I’m beginning to get a sense of déjà vu. I’m having memories of the early Nineties, a period in SEC football history when the Alabama Crimson Tide and the Florida Gators met annually in the championship game. Both programs dominated their respective divisions, and the only question at the beginning of each season was which team would win the "big" game at the end. Now it seems that history is about to repeat itself; the Tide and the Gators are currently loaded with superior talent and speed. They are also led by two of the best coaches in the nation. I have no doubt that these two SEC "superpowers" will meet in Atlanta for the next three or four years in a row.
Wow, that didn’t take long, did it? Lest we forget, there was a time when it appeared equally clear that the Georgia Bulldogs and the LSU Tigers were destined to square off in the Georgia Dome more or less on an annual basis to settle the question of conference supremacy. That they were the only two serious contenders for hegemony was accepted as a given.
And why shouldn’t it have been? After all, the Bayou Bengals had just appeared in their fourth SEC championship game in the last seven years, while the Red and Black came within missed field goals by three different teams against the Tennessee Volunteers of making it to Atlanta for the fourth time in six seasons.
Sure, the Florida Gators had Heisman Trophy winner Tim Tebow, but they also had no defense, no answer either for Knowshon Moreno or for Evil Richt, and one appearance in the league title tilt in a seven-year stretch. The Alabama Crimson Tide weren’t even on the radar screen, hadn’t been to the SEC championship game in eight seasons, and appeared to have overpaid dearly for a six-loss season, an Independence Bowl berth, and an embarrassing defeat suffered at the hands of Louisiana-Monroe.
Say, when was that again? Oh, yeah, right . . . a year ago.
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that one in a row is pretty slender evidence upon the basis of which to declare the rise of dual dynasties. Let’s hold our horses and try to wait to count those chickens until they’ve actually gotten around to hatching. Who knows; maybe it’ll turn out that one or two of the other ten teams in the Southeastern Conference will have something to say about who finishes in first place.