am honestly amazed that people now think the SEC will be a second or third tier conference. It truly doesn't matter how many teams a conference is going to have, it's still its power at the top that decides where it stands in the college football pecking order.
The Pac-10 expansion may add Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Texas Tech to its fold, but when it comes time for the National Championship game only one of those new, or old, Pac-10 teams, and not Southern California will face an SEC school.
It has been four years since another conference has claimed a National Championship, and five out of the last seven rest in the SEC. Just because teams are joining one big conference doesn't put the SEC at a disadvantage. As a matter of fact, it could be argued that they now are at an advantage.
You hear people who aren't in denial say at the beginning of the year that going undefeated in the SEC is a National Championship in and of itself and they are right. Now the Pac-10 is adding six more schools out there to knock each other off. The SEC will still be the powerhouse with only twelve.
Even if the SEC expands they will still be the conference to beat. With the rest of the country hoping every week that the SEC will knock itself out of the National Championship what will they be saying now in the Pac-10? All those teams who are supposedly great? Wouldn't they knock themselves off?
These expansions are fine, but they aren't adding everybody to their top half. They're just adding. The Oregon/Tennessee match up on September 11 will have a lot of attention payed to it. It'll be a "huge" match up between the new Pac-Whatever and the SEC.
One team from the Pac-10 is in turmoil because their players' off-field problems. The SEC team is somewhat in turmoil because of their former coach who took his ball and went to Southern California. This game may be a good game, but I don't see it having a profound impact on the end of the season.
Everyone in the country outside the southeast is looking to someone or somewhere to end the stranglehold the SEC has had on college football for the past several years. It likely won't happen due to restructuring. Maybe it's a dominance cycle that'll change to another conference, maybe it'll stay with the SEC.
Time will tell who the dominant force in the new Pac-10 will be. Whoever they are the conference itself will draw comparisons to the SEC, some will say it's automatically better, others will look on in sheer amazement at the attempts to just compete.
When the 2011 National Champion is crowned there will still be nothing decided. If it's an SEC team detractors will say it's because all the conferences are new. If it's not an SEC team there will be celebrations while SEC fans say it's because the other conferences went out and got as much help as they possibly could.
2011 will be yet another record breaking year in ratings for college football. People will want to see the new dynamics in old rivalries, and the new rivalries formed by the new conferences.
And who exactly will get the automatic bids when all is said and done and certain conferences are no more?