Starting 11: The most dominant year in college football history edition

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The 2012 college football regular season is over.

And what a season it was.

Now we’re going to have awesome BCS bowl games, right?


The BCS sucks this year. Other than a Fiesta Bowl match-up between Oregon and Kansas State, we’ve got Northern Illinois vs. FSU, Florida vs. Louisville, and Wisconsin vs. Stanford.

These games are awful.

That’s because the entire BCS system is predicated on avoiding an anti-trust challenge. So instead of getting the best games, we get the ones that are least likely to provoke lawsuits. Which is a shame, because can you imagine if the BCS had just gone with an SEC vs. the country theme?

The country thinks the SEC is overrated, the SEC thinks the SEC is underrated.

So why not put it to the test? With a thematic connection like this, the television ratings would have been outstanding.

There are six SEC teams in the BCS top ten.

Take Alabama off the top to play Notre Dame and you’re left with four bowl games and five SEC teams.

1. Imagine if this was your BCS line-up using the existing BCS standings to pair the top teams:

Florida vs. Oregon

Georgia vs. Kansas State

LSU vs. Stanford

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma

Thankully, the Cotton Bowl made the last game happen as a result of not being in the BCS, something we’ll discuss below.

But can you imagine how much more interest the SEC vs the nation would produce?

As is, good luck selling these tickets and producing substantial ratings numbers.

2. The SEC has six of the final ten teams in the last BCS standing.

Take a look at this because odds are it will never happen again.

Even last year, when LSU and Bama played for the title, the SEC only had four teams in the BCS top ten. Which got me thinking, where does six teams in the final BCS standings compare to past seasons.

Since the BCS standings began in 1998 here are the number of SEC teams in the top ten at the end of the season. Alongside it is the parenthetical with the most top ten teams from any conference:

1998: two teams, Tennessee and Florida (2) 

1999: three teams, Alabama, Tennessee, and Florida (3) 

2000: one team, Florida (3)

2001: two teams, Florida, Tennessee (3)

2002: one team, Georgia (3)

2003: two teams, LSU, Tennessee (3)

2004: two teams,  Auburn, Georgia (2)

2005: two teams, Georgia, Auburn (2)

2006: Florida, LSU, Auburn (3)

2007: LSU, Georgia (3)

2008: Florida, Alabama (3)

2009: Alabama, Florida (2)

2010: Auburn, Arkansas (3)

2011: LSU, Alabama, Arkansas, South Carolina (4)

2012: Alabama, Florida, Georgia, LSU, Texas A&M, South Carolina (6)

When you actually break down the BCS data, 2012 was the most dominant year in the history of any BCS conference by a substantial margin. Prior to the SEC having six teams this year, only the SEC had ever had four. And no other conference had ever had more than three.

So this year the SEC doubled the number of top teams that any conference had ever had in the BCS era.

In the past two years the SEC has had the same number of teams in the final BCS top ten as it did in the previous five years. 

The data shows that the SEC’s lead over the rest of college football is actually growing. In other words, the SEC is accelerating as its domination grows.  

Having six teams in the final BCS top ten is simply amazing. If anything, this level of dominance is being underplayed nationally.

3. Bama will trample Notre Dame.

We’ll have plenty of time to talk about why, but rest assured that it’s going to happen.

In the interests of full disclosure, however, I want to let y’all know that I’ll be hedging my futures bet on Bama to win the national title.

With the Tide around a ten point favorite over the Irish, I’ll take Notre Dame plus the points, guarantee myself a big profit, and hope that Notre Dame covers while losing.

If this happens, I’ll win anew.

But if I didn’t have Bama as the favorite, I’d take the Tide up to ten points pretty comfortably. I just don’t see how Notre Dame scores. I think the final of this game will be something like 24-6 Bama.

4. I told Texas fans they’d go 8-4 this season.

Based on the Longhorn fan reaction, you would have thought I predicted the end of oil.

Then, guess what, Texas went 8-4.

Which raises a perpetual year-end question of late, how many years of equity has Mack Brown built up? And if he actually resigned would Texas made a run at Nick Saban? I’m praying for this to happen, can you imagine the Twitter battle between Alabama and Texas fans over Saban?

5. The Cotton Bowl actually got the best non-BCS match-up. 

The Cotton Bowl is fighting like hell to get into the BCS, but it got a better game because it wasn’t in the BCS this year.  

Texas A&M vs. Oklahoma is a fabulous game.

And, by the way, Johnny Football is purportedly wearing Scooby Doo sock to the Heisman ceremony.

6. Arkansas fans are completely delusional.

If you haven’t been following our rolling carnival show on Twitter, these are the coaches that Arkansas fans have said they’re going to hire: Pete Carroll, Bob Stoops, Jon Gruden, Gary Patterson, Les Miles, Chris Petersen, Mike Gundy, and James Franklin. 

All of these men have or (in the case of Mike Gundy, will) turn down large offers from the Hogs. 

These are just the names we know of, there’s no telling who else has told the Hogs thanks, but no thanks.

Who’s up next on the Arkansas list?

Baylor’s Art Briles. 

If Art Briles says no? Probably going to end up with Gus Malzahn or Kirby Smart.  

Unless both those guys say no too.

In which case you might just keep John L. Smith.

7. For the third year in a row after the SEC title game, I went drinking with my buddy Lance Taylor at JOX and Charles Barkley.

Barkley’s all in on Petrino.

Me too.

8. Now that college football is over, can we start a petition to kill off Dana from Homeland?

If you don’t watch Homeland this isn’t a spoiler — Dana is the worst actress on a good show since, well, maybe ever. She makes Kristen Stewart look like Meryl Streep.

Worst of all, her awful acting actually inspires the worst writing that an Emmy-winning show has ever produced.

Last night’s poolside scene dialogue would have received an F in any high school drama class.

She has to go now.

It’s gotten so bad I’m actually rooting for the terrorists to kill her.

9. James Franklin ranked Notre Dame fourth behind three SEC teams in his final coaches poll.

That. Is. Awesome.

Personally, I would have had Notre Dame seventh on my ballot.

10. Mike Gundy hosted UT at his home yesterday. 

He picked them up at the airport and drove them to his house.

This whole thing is such a comedy pyramid. 

It’s so clear that Gundy is trying to make Oklahoma State give him a raise and an extension that it’s painful. Is it possible that Oklahoma State calls his bluff and won’t give him an extension? That could be risky since Gundy may not even be Tennessee’s top choice. (I think Jimbo Fisher is Dave Hart’s top guy).   

11. My final SEC power rankings:

1. Alabama

2. Florida

3. Georgia

4. LSU

5. Texas A&M

6. South Carolina 

7. Vandy

8. Ole Miss

9. Miss. State  

10. Mizzou  

11. Tennessee

12. Arkansas

13. Auburn

14. Kentucky

Written by Clay Travis

Clay Travis is the founder of the fastest growing national multimedia platform, OutKick, that produces and distributes engaging content across sports and pop culture to millions of fans across the country. OutKick was created by Travis in 2011 and sold to the Fox Corporation in 2021.

One of the most electrifying and outspoken personalities in the industry, Travis hosts OutKick The Show where he provides his unfiltered opinion on the most compelling headlines throughout sports, culture, and politics. He also makes regular appearances on FOX News Media as a contributor providing analysis on a variety of subjects ranging from sports news to the cultural landscape. Throughout the college football season, Travis is on Big Noon Kickoff for Fox Sports breaking down the game and the latest storylines.

Additionally, Travis serves as a co-host of The Clay Travis and Buck Sexton Show, a three-hour conservative radio talk program syndicated across Premiere Networks radio stations nationwide.

Previously, he launched OutKick The Coverage on Fox Sports Radio that included interviews and listener interactions and was on Fox Sports Bet for four years. Additionally, Travis started an iHeartRadio Original Podcast called Wins & Losses that featured in-depth conversations with the biggest names in sports.

Travis is a graduate of George Washington University as well as Vanderbilt Law School. Based in Nashville, he is the author of Dixieland Delight, On Rocky Top, and Republicans Buy Sneakers Too.