BY COLIN “BIG C” MACGUIRE
The Greenville Standard
Today I will talk about the BCS era that started in 1998 and the playoff era in 2014 for SEC Teams.
The first year of the Bowl Championship Series era it was Tennessee taking on Florida State. Tennessee beat Florida State 23-14 in the Fiesta Bowl. The SEC had a good start with the win.
The next time an SEC Team played in the BCS Championship was for the 2003 national championship. It was LSU vs Oklahoma in New Orleans. There was a little controversy with Oklahoma losing to Kansas State 35-7 in the Big 8 Championship game. LSU beat Oklahoma 21-14. The game was not as close as the score. It was Coach Nick Saban’s first national championship. SEC 2-0.
In 2006, the next time a SEC team played in this game it was Florida facing Ohio State. It looked like there was gonna be a rematch of the Ohio State/Michigan game. Florida coach Urban Meyer did a great job of lobbying for his team. Despite Ohio State returning the opening kickoff, it was all downhill after that. The Gators destroyed Ohio State 41-14. The SEC was now 3-0 in the BCS series.
This was the start of SEC teams playing in this game.
In 2007, LSU made it to the next year. LSU faced Ohio State who was playing in this game for the second year in a row. The SEC made it second year in a row to win. LSU 38-24. Les Miles was the coach. The SEC was now 4-0 in BCS games.
In 2008, Florida beat Alabama 31-20 to play in BCS Championship Game. Florida faced Oklahoma, a team that had scored over 60 points a game in its last five games. Florida slowed down the Sooners and won 24-14. The SEC was now 5-0 in BCS games.
In 2009, Alabama had a rematch vs Florida from 2008. This time Alabama won 32-13. It was Alabama vs Texas; a team, Alabama had never beaten. Alabama finally beat the Longhorns 37-21, and was their first national championship since 1992.
It was Nick Saban’s 2nd National Championship and 6-0 for the SEC.
In 2010, Auburn played Oregon in Phoenix Arizona. Two high powered offenses combined for a total of 41 points. Auburn kicked a field goal on the last play of the game to win 22-19.
It was the first National Championship for Auburn since 1957. The SEC was now 7-0.
In 2011, it was the first time two conference teams played for the national championship. It was rematch of Alabama vs LSU from the regular season, which LSU won 9-6 in overtime. Alabama won the rematch 21-0. SEC (1-1).
In 2012, Alabama faced Notre Dame. Notre Dame has denied Alabama several national championships (1966, 1973, 1974, and 1977). This time Alabama would not be denied, blasting the Fighting Irish 42-14. SEC now 8-0.
In 2013, Auburn won the SEC to face undefeated Florida State in the last BCS Championship game. Florida State, with 13 seconds left, won 35-31. The SEC vs out of conference opponent’s win record was 8-1.
In 2014, a four team playoff format placed Ohio State against Alabama 42-35 with Ohio State winning. 0-1 for the SEC.
In 2015, Alabama beat Michigan State 38-0 in the Cotton Bowl. In the Championship Alabama beat Clemson 45-40. SEC was now 2-1.
In 2016, Alabama beat Washington 24-7. In the championship Clemson beat Alabama 35-31. SEC was now 3-2.
In 2017, Georgia beat Oklahoma 54-48(OT) in the Rose Bowl. In the Sugar Bowl Alabama beat Clemson 24-7. In the championship, Alabama beat Georgia 26-23(OT).
SEC 2-0 and is now 5-2 vs out of conference teams.