Five for Friday: The SEC's Most Tainted BCS Championships
By Tony Gerdeman
The SEC is the best conference in college football by a good measure, and has been for the better part of a decade. Teams from the SEC have now won seven BCS Championships in a row as proof of their lofty status. But even the most ardently-jorted SEC fan has to admit that they have had some tremendously good fortune when it comes to those championship game matchups.
In fact, it's that good fortune that is responsible for more than just a little of their big-game success. For instance, two of their BCS Championship wins came against backup quarterbacks. That seems quite advantageous to me.
There was also the injury to Ted Ginn Jr. Had he not gotten injured against the Gators, maybe he would have been able to provide some pass protection for Troy Smith. Okay, that one probably wasn't quite as impactful as Texas losing Colt McCoy or Florida State losing Chris Weinke.
Even more recently, we saw Alabama take advantage of a linebacker with a heavy heart (and heavier feet). Really sporting, guys.
These are just a few examples, but there are are even more. Before you dismiss this as "typical Yankee trash", feel free to actually read it first. Once you're done, then you can call it typical Yankee trash.
1. Tennessee over Florida State (1998)
Tennessee beat Florida State by seven points in the championship game. This was a Seminoles team that was led by backup quarterback Marcus Outzen. Marcus. Outzen. By seven points. The voters made a mistake by giving the nod to the Seminoles and their backup quarterback over Ohio State, who lost later in the season than the Noles, yet spent most of the year ranked #1. Who knew that this game would start a trend of taint that still wafts through the noses of America today. It would also start a trend of Ohio State involving themselves in the SEC's good fortune.
2. Alabama over Texas (2009)
Nice job beating Mack Brown and a backup quarterback. Way to keep Garrett Gilbert from having the ball with three minutes to play down by just three points. Oh wait, no you didn't. How did you let this Texas team stay so close? They had neither Vince Young nor Colt McCoy. Garrett Freaking Gilbert? Seriously, Alabama? And yeah, I totally get that the Tide would have played much differently had McCoy not gotten injured. But you know what? Texas would have as well.
3. Alabama over Notre Dame (2012)
Ooh, congratulations on your championship win over Notre Dame. What have you been doing since? Playing pickup basketball games against seven-year olds? Notre Dame was a good team last year, so the taint isn't really their fault – it's Gene Smith's (a former Notre Dame football player). Had he done what everybody knows he should have and self-imposed a bowl ban in 2011, Alabama would have been watching the Buckeyes and the Irish play for the title. Hey what do you know, Ohio State has their fingerprints all over yet another SEC team winning a BCS Championship.
4. Alabama over LSU (2011)
Ugh. This was the worst. Everybody loves the SEC, so what could go wrong with two SEC teams in the championship game? This was like when the GEICO cavemen were given a sitcom. Why do we need even more of an already terrible idea? Nobody needs that much of something, and nobody needed this much SEC in a BCS Championship Game. Especially when one of the teams wasn't even good enough to win their own stinking division.
5. LSU over Oklahoma (2003)
Oh hey, another SEC win over a team that couldn't win their own conference (though we do have to give Oklahoma credit for actually winning their division, I guess). The Sooners, led by Big Game Bob Stoops, came into this game off of a 35-7 whipping by a three-loss Kansas State team in the Big XII Championship Game. Given his history, I'm not sure credit is given for a win against Bob Stoops in any type of championship game. As an aside, had Ohio State (#2 in the BCS) beaten Michigan in 2003, there's a pretty good chance that they would have been playing in this game against the Sooners. So yeah, congrats again from the Buckeyes.
Bonus: Florida (2006), LSU (2007) over Ohio State
I've conjoined these two wins because they possess the same taint. Honestly, I'm still baffled as to why the SEC claims these two championships. All we've heard since the final whistle in the Debacle in the Desert is how terrible Ohio State is. What's to celebrate if the wins are over two terrible teams? Either they were great wins or they were not. From everything I've been told since 2007, these were two easy wins over two joke teams.
Bonus: Florida over Oklahoma (2008)
How many championships can a conference win against Big Game Bob before the ATF steps in? This sounds like illegal stockpiling to me.
Bonus: Auburn over Oregon (2010)
Come on, you know your championships are tainted when the most tainted championship in college football history is only ninth in SEC history.
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