Sunday, January 10, 2010

South Risen

The Alabama Crimson Tide winning their first National Championship since 1992 cemented a well known fact; Having a piece of five of the last seven National Championships has left no doubt, the present Southeastern Conference is bar none the most dominant conference college football has ever seen. From the National Championship winning coaches to the Heisman Trophy winning players, the SEC has had college football on lockdown for four straight years.

A brief look back . . .

The Legacy of Tim Tebow. He'll go down as one of the two or three top collegiate athletes of all time. A national figure, Tim Tebow broke onto the scene in 2006 and immediately made noise. While splitting time with fellow Gator Chris Leak, Tebow had eight rushing touchdowns from under center and during the Gators first National Championship win, he took the stage with 40 yards rushing on 10 carries and both a rushing and passing touchdown. That was just the beginning. His Sophomore campaign would earn him a Heisman Trophy (32 Passing TD's, 23 Rushing) and set off a string of sophomore Heisman Trophy winners, he being the first in the history of the award. Not to be outdone, the famed Gator quarterback would again be a finalist for the Heisman Trophy each of the next two seasons. When Tebow was sidelined with a concussion earlier this season, the nation waited to see what would happen. Tebow roared into the Bayou and thumped the LSU Tigers. No matter what Colt McCoy & Sam Bradford were doing in the Big 12, or what the Trojans and Ducks were rustling up in the PAC 10, for the last four seasons all eyes were on one player in one conference, Tim Tebow in the SEC.

Nick Saban Returns To The SEC With his second career National Championship and with his second program, Nick Saban should earn a ton of respect. Leaving LSU for the NFL and then jetting back to the college ranks just as quick, gave Saban a certain reputation. However, Nick Saban is not only a premier coach in college football he may just be THE premier coach in college football. After a slow start in his first season in Tuscaloosa, Nick Saban has won 26 of his last 28 games. Not only has Saban brought a National Championship back to Alabama, he also successfully recruited and coached a Heisman Trophy winner to the Tide for the first time in the programs storied history. The SEC had some pretty good coaches to keep up it's winning ways when Saban jolted for the NFL the first time, but with the now 2x National Champion back in the conference there's no stopping its success. First his title winning season in Baton Rouge in 2003, now his title winning season for the Crimson Tide, Nick Saban is more than just an elite coach.

Urban Meyer Pumps Life Into Gainesville Till Meyer's health issues came to the surface, Urban Meyer looked about as tough to stop as his teams did. Since taking over in 2005, Meyer has flat out stormed the college football scene. A 57-10 record in five seasons in Gainesville, Meyer has brought in two National Championships and the most recent Sugar Bowl win as well. The Gators have become a household name across the country, they are faster and play better defense year after year as any team in the country. Meyer has turned the Gators into what the Seminoles were in the 90's and what the 'Canes were in the 80's, following a long tradition of outstanding state of Florida college football. Now that Meyer has decided to remain with the Gators and just take a break, we can assure you that their winning ways will continue. A success with Bowling Green and Utah before coming to Florida, Urban Meyer is the most sought after football coach in the country. When Notre Dame came calling for Urban Meyer years ago and he split for the SEC instead, you knew something special was brewing in the Southeastern Conference. Urban Meyer has built a stronghold in the football rich state of Florida, and has made it a cornerstone of SEC success nationally.

The Bayou Bengals Show Teeth The LSU Tigers may have slipped a little in the last two seasons, but National Championships in 2003 and 2007 have made these Bengals feared. First with Nick Saban, then with Les Miles, LSU has twice been claimed the best team in all the land, and it's the defense and tough play that has done it. 40-13 over the last four seasons, LSU is tearing up the SEC with as much firepower as 'Bama and Florida. Not many conferences go three deep with National Championship power, but in the SEC, they do. Like the previsouly mentioned teams LSU has overpowered opponents and done it on a national stage. Back in 2007, the Tigers played a rough and tumble Ohio State team looking to win a National Championship. Unfortunately for Buckeye nation, the Tigers had other plans. A 21-point second quarter lead to a 24-10 halftime lead and all but sealed the win for Les Miles and his Bayou Bengals. Baton Rouge has always been a tough place to play, yet now that LSU is winning titles and running wild, it's downright scary.

With Ole' Miss beating Oklahoma State in the Cotton Bowl, Georgia destroying Texas A&M in the Independence Bowl, the SEC is making noise in other college towns as well. Heading into 2010 you can bet the future is just as bright as its been recently for SEC football and their National Title winning ways!

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