Tide Win Good For Conference

Although the fans of at least a couple of Southeastern Conference teams seemed less than enthusiastic over Alabama's national championship triumph, the Crimson Tide victory was good for the SEC.



Alabama won the national championship with a 37-21 win over Texas in the Bowl Championship Series national championship game at the Rose Bowl in Pasadena on January 7.

"This was a great night for Alabama players, coaches and fans and for the Southeastern Conference," said SEC Commissioner Mike Slive, who was in Pasadena to see the Bama win. "To give the SEC four straight BCS national championships is an outstanding accomplishment and to have three different SEC teams win national titles during that span shows the outstanding depth of quality programs we have in the league."

In addition to having four consecutive national championships for SEC teams (Florida in 2006, LSU in 2007, Florida in 2008, and Alabama in 2009), the league has now had six champions in the 12 years of BCS competition.

In addition to the four most recent, the Nick Saban-led LSU Tigers won the championship in 2004 and Tennessee was 1999 champion.

The SEC is 6-0 in BCS National Championship Games (LSU 2-0, Florida 2-0, Alabama 1-0, Tennessee 1-0).

Saban is the first coach to win BCS championships at two schools.

Alabama was one of seven SEC teams that had slow starts in 2009-10 bowl games, failing to score in the first quarter. Only Florida (9 points), Kentucky (7 points) and Auburn (14 points) scored in the first 15 minutes of bowl games this season.

Alabama defensive lineman Marcell Dareus, named Defensive Most Valuable Player of the BCS game, was one of four SEC players to score defensive touchdowns in bowl games. He returned an interception 28 yards against Texas for a touchdown in the final seconds of the first half to give the Tide a 24-6 lead at intermission.

Other SEC players scoring defensive touchdowns were Auburn's Walter McFadden returned an interception 100 yards for a score against Northwestern, Arkansas' Tramain Thomas scored on a 37-yard interception return against East Carolina and Ole Miss' Patrick Trahan put the AT&T Cotton Bowl out of reach with a 34-yard fumble return against Oklahoma State.

Other Southeastern Conference notes from the bowl season:

The SEC has the most wins (14) and the highest winning percentage of any conference that has three-or-more appearances in BCS bowl games. The SEC is 14-5 in BCS games (.737 percentage).

The SEC finished 6-4 in bowl games this season. Since 2006, the SEC is 25-11 in post-season bowl games (.694). The league has posted a non-losing bowl record for seven straight seasons. The last time the league finished under .500 in bowl games was in 2002 (3-4).

Since conference expansion in 1992, the SEC has won at least five bowl games in nine of 18 seasons. The SEC has won at least six bowl games during the last four seasons (6-3 in 2006; 7-2 in 2007; 6-2 in 2008; 6-4 in 2009). Those years are the only ones since 1992 the league has won six bowl games.

In its history, the SEC is 196-170-13 in post-season bowl games, a 53.4 winning percentage. The SEC has the nation's top bowl winning percentage surpassing the Pac-10 (120-107-6, 52.8 percentage).

The SEC finished the 2009 season with a non-conference mark of 48-10 (.828). Counting bowl games, the SEC bested its best-ever win total in non-conference games of 47 set in 2007 (40-8 regular season/7-2 bowl mark) and 2006 (41-7 regular season/6-3 bowl mark). Since conference expansion, the SEC's best non-conference winning percentage (counting bowl games) is 37-5 (.881), set in 1997 (32-4 regular season/5-1 bowl mark).

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