Photo: Getty Images/Kevin C. Cox
The SEC enters the 2012 college football season as the odds-on favourite to have one of its teams win the national championship.Defending champions Alabama along with LSU, Georgia, South Carolina and Arkansas all enter the season ranked in the top 10 of every major poll.
Winning it all in Miami come January would give the conference its seventh consecutive BCS National Championship.
But the craziest part about the SEC’s six-year reign is how unlikely it is for any conference to take over the sport in such a way.
Here’s how Paul Bessire, a quantitative analyst who runs PredictionMachine.com, explained the SEC’s dominance to Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports (PredictionMachine.com takes into account schedule strength, player/coach performance, location, and other factors to simulate any given situation 50,000 times and predict the likeliest outcome):
The SEC has slightly better than a 1-in-3 chance of winning a seventh consecutive national championship if stacked against the field. The average conference would have a 25-33 per cent chance in any given season, Bessire says. This year, the SEC is at 34 per cent to 36 per cent. Further perspective: Bessire says if any conference had gone into a season with a 1-in-3 chance since 2006, it would have a 0.129 per cent chance of winning six in a row.
Translation: When Texas’ Vince Young scored the winning touchdown against USC in the 2006 Rose Bowl, the likelihood of the SEC grabbing the game by the throat the next six years was 1 in 775.
Everyone pegs USC or Oregon as the teams likeliest to dethrone the SEC in 2012.
As you can see, the SEC has turned the odds significantly in its favour, so we wouldn’t bet against it.
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