Bowl impact on BCS, playoffs

How 2012 bowl results could affect 2013 BCS race, future playoff selections

Updated: January 10, 2013, 11:03 AM ET
By Brad Edwards | ESPN Insider
De'Anthony ThomasDoug Pensinger/Getty ImagesWill 'eye test' teams like Oregon have a better chance in future playoff selections?

Thirty-five bowl games have come and gone.

In the grand scheme of things, only one result really mattered, but that doesn't make everything aside from Alabama's thrashing of Notre Dame meaningless. Including the Crimson Tide's statement win, there were a few results from the bowl season that could be significant for next season's BCS race and even for the playoffs down the road.

Here's a look at four storylines following this season's bowl games, including the SEC's increased prowess and the BCS selection committee's potential dilemma.

SEC increases its leverage

Alabama's domination of Notre Dame swept Florida's loss to Louisville under the rug and silenced any questions about whether the SEC is still the biggest and baddest of college football conferences. Remember, the national champs lost one game in league play and nearly lost two other times to SEC opponents, so even if the Tide were the best team in the conference this season, it wasn't by much.

• Analyzes college football and the CFB Playoff as part of ESPN's Stats & Information Group
• Analyst for both College GameDay on ESPN Radio and the ESPN College Football app