Eventually, logic holds, the Southeastern Conference's absolute domination of college football has to end. Or at least be interrupted for a year or two.
The last time a non-SEC school won the national championship, there was a Bush in the White House, the Florida Governor's mansion AND Southern Cal backfield.
How's that for irony?
All three living in free housing.
Tim Tebow was a senior in high school.
Maybe this will be the year. As it stands, the SEC's run of six consecutive national champions is an unprecedented -- even unthinkable -- accomplishment. Extending it to seven would defy all statistical probability.
Here's your source of hope.
Alabama, the reigning national champs, lost enough talent to start an NFL expansion franchise.
LSU, the only team to beat Bama, has a new quarterback and has lost its best playmaker, Tyrann Mathieu, earlier this month to a suspension.
Arkansas, whose only two losses were to Alabama and LSU, has most of its team back, but has a new head coach AND recruiting coordinator (coincidental, huh?).
Georgia, which dominated LSU for a half in the SEC championship game, has a new offensive line.
South Carolina, which beat Georgia, may have hit the glass ceiling compared with the SEC's traditional powers.
Those are the only schools with a realistic chance of winning it all, and they all have issues.
This is your chance, Big 10. All you need is a candidate.
Michigan? Eh, sorry. Too thin. Wisconsin? Too thick. Nebraska? Beat Northwestern, then get back to me.
OK, so not the Big 10.
Maybe the Big 12? Sure, it's losing members faster than the Bobby Petrino Fan Club.
But it still has Oklahoma and Texas. Well, Oklahoma.
The Sooners have become the new Notre Dame.
They are the national media's favorites, talent-laden and unbeatable until they actually play somebody good.
Since that humiliation at the hands of USC in the 2005 Orange Bowl, the Sooners have been ranked in the top 10 in the preseason Associated Press poll every season. They have lost 22 games in that seven-year stretch.
Yet, once again, the Sooners are ranked in the top 10 in virtually every preseason poll and top five in most.
So maybe not the Big 12.
The Pac-12. Southern Cal and Oregon are legitimate championship contenders. In fact, many preseason publications are picking the Trojans to win it all. In the coaches' poll, the Trojans received nearly one-third of the No. 1 votes -- 19 of 59. They have what it takes to win a championship: a quarterback (Matt Barkley), a defense and a manageable schedule.
The rest of the first-place votes? One each went to Oklahoma (but of course) and Florida State. The remaining 38 went to well um the SEC.
Alabama received 20 votes; LSU, 18. And the Tigers captured the overall top spot, just four points ahead of the Crimson Tide.
And they aren't even the SEC's only contenders. Georgia (sixth), South Carolina (ninth) and Arkansas (10th) are ranked in the top 10. Georgia has to be considered a legitimate threat if for no other reason than its schedule, its quarterback and its defense.
Of the SEC's Big Five, the Bulldogs, as Steve Spurrier has noted a couple times, are the only one that has just one game against the other four (South Carolina). LSU and South Carolina have three each. Bama has two (LSU and Arkansas), but also plays Michigan.
Tide fans don't concern themselves too much with the schedule as long as they have the college game's best coach, Nick Saban.
So, College Football Nation, do not despair. Your turn will come again.
-- Guerry Clegg is an independent correspondent. You can write to him at firstname.lastname@example.org