In ''The Great Conference Debate,'' SI.com used a variety of statistical data to examine how conference strength has shifted over the 10-year BCS era (1998-2008). Here are 10 memorable on-field moments that, in retrospect, signaled significant shifts in power. <br><br>The Sooners' stunning near-shutout of the Seminoles ushered in a new era of power in the Big 12 South while also marking the end of FSU' 14-year run of dominance. The ACC finished sixth in SI.com's CPI standings from 1998-2003.
2 of 10John Biever/SI
November 23, 2001
The Buffaloes' rout of then 11-0 Nebraska was the beginning of the end for the Huskers dynasty. Combined with the subsequent demises of Colorado and Kansas State, the Big 12's overall strength plummeted dramatically.
3 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
December 8, 2001: SEC championship game
Following an eight-year stretch in which either Florida or Tennessee won all but one of the SEC's championship games, Nick Saban's Tigers emerged as one of several new SEC powers. Georgia (2002 and `05) and Auburn ('04) soon followed.
4 of 10Gary Bogdon/SI
January 2, 2003: Orange Bowl
In just their second season under NFL retreat Pete Carroll, the Trojans started 3-2, then won their last eight contests, culminating in this BCS rout of the 11-1 Hawkeyes. The nation saw that a new juggernaut was emerging in the West.
5 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI, John Biever/SI
January 3, 2003: Fiesta Bowl
In ending Miami's 34-game winning streak, Jim Tressel's Buckeyes asserted themselves as one of the nation's new powers and capped a five-year period in which the Big Ten ranked No. 1 in our CPI standings.
6 of 10David Bergman/SI, Heinz Kluetmeier/SI
December 4, 2004
Many assumed the expanded ACC would be ruled by longtime powers Miami and Florida State. The Hokies, however, turned the tables, winning the league in their first year. The `Canes, coming off four straight Big East titles, would soon sink to mediocrity.
7 of 10Bill Frakes/SI, Peter Read Miller/SI
January 4, 2005: Orange Bowl
Prior to this moment, Oklahoma had been viewed as the team of the decade, having reached their third BCS title game in five seasons. The Trojans' rout, however, left no doubt as to the nation's new darling and cast a negative light on the Big 12.
8 of 10Al Tielemans/SI
January 3, 2006: Sugar Bowl
Just two years after facing possible extinction, the rebuilt Big East received an enormous boost to its credibility when the Mountaineers stunned the SEC's champion in its Atlanta backyard, racing to 28-0 second-quarter lead before holding on at the end.
9 of 10Robert Beck/SI
January 8, 2007: BCS Championship Game
In arguably the defining power-shifting moment of the BCS era, the 12-1 Gators humiliated the 12-0, season-long No. 1 Buckeyes. The result served as a testament to the strength of the SEC while touching off widespread criticism of the Big Ten.
10 of 10Damian Strohmeyer/SI
November 24, 2007
Following years of mediocrity in the Big 12 North, these two upstarts staged an epic showdown in Kansas City, both ranked in the top five. Their emergence has helped restore the reputation of the Big 12, which finished fifth in our CPI standings from 2003-'08.
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