A two-conference race for the title

Kyle Riviere
The BCS crystal ball

The way things have been going in college football for the past decade, there's one question that needs to be asked every offseason: who will be beaten by an SEC team in this year's BCS Championship Game?

The conference has amazingly produced the last six BCS champions. That's pure dominance--plain and simple.

And it's hard seeing it end any differently this season. Five of the top-10 teams in the AP's preseason poll are from the SEC. This includes the two teams that duked it out for the BCS title last year in LSU and Alabama.

I feel confident that the winner of the Nov. 3 game between the two will be playing in Miami for the tile. To avoid jinxing a certain team, I won't say who the winner of that game will be.

Going with the SEC team is always a safe bet, but it gets a little murky when you try to figure out who their opponent will be.

Florida State looks to be a few pieces short. They have a dominant defense and a very good duel-threat quarterback in EJ Manuel, but they don't have many play-makers at receiver, and their running game is just average.

Oklahoma's a team that consistently underachieves every year. They have so much talent, but every time they go on the road, they struggle.

Quarterback Landry Jones returns for his senior year. Too many times, he has saved his worst performances for the biggest games.

It doesn't help that they lost their most reliable receiver in Ryan Broyles, and their secondary has always been a tad suspect.

It all comes down to one conference: the Pac 12. I think the winner of that conference will be meeting the SEC champion in Miami.

Oregon will still give defensive coordinators nightmares with their no-huddle, spread-option attack. And even though they lose LaMichael James, they still have the explosive Kenjon Barner at running back and the scintillating sophomore De'Anthony Thomas--who can play tailback and wideout.

And defensively, the Ducks should have their best unit in years. They were a young group that took their lumps at the start of last season but consistently got better as the year progressed

USC will have the best offense in the nation--being led by the country's best quarterback in Matt Barkley.

He'll get to throw to the best receiver in the nation in Robert Woods and another 1,000-yard guy in Marqise Lee. And on the ground, they just added a guy in Silas Redd that rushed for over 1,200 yards last year at Penn. State.

The Trojans' only concern is their defensive line. They're inexperienced there and can be susceptible to a power-rushing attack.

That's why I like them against Oregon. Oregon is a finesse running team--mostly taking it to the outside. USC's defense is fast and athletic enough to put the clamps down on that. They also have the luxury of playing the Ducks at home during the regular season and with a win, they will play them at home again for the Pac 12 Championship Game.

Another reason why I like the Trojans making it to Miami is their schedule. If you take away the two games with Oregon, it's a cake-walk. The only other remotely-tough games are Stanford and Notre Dame.

If that's the case, I think they'll just be the next team to get beaten by the SEC.�