For just the second time in the 75-year history of the AP poll, one conference holds the top three spots at the same time.

Undefeated Louisiana State is #1, with fellow SEC members Alabama and Arkansas coming in at #2 and #3, respectively. The only other time a conference had so dominated the top of the poll was in the final poll of 1971 when the Big 8 boasted national champion Nebraska, #2 Oklahoma and #3 Colorado.

LSU, Alabama and Arkansas all hail from the SEC West, so even though they may be the three best teams in the country, only one will even have a shot at the SEC championship game. Oddly, through a quirk in the SEC’s tiebreaker rules, Arkansas could beat LSU on Friday and secure a spot in the national championship game, but not even represent its own division in the SEC title game.

The SEC trio is followed in the poll by a bevy of one-loss teams, including #4 Stanford, #5 Oklahoma State and #6 Virginia Tech.

The SEC is essentially guaranteed at least one participant in the national championship game. All that remains to be seen is if another conference outsider can crash the party or if we’ll have a rematch of an earlier SEC game (LSU vs. Alabama or Alabama vs. Arkansas).

[NBC Sports]