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College Football: The SEC Reigns Superior Again

Auburn wins the 2011 BCS National Championship. (AP Photo/The Arizona Republic, Michael Chow)

With Auburn University’s 21-19 win over Oregon in the 2011 BCS National Championship Monday, the Tigers made it five straight championship wins for the SEC. Furthermore, the win reassured that the best conference in the NCAA belonged in the South.

Since the 2003 season, the SEC has taken the college football nation by the throat and has shown no sense in letting up. Year after year the SEC claims dominance. After LSU won the 2003 National Championship, Florida started the current streak in 2006.

Year Team Opponent Score
2006 Florida Gators Ohio State Buckeyes 41-14
2007 LSU Tigers Ohio State Buckeyes 38-24
2008 Florida Gators Oklahoma Sooners 24-14
2009 Alabama Crimson Tide Texas Longhorns 37-21
2010 Auburn Tigers Oregon Ducks 21-19

Week in and week out, there isn’t a tougher schedule that SEC teams have to face throughout the regular season. So, it’s no secret why these teams continue to have success against out-of-conference opponents. LSU head coach Les Miles, for example, has only lost ONE game against an out-of-conference team. ONE.

Another thing that makes this five-year run so remarkable is that during this span, it hasn’t been the same team. Florida won it twice, but this season in Gainesville the Gators had five loses. LSU came away with the title in 2007, and the following year the Tigers went 8-5. The most recent winner, Auburn, is two years removed from being 5-7.

Alabama, fresh off their undefeated 2009 campaign with virtually all of their starters returning, had three loses in 2010. Those three defeats came way by South Carolina, LSU and Auburn — all SEC teams. Facing No. 9 Michigan State in the Capital One Bowl, all Alabama did was score 49 points and hold one of the best Big 10 teams to seven.

In 2010, the 12 teams in the SEC held a combined 45-12 out-of-conference record, outscoring those teams by 1,110 points.

To every great football program comes recruiting and statistically no conference does it better than the SEC. According to Rivals, the SEC has nine programs ranked in the top 21 for 2011. The closest behind them is the Pac-10 with four teams.  A year prior, in 2010, the SEC saw five of their teams finish in the top 10 of recruiting.

It’s incredible how self-sustaining this conference is. They just reload and reload and reload. In a current time when conferences are shifting and expanding, the SEC hasn’t had a desire or need to do a thing.

Think about this feat as if it was done professionally. What if an NFL division won the Super Bowl year after year? The Patriots one year, the Jets the next, then the Bills, followed by the Dolphins? Think about how crazy that would actually be.

For the SEC, it’s not crazy. It’s their culture. The culture of winning — championships.

About Matthew Marcantonio - @M_Marcantonio

Matthew Marcantonio is the Patriots and college football editor at Sports of Boston. Marcantonio has contributed for two newspapers; the Sentinel & Enterprise (Leominster, Mass) and The Advocate (Baton Rouge, La) and held internships with The Bleacher Report and Sports Illustrated.

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