Alabama wasn’t the only entity going back-to-back in the wake of the BCS championship game.
Last year, for the first time in the history of the BCS, the SEC placed three teams in the Top Five of the final USA Today coaches’ poll. Very early Tuesday morning, the seven-time defending champion conference did it again.
Obviously, the Tide was a unanimous No. 1 selection of the coaches following their third title in four years. Additionally, Georgia finished at No. 4 followed by Texas A&M at No. 5. Two other teams were in the Top 10 — No. 7 South Carolina, No. 10 Florida — while LSU at No. 12 and Vanderbilt (!) at No. 20 rounded out the seven-strong SEC contingent in the Top 25.
The five teams in the Top 10 from the SEC is the first time any conference has accomplished that feat in the coaches’ poll.
As far as the remainder of the Top 10 is concerned, it was rounded out by Oregon (No. 2), title-game loser Notre Dame (No. 3), Stanford (No. 6), Florida State (No. 8) and Clemson (No. 9).
Thanks to NCAA sanctions on unbeaten Ohio State, Northwestern (!) was the highest-ranked school from that conference at No. 16. No. 23 Nebraska was the only other B1G school ranked in the Top 25.
Five teams from non-BCS conferences made the final rankings: Boise State (No. 14), Utah State (No. 17), San Jose State (No. 21), Northern Illinois (No. 24) and Tulsa (No. 25).
UCLA (then-No. 19), Michigan (No. 22) and Wisconsin (No. 23) all dropped out of the Top 25, replaced by Vanderbilt, Cincinnati (No. 23) and Tulsa.