Tuesday, January 8, 2013
Seven from SEC make final AP Top 25
By Edward Aschoff
If those "overrated" chants directed toward the SEC didn't quiet down after the first quarter of Alabama's romp over an overmatched Notre Dame team during Monday night's Discover BCS National Championship, they probably came to a halt after the final Associated Press Top 25 came out.
Following Alabama's 42-14 beat down over the Irish, the AP placed seven SEC teams inside its Top 25. Alabama was unanimous at the top, taking all 59 first-place votes, which gave Alabama its ninth AP national championship (which is the most by any program).
Four other SEC teams rounded out the top 10. Georgia and Texas A&M tied for fifth. Georgia was a play away from replacing Alabama in the national title game and beat Nebraska by 14 in the Capital One Bowl. The Aggies ended the year with the Heisman Trophy winner in quarterback Johnny Manziel and as arguably the nation's hottest team after routing Oklahoma 41-13 in the AT&T Cotton Bowl. Texas A&M went 11-2 in its first year in the SEC and under first-year coach Kevin Sumlin.
South Carolina finished the season ranked sixth, after collecting its second consecutive 11-win season for the first time in school history after a thrilling, last-minute win against Michigan in the Outback Bowl. Florida finished at No. 9 after an ugly 33-23 loss to Louisville in the Allstate Sugar Bowl, but did end up with 11 wins, including four over top-10 teams.
LSU's last-second loss to Clemson in the Chick-fil-A Bowl knocked the Tigers out of the top 10 and down to 14th, while Vanderbilt slipped in at No. 23 with its 9-4 year. The Commodores finished the year on a seven-game winning streak, which was the longest since 1948, won five conference games for the first time since 1935, and won nine total games for the first time since 1915.