Teams Receiving AP Votes: 8-of-14 (57%)
2013 NFL Draft Picks: 63 (1st)
There's absolutely nothing like it. Smug as SEC fans are—which is pretty darn smug—they're right, for the time being, about how superior their conference is.
First the obvious: The SEC has won seven consecutive national championships. It set an NFL record with 63 draft picks in April (roughly one in four players) and tied one with 12 in the first round.
But its dominance can also be seen in the abstract, just as much as it can be validated with numbers. Pretend, for just one second, the SEC East and SEC West were two separate conferences. If you had to put together these rankings, where would you put them?
The East has three Top 10 teams (Florida, Georgia and South Carolina)—more than any other conference can claim. It also has Vanderbilt, which went 9-4 last season, Tennessee and a Missouri team primed for progression.
The West, meanwhile, has just two Top 10 teams in the AP (Alabama and Texas A&M), but LSU is lurking at No. 12—which is probably too low. The two-time defending national champions and most recent Heisman Trophy winner both reside in the division, as does a quality sleeper in Ole Miss and two teams, Arkansas and Auburn, that combined for 43 wins between 2010 and 2011.
If you had to rank the conferences, but SEC East and West were considered separate, would they still finish Nos. 1 and 2? The argument could certainly be made.