Is the SEC the Best in College Football, or Is Everyone Else Underrated?

Ric RobertsContributor INovember 10, 2009

GAINESVILLE, FL - NOVEMBER 7: Quarterback Tim Tebow #15 of the Florida Gators rushes upfield against the Vanderbilt Commodores  November 7, 2009 at Ben Hill Griffin Stadium in Gainesville, Florida.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)
Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images

Once again, the common school of thought is that the SEC by far is the class of college football this year.

While there is no denying the successes of Florida, Alabama, and LSU, it does not seem fair to write off the rest of the nation based on the top quarter of one conference.

There are a lot of fans that think the national championship will be decided in Atlanta disguised as the SEC Championship.

Although recent success may warrant that thought, don't forget that in the first seven years of the BCS, six different conferences won the title. This shows that anyone can be beaten in any given year.

While the SEC has three teams ranked in the top 10, they are also the only SEC teams ranked in the entire top 25. If you look at the current BCS rankings as a whole by conference, the rest of the nation stacks up favorably to the mighty SEC.

The SEC has three of 12 teams ranked for 25 percent, the Big 12 has two of 12 for 17 percent, the Pac-10 has four of 10 for 40 percent, the Big Ten has four of 11 for 36 percent, the ACC has three of 12 for 25 percent, the Big East has four of eight for 50 percent, and the Mountain West has three of nine teams ranked for 33 percent.

Conference USA and the WAC have one team each with Houston and Boise State respectively.

It is hard to compare each conference without more games against each other, but some like to look at last year's bowl standings. The SEC went 6-2, including the National Championship game.

The Big 12 was supposed to be the next best conference, but the SEC was 2-0 head to head with Florida beating Oklahoma and Ole Miss beating an 11-1 Texas Tech.

However, the Pac-10 went undefeated, albeit with no games against the SEC. The Big 12 and Conference USA both went 4-2.

Also, the SEC's two losses were against teams from the Big Ten and the Mountain West. These are typically conferences that most of the nation looks down upon.

Using just the bowl records still does not give the SEC the overwhelming dominance that most are thrusting upon them.

With that being said, it is still easy to see why the SEC gets so much praise. They currently have the top two teams in the polls. They also have the No. 9 team, which has only lost to those top two teams.

They have won the last three national championships and four of the last six. They have a 19-7 bowl record over the last three years.

There are other teams outside of the SEC that deserve a look as well. Texas looks like a lock for the other spot in the BCS title game against the SEC champion. Cincinnati, TCU, and Boise State should all finish the season undefeated and will all have a case for being considered should Texas stumble.

With each having four teams ranked, the Big East, the Big Ten, and the Pac-10 all have the opportunity to prove themselves this bowl season.

While these conferences may be matched up against each other in several games, they should each get a few shots at knocking a little luster off the SEC's shine.

Thus, while the SEC rules the roost at the top, the rest of the nation could have an argument for being just as good, if not better, top to bottom based on the overall rankings and last year's bowl performances.

Feel free to heap all the accolades you want on the SEC; they have earned it. But don't overlook the rest of the nation, since there are other teams out there that are as good, if not better.