Dave Sittler: Aggies, Tigers likely to disappear into SEC hype machine
BY DAVE SITTLER World Sports Columnist
Tuesday, January 10, 2012
1/10/12 at 5:13 AM
Go to Dave Sittler's Blog
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Alabama stifles LSU to win title
Original Print Headline: SEC's 'big-boy football' likelyto swallow up Big 12 defectors
If you can't beat them, you sure as heck don't have to join them.
Texas A&M and Missouri obviously don't agree with that twist on the idiom about banding together with an adversary that's deemed too superior to ever defeat.
That became apparent when the Aggies and Tigers decided to bolt from the Big 12 next spring to join the Southeastern Conference.
You may have heard some talk about the SEC claiming to be the biggest, baddest mother of a college football conference that this nation's ever witnessed.
If you watched Monday night's telecast of the BCS National Championship Game, the mute button is the only way you didn't get an ad nauseam earful of SEC hype.
The SEC couldn't lose. For the first time in the BCS' 14-year history, the title game matched two teams - LSU and Alabama - from the same stinking league.
Boring, yes. But it gets worse.
The SEC was guaranteed to win a sixth consecutive BCS title before the game kicked off at the Superdome in New Orleans. And it was also set that the league would win an eighth overall BCS championship.
The Big 12 is a distant second with two BCS titles. Oklahoma won it all in 2000, with Texas adding the league's second crown in 2005.
Since the Longhorns' 41-38 win over USC in arguably the best BCS championship contest, the winners in order have been: Florida, LSU, Florida, Alabama and Auburn.
Six straight titles isn't a trend; it's an embarrassing trouncing. After rubbing the other conference's faces in it the past five seasons, the SEC pigged out in 2011 by turning the title game into an invitation-only affair.
When it comes to football, Texas A&M and Missouri obviously believe in the correct version of the "if you can't beat them, join them" idiom.
After all, the Aggies and Tigers found it difficult to beat their Big 12 brethren. In the 15 years the Big 12 staged a title contest, the two deserters combined to win one championship - Texas A&M needed two overtimes to beat Kansas State in 1998.
A&M and Mizzou apparently figured if they were going to be lovable losers, they might as well be rich cupcakes. The SEC's success means the Tigers and Aggies might often have "0" in their SEC win columns, but millions in the asset columns on their bank statements.
At least the bad news for the Aggies and Tigers is great news for the rest of the nation's teams. Instead of facing a weekly diet of SEC powerhouses, only one team among the other 106 FBS schools will have to defeat an SEC team once to win a BCS title.
Uh, there's one problem with that bit of good news. There's always the chance the SEC could turn this hogging of the BCS title game into a yearly event.
Woo, Pig, Sooie, indeed.
But even if only one SEC team advances to future title games, the challenge remains to find someone - anyone, for the Gipper's sake - to break the league's streak, which is now at six seasons and counting.
If you believe the headlines and hyperbole leading up to Monday's game, the SEC teams, fans and media are confident there is no end in sight to this domination.
It's difficult to debate their bravado. The only shred of evidence the non-SEC teams could offer this season is that the Big 12 did produce a BCS title-worthy contender in Oklahoma State.
Perhaps LSU would have crushed the Cowboys if OSU had been invited to the Big Easy instead of Alabama. Sadly, we'll never know how the Pokes' explosive offense would have fared against LSU's dynamite defense.
But the Pity Party for OSU and the Big 12 should have officially ended when SEC's Private Party was over.
With 2011 now in college football's history books, Tuesday marks the kickoff of the 2012 season. The openers may be seven-plus months away, but there's no time to rest for any team that's sick of hearing that the only "big-boy football" is played in the SEC.
The boys who play football at Texas A&M and Missouri may never be heard from again. But plenty of rebels are eager for the opportunity to put on their big-boy pants and give it a go against one of the SEC's monsters.
Could it be OSU or Oklahoma? After all, the Bedlam brethren reportedly rejected more than one invitation from the SEC when the league was considering expansion to 14 or 16 teams.
So we know the Cowboys and Sooners refused to join them. But we'll never know if OSU could have beaten one of them.
At least not this season. But there's always next year for those who chose to fight the SEC instead of joining it.