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WILL THERE BE ANOTHER ALL-SEC NATIONAL CHAMPIONSHIP GAME?

Suffering from “SEC fatigue?”  Then you probably shouldn’t look at the first Bowl Championship Series (BCS) standings of the 2012 season.

According to the controversial hodgepodge of human polls and computer algorithms, six of the nation’s top twelve football teams hail from the mighty Southeastern Conference – which has won the last six national championships.  In fact were the 2012 season to end today, defending national champion Alabama would play No. 2 Florida for the title – guaranteeing the SEC its seventh straight crown in a second straight “All-SEC” championship game.

Currently on the outside looking in?  Perennial PAC 12 powerhouse Oregon (No. 3) and Kansas State (No. 4) of the Big XII – a conference which recently lost Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC.

The wailing has already begun, too – with ESPN columnist Adam Rittenberg arguing that Oregon should be ranked No. 2, not Florida.

“Oregon has looked the part on the field, averaging 52.3 points and winning its games by an average margin of 32.3 points,” Rittenburg writes. “Yet Chip Kelly’s Ducks are behind Florida at No. 3 because of the Pac-12’s perceived weakness, even though the Pac-12 has three teams in the top 10 (No. 8 Oregon State and No. 10 USC). That’s hard to understand.”

Is it?  Look at what LSU – ranked No. 6 in the BCS standings – did to PAC 12 opponent Washington earlier this year.  Face it, “Left Coast.”  The PAC 12 just can’t hang.

Florida defeated Ohio State 41-14 following the 2006 season to begin the SEC’s championship run.  The next year, LSU defeated the Buckeyes 38-24.  Following the 2008 season Tim Tebow’s Florida Gators beat Oklahoma 24-14, while Alabama beat Texas 37-21 the following year to make it four in a row.

In 2010, Cam Newton’s Auburn Tigers edged Oregon 22-19 – the closet championship game of the BCS era – while last year Alabama shut out LSU in the first all-SEC championship match-up.

Head coach Steve Spurrier’s South Carolina Gamecocks (6-1, 4-1 SEC) are ranked No. 7  in the initial BCS standings – the school’s highest-ever BCS mark.  Georgia (No. 11), Mississippi State (No. 12) and Texas A&M (No. 18) round out the SEC dominion.

Meanwhile head coach Dabo Swinney’s Clemson Tigers (5-1, 2-1 ACC) – who climbed as high as No. 5 in last year’s BCS standings – are ranked No. 19. Incidentally, the ACC hasn’t placed a team in the BCS championship since the end of the 2000 season – when Florida State lost to Oklahoma.  Miami of Florida played in two BCS championships (following the 2001 and 2002 seasons), but the Hurricanes didn’t join the ACC until 2004.

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BOWL CHAMPIONSHIP SERIES STANDINGS (Oct. 14, 2012)

1. Alabama .9761
2. Florida .9092
3. Oregon .8993
4. Kansas State .8963
5. Notre Dame .8774
6. LSU .7522
7. South Carolina .6930
8. Oregon State .6808
9. Oklahoma .6664
10. USC .5959
11. Georgia .4980
12. Mississippi State .4846
13. West Virginia .4793
14. Florida State .4277
15. Rutgers .4083
16. Louisville .4061
17. Texas Tech .3572
18. Texas A&M .3379
19. Clemson .3341 
20. Stanford .2654
21. Cincinnati .2483
22. Boise State .1978
23. TCU .1377
24. Iowa State .1139
25. Texas .0640

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