The Norman Transcript

National Sports

August 17, 2013

Can someone, anyone, please curtail SEC dominance?

(Continued)

ATLANTA —

For now, look for more of the same.

The SEC could have as many as five teams (Alabama, Georgia, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Florida) in the top 10 when the first Associated Press poll of the season comes out on Saturday. LSU is right in the mix, too.

There are those who choose to bury their head in the sand when it comes to the SEC.

A few weeks ago, Nebraska coach Bo Pelini took offense at anyone suggesting the SEC was head and shoulders above every other conference. Alabama, for sure, but not the entire conference.

“I guarantee there are a lot of teams in the SEC that aren’t Alabama that wish they were Nebraska, that wish they were Michigan, wish they were Ohio State,” Pelini said, “so don’t talk to me about the SEC.”

That sort of denial isn’t going to get it done.

Not when anyone can match up to the SEC in two crucial areas: quarterback and defense.

It starts with Manziel, the game’s most dynamic player, assuming he isn’t sidelined by an investigation into whether he got paid for doling out his autograph (the guess here is that Johnny Football beats the rap). Alabama is led by AJ McCarron, who has done nothing but win championships since taking over as the Tide’s QB. Georgia has Aaron Murray, a fifth-year senior who surprisingly passed on a chance to enter the NFL draft after guiding the Bulldogs to the cusp of the national title game last season.

If there was any hope the Crimson Tide might back off the throttle just a bit, Saban shot that down just minutes after his team had finished its destruction of the Fighting Irish. He said the celebration would last all of 24 hours, then he’d be back in the office getting ready to win another championship.

“Even though I really appreciate what this team accomplished and am very, very proud of what they accomplished, we need to prepare for the challenges of the new season very quickly with the team we have coming back,” he said.

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