As an admittedly biased SEC fan, I constantly find myself in arguments with other football fans about which FBS conference is the best and how each compares to another. I always bring out the different statistics about how many bowl games each conference has been to and the winning percentage in those bowl games, along with many other supporting facts that say the SEC is the best conference. Today, however, I am not going to get into those stats. I am simply going to give you a list of five fairly recent bowl games which support my opinion. I just want to point out that while I could have done this all just on the BCS Championship games (SEC is 6-0), there are others which are still important to show the overall dominance of the SEC over the other conferences over the years. The following games are in no particular order:
Capital One Bowl 2011: Michigan St. (11-2) vs. Alabama (10-3)
I’m going to start out with one from this year, a matchup between an Alabama team who was a preseason favorite to repeat as BCS National Champions and a Michigan St. team which held a one-third share in the Big Ten Championship. This game was pure domination from the beginning. Alabama showed everybody some of what was missing in the three losses they had during the season (all to SEC teams) and rolled over Michigan St. adding to the incredible loss record (0-5 on the day) of Big Ten teams so far during this bowl season.
BCS Title Game 2007: Ohio St. (12-1) vs. Florida (13-1)
One loss Florida gets a shot at, then undefeated and year-long number 1, Ohio St. for the BCS National Championship and dominates. The final score was 41-14 and this was the first of four (soon to be five) straight National Championships for the SEC, solidifying the conferences place on top of the FBS for years to come.
BCS Title Game 1999: Florida St. (11-2) vs. Tennessee (13-0)
This was the first National Championship under the new BCS system. Not special or fantastic, first place Tennessee beat second place Florida St. in a good game a year after losing Peyton Manning. This put the SEC on top in this new bowl system.
Sugar Bowl 2009: Utah (13-0) vs. Alabama (12-2)
This one was especially memorable to me since I am primarily an Alabama fan over everybody else. Alabama looked good throughout the regular season, ending it undefeated. Then, they lost to Florida (who went on to win the BCS Championship) in the SEC Championship. They were placed in the Sugar Bowl against an undefeated Utah team, which I expected to be a no contest. Utah won 31-17, and although it is a loss for the SEC it greatly helped setting up….
BCS Title Game 2010: Texas (13-1) vs. Alabama (14-0)
A very good matchup between two very good teams, this game would be the fourth straight BCS Championship for the SEC. Both teams came in with an undefeated record, having played well throughout the season. Colt McCoy got hurt early in the game and Texas never recovered, losing 37-21 to the Crimson Tide.
There have been many memorable bowl games throughout the BCS years, but these to me are the most memorable ones for the SEC and the greatness that comes out of the conference year in and year out. They can’t always win everything, but they do give it a good shot.