Teams from the SEC have won the last seven national titles and eight of the last 10. It's a dominant run for sure. But no conference has come closer to breaking the stranglehold than the Big 12.
Here's a look at some near misses that could have changed the college football landscape:
* 2003: LSU beat Oklahoma 21-14 to win the national championship, but the Sooners had some head-scratching play calling. The Jason White-led passing offense, so prolific all season, was practically shelved in the first half. Then late in the game after running back Kejuan Jones had actually had some success, the Sooners went all pass happy. After they had driven inside the Tigers' 20-yard line with a chance to tie the game, pass plays were called on the Sooners' last 10 snaps of the game.
* 2008: The national championship game between Oklahoma and Florida was tied with 12 minutes to go, but from there on out, the Sooners managed just one first down and 21 yards while surrendering 183 yards and 10 points to the Gators. Thing is, it might not have come down to those last minutes had OU been able to convert in the red zone. Twice in the second quarter, the Sam Bradford-led offense was inside the Gators' 10-yard line and scored zero points. The first failed drive got all the way to the 1, and on back-to-back plays, Chris Brown was stuffed by a backup defensive tackle.
* 2009: Texas quarterback Colt McCoy injured his shoulder on the fifth play of the national championship game against Alabama, forcing the Longhorns to call on little-used backup Garrett Gilbert. After the Crimson Tide opened up a 24-7 lead, the Longhorns regrouped and rallied to cut the deficit to 24-21. Even though Alabama went on the win 37-21, Gilbert fared well. How would McCoy have done? Could he have led the Longhorns to victory? We'll never know.
* 2011: The Big 12's most recent close call in breaking the SEC's national title dominance came almost two months before the championship game. Oklahoma State went to Iowa State for what was supposed to be a tune-up for Bedlam, and for two-plus quarters, that's what it looked like. But the Cowboys blew a 17-point lead. They looked like they were going to salvage a victory with a late Quinn Sharp field goal, but the kick just missed and the Cyclones won in overtime. OSU would be left out of the national championship game by .0086 of a point.