The BCS National Championship would have left out both semifinal winners, Oregon and Ohio State.

My statement above was 100% accurate. There have only been a handful of instances when a 1-loss team from the SEC didn't make the Championship Game:

  • 2002 Georgia, because Miami and Ohio State both went undefeated
  • 2004 Auburn (undefeated), because USC and Oklahoma both started the season #1 and #2 and went undefeated.
  • 2009 Florida, because undefeated Alabama was the SEC champion and Texas went undefeated.
  • 2012 Florida, because 1-loss Alabama won the SEC, 2-loss Georgia won Florida's division, and Notre Dame went undefeated.
  • 2013 Alabama, because 1-loss Auburn won the SEC and Florida State went undefeated

So taken literally, a 1-loss SEC team has never been bumped out of the BCS Championship Game in favor of any other 1-loss non-SEC team, other than in 2004 (which involved a 0-loss Auburn). In any season in which a 1-loss SEC team was not represented in the BCS Championship Game, one of the following held true:

  • There were at least two undefeated teams from BCS conference, or
  • Said 1-loss team did not win the SEC, and a different SEC team was represented in the BCS Championship, along with an undefeated BCS conference (or Notre Dame) team

In fact, not even included in this list is the 2007 season in which LSU became the only 2-loss team to qualify for the BCS Championship.

Contrast this with the list of 1-loss Pac-10 or Pac-12 teams that have been passed over (not saying this hasn't happened to other conferences too, but the Pac-10 is what I'm most familiar with):

  • 1998 UCLA, bumped out by 1-loss Florida State
  • 1998 Arizona, bumped out by 1-loss Florida State
  • 2000 Washington, bumped out by 1-loss Florida State (who lost to 1-loss Miami, who lost to Washington)
  • 2000 Oregon State, bumped out by 1-loss Florida State
  • 2001 Oregon, bumped out by 1-loss Nebraska
  • 2003 USC, bumped out by 1-loss Oklahoma and 1-loss LSU
  • 2004 Cal, because USC and Oklahoma were both undefeated
  • 2008 USC, bumped out by 1-loss Florida
  • 2010 Stanford, because Oregon and Auburn were both undefeated
  • 2011 Stanford, bumped out by 1-loss Alabama

When you contrast with the list of Pac-10 one-loss teams, in only two instances were they denied because other major teams had better records (so no argument there). In every single other instance, another conference has received the benefit of the doubt. Across this 16-year span, the Pac-10 has seen teams with better resumes (1998 UCLA) get turned down. Teams that won the head-to-head matchup (2000 Washington) against other BCS candidates. Teams that had harder schedules than other contenders (long list, see Sagarin archives). In years when the Pac-10 was the strongest conference (2000). In years where the team was ranked #1 in the polls (2003 USC). In years where the team had the best offense (1998 UCLA). In years where the team had the best defense (2008 USC). Twice jumped by teams that didn't win its own division (2001 Oregon, 2011 Stanford). This despite consistently playing the hardest OOC schedules of any conference, with the closest semblance to an even mix of home to road games.

I'm not saying that all of these teams other than 2004 Cal and 2010 Stanford deserved to be in the BCS Championship Game: that would be preposterous. But with the exception of 2004 Auburn, that is exactly what the SEC has enjoyed!

/r/CFB Thread