As the confetti fell, the silver-haired man stood quietly near the foot of the platform, just as he has for so many years now, watching the celebration swirl. "It does not get old," said SEC commissioner Mike Slive as another of his teams passed around the crystal football.
As always, Slive was speaking for a very large, very passionate regional audience. For almost everyone else, the SEC's continuing dominance certainly does get old -- and that's not the only thing.
Alabama's 21-0 win over LSU on Monday night was the league's sixth straight BCS championship. It also might have represented the conclusion of the evolution and reordering of the sport's hierarchy. We knew the score going in, but the all-SEC matchup marked the pinnacle, the complete concentration of power. And perhaps, it was a catalyst for significant change to college football's postseason structure.
Only a few hours after the last stragglers had cleared Bourbon Street Tuesday morning, conference commissioners met at the Windsor Court Hotel a few blocks from the French Quarter. Nothing much happened. No momentous decisions were made. But it was the first step in laying the groundwork for what could be a very important offseason.