...Yet SEC dominance is a very recent phenomenon.
Since the inception of the BCS, the SEC has been crowned national champion 57.14 percent of the time. That's a stunning turnaround when compared with an undisputed national title rate of 10.42 percent over the half-century prior.
So what's behind such a radical shift in fortune, such a statistical improbability?
It certainly isn't on-field performance. Judging by inter-conference records -- that is to say actual games as opposed to media guesswork and bestowed rankings -- the SEC plays other BCS conferences about equally. Witness the record since the start of the BCS era in 1998:
SEC vs. PAC-12 regular season: 10-12
SEC vs. PAC-12 bowl games: 1-0
SEC vs. Big 12 regular season: 6-10
SEC vs. Big 12 bowl games: 21-8
SEC vs. ACC regular season: 42-36
SEC vs. ACC bowl games: 16-9
SEC vs. Big 10 regular season: 7-4
SEC vs. Big 10 bowl games: 19-19
SEC vs. Big East regular season: 16-15
SEC vs. Big East bowl game: 3-8
The record is clear. In head-to-head match-ups against other major conferences, the SEC has either a combined losing record or one that's generally only a little better than even.