Back in August when the temperatures soared and the hopes of college football fans soared even higher, we explored the SEC's domination of the sport.
SECopoly, we termed it in our football preview.
How the SEC took over college football, and what OU, OSU and the Big 12 can do about it.
Beat the SEC.
Now, four months after that preview section landed in your driveway, the topic is more relevant than ever. Our locals are headed to bowls where SEC heavyweights loom. Oklahoma will face Alabama, the current king of college football, in the Sugar Bowl. The next night, Oklahoma State will go toe to toe with Missouri, an old Big 12 foe that has found new SEC success, in the Cotton Bowl.
It's SEC vs. Big 12 times two.
Especially with what's on the horizon. Next season ushers in the start of the four-team playoff, and don't look now, but the SEC is positioning itself to unofficially have two of those four spots reserved.
That would fall in line with the status that the SEC has achieved in the minds of BCS voters. Because of the conference's run of national titles — seven and counting — SEC teams are given the benefit of the doubt.
Look at this season. One-loss Auburn made the championship game opposite undefeated Florida State, and by all accounts the Tigers are a superb team. But they have one loss just like a host of other teams. Michigan State is one of those other teams.
Michigan State lost to Notre Dame early in the season but beat Ohio State for its marquee victory.
Auburn lost to LSU early, then got its marquee win against Alabama.
Who's to say that Auburn's loss to LSU is better than Michigan State's loss to Notre Dame?
Who's to say that Auburn's win over Alabama is better than Michigan State's win over Ohio State?
Well, everyone says that, but aren't we just really going on the perception that everything is better in the SEC? I mean, maybe LSU is better than Notre Dame and Alabama is better than Ohio State, but there's no way to know that for certain. We believe that because we believe the SEC is superior.
That thinking is human nature after watching the SEC's ongoing domination of college football.
That thinking is also sure to continue next season when the playoff committee meets to pick four teams that will play for a title.
Want to change that? Want to put doubt in people's minds that the SEC is superior?
Obviously, OU and OSU can't do anything about whether the SEC runs its streak of national titles to eight, unless praying for a Florida State victory counts.
(That's an interesting position for the Cowboys, isn't it? Do you want the SEC's title run to stop, or do you want to play the defending national champ in your season opener next August in Arlington?)
Still, the Sooners and the Cowboys can make a dent in the SEC's armor by winning their bowl games. Beating Alabama and Missouri wouldn't erase the SEC's dominance that has spanned the better part of a decade, but still, those losses would be a black mark on the SEC's otherwise stellar record.