The Southeastern Conference dominates college football, with seven straight national champions: Florida 2006, LSU 2007, Florida 2008, Alabama 2009, Auburn 2010 and Alabama 2011 and 2012.
Now Auburn is back in the championship game, against Florida State.
But the SEC wasn't always so dominant. In fact, college football's national championships once were spread around quite liberally. From 1998 through 2003, the six AP national champions came from six conferences: SEC (Tennessee) in 1998, ACC (Florida State) in 1999, Big 12 (OU) in 2000, Big East (Miami) in 2001, Big Ten (Ohio State) in 2002 and Pac-10 (Southern Cal) in 2003.
If the coaches poll — and eventually the BCS — is your preferred method of champion, same thing happened from 1999 through 2004, adding LSU in '03 and Southern Cal in '04.
And that wasn't a new thing. From 1959 through 1963, the national champs came from four conferences plus an independent (Syracuse 1959, followed by the Big Ten's Minnesota in 1960, the SEC's Alabama in 1961, the Pac's USC in 1962 and the Southwest Conference's Texas in 1963. From 1949 through 1954, the titles were won by Notre Dame (independent), OU (Big Six), Alabama (SEC), Michigan State (Big Ten), Maryland (ACC) and UCLA (Pac).
Heck, time was, not only did no conference dominate, being in any conference seemed a deterrent to finishing No. 1. From 1982 through 1989, independents won six of the eight titles. Penn State in 1982 and 1986, Miami in 1983 and 1987, and Notre Dame in 1988. And one of the two champs from a conference was Brigham Young (1984), from the Western Athletic. The only champion from a major conference in that eight-season span was OU (1985) from the Big Eight.
Those days are long gone. These days, the SEC dominates. Seven straight years of titles, spread over four schools. And the program that's won three of those seven, Alabama, awaits OU in the Sugar Bowl.