SEC headed toward historic finish

With Arkansas winning 29-16 over Kansas State on Friday night in the AT&T Cotton Bowl, the SEC is poised for what would be an historic finish in the final polls.

There’s a very good chance that four SEC teams will be ranked among the top 8 teams in at least one of the final polls when they come out next week.

LSU was No. 1 and Alabama No. 2 in both the Associated Press and USA Today coaches’ polls to end the regular season, and they will meet on Monday night in the Allstate BCS National Championship Game.

Arkansas was No. 7 in both polls prior to its Cotton Bowl victory, and No. 4 Stanford lost in the Tostitos Fiesta Bowl.

South Carolina, which thumped Nebraska 30-13 in the Capital One Bowl, was No. 9 in the coaches’ poll and No. 10 in the AP poll. Wisconsin was ahead of the Gamecocks by one spot in both polls, but lost in the Rose Bowl.

It would be the first top 10 finish in school history for the Gamecocks.

The best the SEC had previously done was four teams in the AP’s top 9 in 1952, and one of those was former league member Georgia Tech at No. 2. The Yellow Jackets are now in the ACC. The SEC also had four teams in the AP’s top 10 in 1959 (No. 2 Ole Miss, No. 3 LSU, No. 5 Georgia and No. 10 Alabama) and 1942 (No. 2 Georgia, No. 5 Georgia Tech, No. 7 Tennessee and No. 10 Alabama).

In the old UPI poll, the SEC had four teams finish in the top 9 in 1971.

This season also marks the first time in SEC history that four teams have won 11 or more games. Alabama, Arkansas and South Carolina have all won 11, while LSU has won 14.

No other league in the country this season has produced four 11-game winners.