No one does college football better than the SEC
Love it or hate, this much is clear: No one plays college football like the Southeastern Conference.

The most compelling evidence is Monday's BCS championship between a pair of SEC rivals, No. 1 LSU and No. 2 Alabama. For the first time using this format, one league grabbed both spots in the title game, assuring the SEC of at least a share of its sixth straight national championship.

No other conference has won more than three in a row.

There are other signs of SEC dominance, as well. Over the last decade, the SEC has sent far more first-round picks to the NFL than any other league, hoarding a staggering array of talent that keeps it on top. This is a Ferrari of a conference to everyone else's minivan.

Tide's McCarron thrives on emotion, not calm
Alabama coach Nick Saban changed his mind about quarterback AJ McCarron's demeanor after the Tide's first game this season against LSU.

McCarron says Saban told him to calm down after a victory over Florida, then did an about-face following Alabama's 9-6 overtime loss to the Tigers.

The sophomore quarterback says he plays better when he's emotional. He passed for 199 yards with an interception in the LSU loss.

Now, McCarron is gearing up for an even bigger game: the BCS title rematch. He said Thursday he actually gets more nervous playing underdogs who throw out all the stops.

McCarron has been the SEC's second-most efficient passer, but his play has been overshadowed by tailback Trent Richardson and the nation's top defense. Plus, he has seldom spoken to the media.

Mathieu, Claiborne combine to lead LSU - or 'DB U
Morris Claiborne came to LSU to play wide receiver. Tyrann Mathieu came just wanting to play.

Together they form one of the best cornerback tandems in college football.

Mathieu led the Tigers in tackles this season en route to winning the Bednarik Award and earning an invitation to the Heisman Trophy ceremony in New York - as a sophomore. Claiborne picked off six passes and won the Thorpe Award as the nation's outstanding cornerback.

And as a reward for locking down opposing offenses, the duo also became the first cornerback tandem to lock down both spots on the AP's All-America first team.

The two lead will lead top-ranked LSU into the BCS title game against No. 2 Alabama on Monday.


Copyright 2012 by The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved.