The SEC made history this bowl season by winning an NCAA-record eight bowl games this season. The league could actually break its own record next week if Alabama defeats Clemson in the College Football National Championship.
The league bounced back from a relatively down regular season in a mighty way, and Alabama has a chance to bring a national title back to the league for the first time since the Crimson Tide won it all in 2012.
But how did the SEC get here? Well, here's the best of from the postseason that was for the SEC:
Best Performance (Team): Alabama -- If you look up "dominant" in the dictionary, you're likely to stumble across mention of No. 2 Alabama's 38-0 throttling of No. 3 Michigan State in the College Football Playoff Semifinal. With Alabama's smothering defense and explosive second-half offense, the Spartans never seemed to have a chance. Alabama held Michigan State to 239 yards (29 rushing), 4-of-16 on third down and forced two turnovers. The Tide racked up 440 yards, including 286 passing yards from Jake Coker, who delivered two touchdowns -- one going 50 yards to Calvin Ridley. Cyrus Jones also took a punt back 57 yards for a score in the third quarter.
Best Performance (Player): Leonard Fournette -- He proved once again that he's one of the best players in the nation during LSU's 56-27 win over Texas Tech in the AdvoCare V100 Texas Bowl. Fournette ran for 212 yards and four touchdowns -- which you can see here, here, here and here (Superman lives!)-- while adding a 44-yard catch-and-run for a touchdown. He tied a bowl record with five total touchdowns.
Best Breakout Performance: Terry Godwin -- His special talents came in flashes this season, but Godwin had an impressive performance in Georgia's 24-17 win over Penn State in the TaxSlayer Bowl. The true freshman lined up in the wildcat and delivered a perfectly thrown pass to Malcolm Mitchell for a 44-yard touchdown in the second quarter. He also caught three passes for 34 yards, including this beautiful 17-yard touchdown in traffic.
Why'd you have to do that to that man?!: Derrick Henry/Jalen Hurd -- Alabama's Heisman Trophy-winning running back is strong, and it's unfair to try and tackle him, but he didn't have to go and throw this nasty stiff arm on poor ol' Shilique Calhoun. Oh, and Hurd, you're just wrong for this one on this Northwestern player:
— Coach Warren VP (@DemetricDWarren) January 1, 2016
Biggest Statement Made: Tennessee -- Tennessee had a ton to prove after winning five straight against teams without winning records. The Volunteers steamrolled Northwestern's highly-rated defense for five rushing touchdowns in Tennessee's 45-6 win in the Outback Bowl. Tennessee held Northwestern to 261 yards and forced four turnovers, including 100-yard pick-six with eight seconds remaining. With this performance and the talent coming back, Tennessee will be the trendy favorite to win the SEC Eastern Division.
Mr. Rumblin' Bumblin Stumblin': Laremy Tunsil -- We all love when a big man scores a touchdown. Ole Miss' franchise left tackle showed grace and elite hands with his nifty 2-yard touchdown catch to bury Oklahoma State deeper into Bourbon Street during a commanding Rebels win in the Allstate Sugar Bowl.
Best Impression of a Prehistoric Animal: Nick Saban -- No, folks, this is NOT dancing. It's almost completely devoid of rhythm, but it is beautiful homage to either a Tyrannosaurus Rex or a velociraptor. And for that, we salute you, Nick. Tweet courtesy of AL.com.
Not only does Nick Saban smile...he dances too! pic.twitter.com/Ewm0wwPtHe
— Justin King (@JustinKing) January 1, 2016
Best Swan Songs: Dak Prescott/Laquon Treadwell -- In his final game for Mississippi State, Prescott threw for 380 yards and four touchdowns in the Bulldogs' 51-28 win over NC State in the Belk Bowl. He also led the Bulldogs with 47 yards rushing. ... While Treadwell hasn't officially announced his intentions of going pro, he's projected as the top wide receiver in the upcoming NFL draft and it's a foregone conclusion that he's leaving. Ole Miss' junior caught three touchdowns and totaled 71 receiving yards. He also threw a 45-yard pass to Jordan Wilkins.
Best Play: Joshua Dobbs' TD run -- Somehow, Dobbs was able to not only secure a bobbled snap that he had to fully turn around to get but he outran everyone on Northwestern's defense to tip-toe along the sideline and dive for the pylon for a Tennessee touchdown. What an athlete.
Biggest Surprise: Auburn -- This team went from national championship pick to 6-6 and not expected to show much in its bowl. Instead, the Tigers stomped Memphis 31-10 behind 402 yards of offense and a season-low 205 yards allowed.
Mr. Toughness: Alex Collins -- Fournette was powerful as ever, but Arkansas' bullish running back left Kansas State players battered and bruised with his painful 185 yards (three touchdowns). Here's just one of his punishing runs.