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NCAA Football: BCS Championship Game.

First of all, a big "War Eagle!" and congratulations to the Auburn Tigers for winning the BCS Championship game last night.  Due to an early morning engagement I couldn't watch the whole game, but this was an impressive victory for the Auburn Tigers, and richly deserved.  No matter what you think of the Cam Newton ruling, Auburn has never been credibly implicated, so they certainly don't deserve anything but admiration for a job well done.  Be sure to visit SBNation's excellent Auburn blog, Track Em Tigers, and congratulate them.

As for the SEC, what can you say?  Dennis Dodd of CBS Sportsline pointed out that the SEC has won as many national championships in the last five years as the Big Ten has in its entire history.  I also need to point out, for us Kentucky fans, that we gave the BCS champs a run for their money in Lexington, and although Kentucky ultimately lost that game on a field goal, it is one of a couple of memories the Wildcats can take away from the 2010-11 football season that gives them hope for the future.  As to that, Mark Story has a few suggestions for Joker Phillips going into next season. You all know I'm not a big fan Story, but this piece, my brothers and sisters of the Big Blue Nation, is right on the money.

For Auburn, I consider this redemption for 2004.  In that year, the Tigers went 13-0, and it has always been my personal opinion that they should have been one of the two contestants for the championship that year.  Of course, that opinion is biased and doesn't mean any more than those who thought otherwise.

Next year, the SEC will be a very different place than this year.  Cam Newton will undoubtedly move on to professional football, and at least one multiple-BCS championship winner, Urban Meyer, will ride off into the sunset.  Another BCS championship winner, Les Miles, has reported serious interest in the Michigan job, and given his fading reputation at LSU, I don't think anyone would be surprised if LSU didn't have an opening in a few days.

All of this creates a favorable environment, for the first time in years, for Kentucky to improve its standing among SEC teams.  This year was a disappointment, but it was Phillips first year, so I think most UK fans wil make allowances.  But one thing that Phillips should not count on is a pass for more than one disappointing year.  Brooks was almost run out of town after three years when he was suffering through debilitating probation, and the bar is now set significantly higher than it was back then.  Not only that, the Wildcats are scheduling much easier teams than they were then, so anything less than a winning record is not going to be considered a successful season no matter how young the Wildcats are.