The end of the SEC season came during the bowl season, except for Alabama, who is playing for a national title. The SEC did not play against non-conference teams during the regular season, but the bowl season gave them plenty of opportunities. Heading into Alabama/Ohio State on Monday night, the conference is 6-2. Here, we'll recap those games.
With the 41-27 win from the Aggies of Texas A&M over North Carolina, the sixth win for the conference came in the Capital One Orange Bowl. Nick Saban and his Alabama Crimson Tide advanced to the title tilt after taking care of business against No. 4 Notre Dame in the Rose Bowl College Football Playoff semifinal.
The most impressive part for the conference was all of their wins this bowl season were against Top 25 teams. That's the most in the history of College Football Bowl games. Alabama has a chance to extend that record on Monday night in Miami against Ohio State.
Often revered as the strongest conference in college football, the success of the 2020 bowl season is going to give the conference even more of a step up for the start of the 2021 season. For the Crimson Tide, if they can grab a win on Monday, Coach Saban would see his sixth title since taking the job in Tuscaloosa back in 2007.
Should Saban and company pull it off, it would be the third national title won by an SEC team in the span of four seasons -- LSU won the 2019 national championship -- and 11th by the conference dating back to 2006.
The SEC wasn't the only league to see widespread success this bowl season either. In the Big 12, all five of the conference's teams that participated in a bowl game won their contests. TCU was additionally scheduled to face Arkansas in the Texas Bowl, but the game was canceled after COVID-19 issues hit the Horned Frogs program.
The SEC was adversely affected as well, as South Carolina, Tennessee, Missouri, and Arkansas were either unable to play in a bowl game and/or had their postseason game canceled.
Weak In, Weak Out
Others, however, were not so lucky. While the Pac-12 only sent two teams to bowl games -- many programs opted out of the bowl season -- only to see Oregon and Colorado both lose by double-digits, the ACC suffered an even bigger scar.
Despite sending six teams -- three to the New Year's Six, including two in the College Football Playoff -- ACC programs went a combined 0-6 in the postseason, sending the conference into 2021 on perhaps its most sour note in recent memory after a promising outlook.
Not All Rosey
While the Aggies, Tide, Georgia, Ole Miss, and Kentucky all emerged victorious over the last few weeks, Auburn and Florida came out on the wrong end in the Citrus and Orange Bowls, respectively.
But the black eye of bowl season undoubtedly belongs to Tulsa and the SEC’s Mississippi State. The Lockheed Martin Armed Forces Bowl ended in embarrassment as the two schools engaged in a bench-clearing brawl that required police intervention and resulted in injuries and arrests.
The massive eyesore ruined an otherwise competitive game that the Bulldogs won by two points, though the result quickly became largely forgettable.