There has been a lot of talk in college football recently about power conferences, when in reality there is only one power conference. The SEC has produced the last six BCS national champions and is 8–1 in the title game. No other conference even has a winning record in the championship game. The reason for the SEC's dominance comes down to three things:
Winning breeds winning, and the game's top coaches are not only drawn to successful programs, they also want to continue that success. Big-name head coaches such as Alabama's Nick Saban, LSU's Les Miles, and South Carolina's Steve Spurrier are a major reason why the SEC has won an NCAA-best 11 bowl games over the past two seasons.
[Photo Gallery: Preseason All-SEC Team]
It doesn't hurt that the southeastern United States is a hotbed for talented high school players — 10 of Scout.com's top 25 players in the 2013 recruiting class are from the region — and many of those players choose to stay close to home for college.
It's always said that defense wins championships, and in the SEC defense comes first. The conference's teams are known for playing hyperpaced D that leaves opponents confused. Last season, the SEC produced five of the 10 best defenses in the country, led by national champion Alabama, which allowed just 184 yards per game.
[College Football Preview: SI Kids Preseason All-Defensive Team]
If not the SEC, then whom?
It won't be easy, but if a team from outside the SEC is going to win the BCS national title this season, these three schools have the best shot.
Quarterback Matt Barkley, the preseason Heisman favorite, has enough talented receivers around him for the Trojans to make a run at the title.
Just two years removed from a title-game appearance, the Ducks have a double-threat combination at running back with Kenjon Barner and De'Anthony Thomas.
Oklahoma (Big 12)
Quarterback Landry Jones already holds the school records for career passing yards and touchdowns. Now he will try to help the Sooners improve upon last season's disappointing 10–3 record.