The SEC ended another stellar year with another national championship. South Carolina won the school’s first ever national title when they swept UCLA at the College World Series. The Gamecocks had been close several times under Coach Ray Tanner but finally broke through for the championship in the last CWS at historic Rosenblatt Stadium. It was the conference’s second straight baseball title with LSU taking the crown in 2009.
The collegiate sports year started with the SEC winning its fourth straight BCS Championship in football when Alabama defeated Texas. That four-year steak was accomplished by three different schools (Florida, LSU and Alabama), and the nation’s top gridiron league has won half (6) of the National Championships since the BCS started during the 1998 season. All of the success on the field paid off once again in February, when the league was at the top of the annual recruiting rankings once again.
The SEC could still use some improvement in basketball, but Kentucky’s resurgence should help that immensely. The Wildcats, as well as Tennessee, made Elite Eight runs in March, and both will lead an SEC East next season that will have five Top-25 caliber teams. When traditional powers like Arkansas and LSU rebound in the West, the league will compete in the NCAA Tournament at the highest level.
Conference expansion threatened to send college athletics into a state of disarray. The SEC looked at having to add schools, but order has been stored for the time being. The league is in great shape off the field with its expansive television deal, and the South Carolina national title is just another in a long line of excellence on the field.