC school if I wanted to be remembered,” he said. “You know what I’m saying?”

Upshaw is playing in his second BCS title game in three years. Safe to conclude he chose well.

By Jeff Schultz

Follow me on Twitter (@JeffSchultzAJC). Friend me on Facebook (Facebook.com/JeffSchultzAJC).

417 comments Add your comment

roughrider

January 8th, 2012
5:12 pm

First for the first time !

Heavyweight Champion of the Earl

January 8th, 2012
5:14 pm

How’s the food Schultzie?

The Champ

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

And a huge loss for college football in general. I have yet to talk to anyone who is excited about this game.

eastbound and down

January 8th, 2012
5:16 pm

shame the bulldogs continue to embarrass the conference during bowl season. how about those falcons?

SecFan

January 8th, 2012
5:20 pm

Haven’t seen anything from the bowl games that will stop the SEC train. As long as the coaching staffs in other conferences continue to field defenses that would embarrass the French Army, the trend will continue.

GT = Dumpster Fire

January 8th, 2012
5:23 pm

ACC whiners, go back and worry about your sad sack conference instead of saying nobody is excited about the game. Check out the atmosphere Monday night and report back if nobody is excited.

Dawg48

January 8th, 2012
5:25 pm

The first game was the game of the century. Call this one the over signing bowl!

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748703384204575509901468451306.html

Bama over signs!

GT = Dumpster Fire

January 8th, 2012
5:31 pm

And tell your blowhard coach to get a real offense.

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
5:35 pm

Check out the atmosphere Monday night and report back if nobody is excited.

The game will be sold out, will have lukewarm TV ratings, and hardly anyone will talk about it next week. Nobody cares about the rematch of the century. Even SEC fans don’t care because they have already won.

Rick James

January 8th, 2012
5:37 pm

Nice article..I was shocked last week to hear Mark May from ESPN call the SEC the best conference in America.Dont know what changed his tune but he’s right.

jprince

January 8th, 2012
5:39 pm

I LIKE YOUR STYLE JEFF- I’M TRYING TO IGNORE THE FALCONS GAME TOO!!!!

GT = Dumpster Fire

January 8th, 2012
5:40 pm

That is a loser ACC perspective. Most SEC fans are excited to watch the game to see if the offenses can open it up against two defenses loaded with NFL talent. Clemson could certainly learn a few things watching the game.

Rick James

January 8th, 2012
5:41 pm

@GTBob

Speak for yourself..Of course you dont care about the game like most of us didnt care about the Sun bowl.”Envy is the ulcer of the soul”

Mark Richt

January 8th, 2012
5:45 pm

I am just glad god made this day, and the sec west can make us all look so joyful. May god be with all of you.

"Chef" Tim Dix

January 8th, 2012
5:45 pm

There are two types of conversations I really hate participating in.

One begins, “In theory” and the other ends with, “You know what I’m saying?”

Both send me into mentally sorting my sock drawer mode.

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
5:47 pm

Speak for yourself..Of course you dont care about the game like most of us didnt care about the Sun bowl.”Envy is the ulcer of the soul”

I’m not speaking for myself. I have talked to plenty of people about the game. There is almost no air of excitement for this game at all. Half of the people I talked to about it say they probably won’t even watch it. If LSU was playing anyone else it would probably be different.

sportzfan

January 8th, 2012
5:48 pm

Dawg48….whatever it is you’re upset about, please get over it. Whatever Bama is doing, if it’s legal it’s legal…..tell UGA to do the same if this is making you so upset. Just admit that your team is not where you want them to be and move on. I can assure anyone who reads this, if UGA was in Bama’s place, you would not be writing this response.

sportzfan

January 8th, 2012
5:50 pm

Did anyone see the Clemson bowl game?

GT = Dumpster Fire

January 8th, 2012
5:50 pm

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah GTBob. Tell your defensive coordinator that he definitely should be watching the game.

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
5:54 pm

Blah, blah, blah, blah, blah GTBob. Tell your defensive coordinator that he definitely should be watching the game.

I don’t think Groh stays up that late. Plus he would probably do fine with an NFL player at every position.

Dawg48

January 8th, 2012
5:55 pm

Sportzfan

Just pointing out facts!

Stinger2

January 8th, 2012
5:56 pm

Dumpster Fire: The ACC is the only conference to put teams into two BCS bowls this year. They both got beat but they were. In case you don`t know they were Clemson and VT.

SugarHillDawg

January 8th, 2012
6:08 pm

Just think, the FIFTH best team in the SEC (UGA) took the Big 10 co champ MSU to 3 overtimes and only lost because of a head case kicker. The rest of college football has mountains to climb before they can even compete

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
6:11 pm

Just think, the FIFTH best team in the SEC (UGA) took the Big 10 co champ

If Mich St was the Big 10 co champ then UGA was the SEC co champ. In reality, both were maybe the 4th or 5th best teams in their conference.

MiltonMan

January 8th, 2012
6:16 pm

Leave it to a GT moron complaining about the Championship game – a game that only GT can sniff at.

MiltonMan

January 8th, 2012
6:19 pm

ACC = 2-13 in BCS bowls. Keep up the good work ACC!

Pulpwud Smiff

January 8th, 2012
6:27 pm

A few appropriate comments:

1. Four different SEC teams have won the last six BCS championships.

2. UGA was not one of those teams.

3. During that period, UGA did not win the SEC championship.

4. Red panties.

In other words, UGA has sunk into total irrelevancy both regionally and nationally.

So why is UGA paying Mark Richt millions of dollars a year?

Al

January 8th, 2012
6:27 pm

That Tebow sure does suck huh. Ryan 0-3 in the playoffs in his first year with by far better talent on offense than Denver. 0 points. Dude was all hype and really shouldn’t even be a starter.

Guapper

January 8th, 2012
6:28 pm

GT Bob- why is it a “sell out” with tickets fetching the highest price in the history of Stub Hub for a BCS Bowl Game? Clearly people are excited about watching it and spending their hard earned money to attend the game in person.

Mike

January 8th, 2012
6:28 pm

Yeah but at least an sec team will finally lose a bcs nat champ bowl. LOL

Guapper

January 8th, 2012
6:31 pm

Pulpwud Smiff- Keep smoking the good stuff pal!! You must live in California or Colorado where it’s legal!!

Silly Bloggers

January 8th, 2012
6:32 pm

sringer…pac 12 had stanford and oregon…sec would be in two if not for conference limitations. Big 10 had michigan and wisconsin…pretty fact based post there.

GT = Dumpster Fire

January 8th, 2012
6:32 pm

Stinger2 – see Milton Man comments. Go check the SEC BCS appearances and record before you spew your ACC garbage here. Loser conference with washed up coaches and third tier teams.

Dolan

January 8th, 2012
6:32 pm

Um stinger what do you call wisconsin and michigan? Dumbazzzzzz

Festus

January 8th, 2012
6:33 pm

UGA had scheduled to play Alabama next season but replaced them with Missouri. Not the way to make a reputation as a football power house. Wish the Birds could trade Mattie Mice with Tim Tebow. At least the game would be exciting.

Dolan

January 8th, 2012
6:36 pm

Gtbob I kinda agree with you. Most who I have talked to also aren’t very excited. I do think they are the 2 best teams but I also thought the falcons could score at least one TD today. They need at least a 4 team playoff. Anything could happen with that. Would have loved to see luck and stanford play lsu or bama first game. Ya never know. Now we are stuck with a rematch and the way college football is set up with no playoff you should never have rematches in a champ game unless they are from different conferences. Get a playoff and I am fine with it.

TigerNation

January 8th, 2012
6:39 pm

@Gaupper

There is no doubt there is extensive excitement in the SouthEast about the game, but I have to agree with GT about the general overall interest in the game. On a national level, I’m betting the TV rating will be dismal.

I’m a Clemson fan, and I can admit that the SEC has been the strongest conference in recent history, but I am fundamentally against giving a team a chance at a national championship that didn’t win their conference let alone their division. I really think Boise should have been given a shot. They beat a SEC division champ and only lost one game due to a missed field goal. This game really taints the 6 game streak when no other conference is even given an opportunity..

GTBob

January 8th, 2012
6:39 pm

GT Bob- why is it a “sell out” with tickets fetching the highest price in the history of Stub Hub for a BCS Bowl Game?

It’s in New Orleans and LSU is in the game. The other team is Alabama, who has one of the biggest fan bases in College Football. If this was a spring game it would sell out.

RDS

January 8th, 2012
6:41 pm

USC or Texas can compete and get equal talent. FSU can come close but their coach can’t coach. That’s about it. Maybe an Oregon or Okla from time to time. Last year was a fluke though with Cam.

Metro Coach

January 8th, 2012
6:42 pm

Stinger2-The SEC is the only conference EVER to put 2 teams in the BCS national championship game. The SEC is 15-7 in BCS bowls while the ACC is 2-13. The ACC is irrelevant football wise, and is going downhill in basketball. The SEC will get as many NCAA bids as the ACC this season, maybe more. Welcome to collegiate athletic irrelevancy.

J Bo

January 8th, 2012
6:43 pm

It’s a given that the SEC wins either way in this game. The only way they would have come out better, at the tune of about 18m, would be if Georgia had beat LSU, and LSU was still matched against Alabama for the National Championship. I still think that when Alabama beats LSU because they will be 1-1 niether will be champion over the other.

Much has been said on how people would fix the BCS so I want to add my two cents worth.

1. Start by setting a 12 team limit for each conf.
2. Split all conf. and play a championship game
3. Teams are ranked according to how they finished going into the next season and rankings change as they play games
4. Add a plus 1 game
5. The 4 BCS games are played by the top 8 ranked teams
(a)1 vs 3 (b)2 vs 4 (c)5 vs 7 (d)6 vs 8
6. The winners of 1 vs 3, & 2 vs 4 play for the national championship.
7. The rest of the bowls are matched with Conf Champions and Conf
Runner ups.

If this system was in place this year the matchups would be LSU/OK ST, Alabama/Standford, Oregon/Bosie ST, and AR/KS St.

It pains me to say it but after what LSU did to Georgia; ROLL TIDE!!!

LOL...

January 8th, 2012
6:43 pm

this game will have a low viewer rating as compared to other BCS Championship games… I have heard more people say “no interest” …regarding this game.

College football is screwed up… Alabama should not be in this game… I wont watch either!

RDS

January 8th, 2012
6:44 pm

It’s in New Orleans and LSU is in the game. The other team is Alabama, who has one of the biggest fan bases in College Football. If this was a spring game it would sell out

Couldn’t have said it better. It’s basically a home game for both teams. It’s like usc playing oregon at the rose bowl but even closer. Of course it would sell out.

LOL...

January 8th, 2012
6:45 pm

GT Bob is right by the way….

Soy un perdedor

January 8th, 2012
6:46 pm

I just think it’s a shame that Alabama gets to play. It’s not fair!

RDS

January 8th, 2012
6:48 pm

I’m fine with bama playing if they had a 4 team playoff. That’s how it works in every other sport. But college football is so bass ackwards.

Carl

January 8th, 2012
6:49 pm

Wow the refs are screwing the broncos.Why is that not reviewable. That is pure bs

DP

January 8th, 2012
6:53 pm

“LSU has a good chance to be a preseason No. 1 next season. Alabama won’t be far behind.”

And Mark Bradley predicts Georgia will win the SEC next year. Of course he also picked the Falcons over the Giants today.

Silly Bloggers

January 8th, 2012
6:54 pm

People will watch the game…if for no other reason than to be able to blog about bad plays, poor coaching decisions, how the teams are overrated, and to make themselves feel better about themselves by denigrating others’ success…you know, people like GTbob…anything negative that comes out of the game will be like a sweet 16 bday for him and those like him.

Isaiah Crow Well

January 8th, 2012
6:56 pm

Dear Idiot Schultz,

The LSU-Bama rerun is everything that’s wrong with the BCS. You are a fool and your typical homer.

Signed,

Everyone with a brain