Will SEC title streak end this year?

Nation's top conference struggled in Week 1; plus, a look at rising prospects

Updated: September 2, 2013, 2:11 PM ET
By Mel Kiper Jr. and Todd McShay | ESPN Insider

Nick Saban, Steve Spurrier & Kevin Sumlin Getty ImagesNick Saban's Tide, Steve Spurrier's Gamecocks and Kevin Sumlin's Aggies will all vie for the BCS title.

Each week during the college football season, Mel Kiper and Todd McShay kick off the week by settling a debate, then look at emerging NFL prospects and peek ahead to next week.

The discussion: After one week, do you think the SEC is vulnerable to losing its national title streak this season?

Mel Kiper: I'll answer it this way: Is the league more vulnerable than last year, when the SEC needed Oregon and Kansas State to lose games they were favored in late in the season to even have a team in the title game? Or more vulnerable than the year before that, when the SEC again needed Oregon to be upset at home, and Oklahoma State to be upset on the road at Iowa State (a game the Cowboys could have won by 20 points on most days)?

You won't find many who sing the praises for the SEC more than I do, but the league has been extremely vulnerable to losing the streak in each of the last two years. We see great title-game performances from Alabama and convince ourselves they were the best team all along, and that maybe we had a hunch. But that simply hasn't been the case, and even Nick Saban would tell you the same: He's been around for Bama home losses in each of the last three years, after all.

So, after some mixed Week 1 performances, is the league really more vulnerable?

I say no. And I'll offer three reasons why.

Mel Kiper Jr.

Football analyst