The Southeastern Conference has accounted for the past six national champions in college football, and no matter which of its schools faces Notre Dame for the crystal trophy Jan. 7, the league will be heavily favored to win its seventh in a row.
In this part of the country, where pride in the conference is universally expressed by simple, yet familiar, chants of "S-E-C, S-E-C," it's almost inconceivable that the Bowl Championship Series national title game could have any other outcome.
"There is a perceived SEC arrogance that I think is very real, and it exists because of all this success," said Bill King, who hosts a daily radio show on college football for Sirius/XM based in Tennessee. "They don't see the outside college football planet like fans do in Big Ten or Big 12 country. I don't think the average SEC fan sees Notre Dame as a worthy opponent."
That earned confidence will be broadcast to the nation Saturday at the Georgia Dome, where the SEC championship game will essentially serve as a national semifinal. The winner between No. 2-ranked Alabama and No. 3 Georgia is virtually assured a spot in the national title game opposite the Fighting Irish in Miami Gardens, Fla.