Lately, there has been a lot of opining that suggests the Pac 12 might be the best football conference. But with the release of the latest rankings, that train of thought is coming to a grinding halt as we’re all reminded of a fundamental college football truth – the Southeastern Conference is still the best around. Many in other parts of the country may not want to admit it and it may make some angry, but the proof is in the southern-flavored pudding this week – the SEC set a record for most schools in The Associated Press poll with eight ranked teams in the latest version.
Apologies to Pat Forde and every other expert that has recently suggested the SEC could be slipping and the West Coast could soon become the new epicenter of the best college football in America. Not anytime soon!
In an Oct. 10 article, Forde said, “From Oct. 5 through Nov. 7, the resurgent Pac-12 is the most interesting conference in the nation. It is the place to find the most relevant and competitive football.”
Hmm… last time I checked (this morning), the SEC has twice as many ranked teams as the Pac 12.
Forde cites games between then No. 5 Stanford and then No. 16 Washington Oct. 5, No. 2 Oregon and Washington last week, No. 9 UCLA playing at Stanford Oct. 19 and at Oregon Oct. 26, and the Ducks’ visit to Palo Alto on Thursday, Nov. 7.
During that same time frame, the SEC boasts six games between opponents that are both currently ranked. And that’s not even counting the Nov. 9 SEC West showdown between Alabama and LSU, which technically takes place during the same week of the schedule as the Oregon-Stanford game listed by Forde. Even without it, the SEC still has one game between currently ranked opponents more than the Pac 12 during that Oct. 5 to Nov. 7 stretch.
So, how again is the Pac 12 more relevant, more competitive or even more interesting than the SEC?
It didn’t help that Stanford dropped eight spots to No. 13 after losing to Utah 27-21 last week, becoming the first Top 10 team to lose to an unranked opponent this season.
Other than No. 22 Florida and No. 15 Georgia, which both lost over the weekend, the SEC saw a lot of upward movement in the polls. No. 24 Auburn moved into the rankings for the first time this season, while No. 6 LSU, No. 7 Texas A&M, No. 11 South Carolina and No. 14 Missouri all elevated their standings with big Week 7 wins.
Alabama, which had no room to move up, received 55 of 60 first-place votes to maintain the top spot, which has belonged to the Crimson Tide since the preseason.
Whether Oregon or Alabama is the best team right now is absolutely debatable. But if we’re comparing conferences as a whole, there really is no comparison. The SEC is still the seven-year-running king of college football.