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SEC teams lurking all around BCS title picture

8:53 PM, Nov 22, 2012   |    comments
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Paul Myerberg, USA TODAY Sports

It's an annual late-season tradition, like a Thanksgiving weekend full of leftover turkey, stuffing, the Iron Bowl and Clean, Old-Fashioned Hate.

SEC coaches with teams on the outskirts of the championship race - though still very much in the BCS hunt - wildly promote the SEC as the nation's premier conference, both for the league's benefit and their own. Again this season, some numbers bear that out: The Nos. 2, 3, 4, 7 and 9 teams in the BCS standings belong to the SEC.

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With so many SEC teams in contention, there is a strong probability that if No. 1 Notre Dame wins Saturday and clinches a spot in the Jan. 7 BCS national championship, its opponent will come from the SEC. And if Notre Dame loses Saturday, we could see an all-SEC title game for the second consecutive year.

"I can tell you one thing: Whoever said 'death, taxes and the SEC,' I believe that is the truth," said LSU coach Les Miles, whose team owns the BCS's No. 7 spot.

"Playing in the SEC, it's a playoff every week," said Florida coach Will Muschamp. "We have an eight-game playoff to go to the championship game."

In 2012, Muschamp said, Florida played its usual "eight-game playoff" and will face Florida State on Saturday. That's just another "big game" for the media to consider, said Muschamp.

If teams like LSU and Florida (No. 4 in the BCS standings) feel a need to promote themselves and their conference, it's because both will battle the loser of the SEC championship game for the league's at-large BCS bid.

But SEC East champion Georgia (No. 3) and SEC West contender Alabama (No. 2) are in the driver's seat. It's almost assured that if each team moves to 11-1 Saturday, the winner of next week's SEC championship will play for the national championship on Jan. 7.

And deservedly so, said Miles. "I hope the champion gets that great opportunity in this season. I can't imagine that it won't, to be honest."

 

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