I've had several discussions with people on the boards I belong to about college football. One of the topics that almost always come up is the SEC and how they are "great" from top to bottom. I always call "bullshit" when that's mentioned. But it brought up and interesting point and even Nick Saban made mention of it. What teams should be mentioned as the Elite teams? What is it that qualifies the teams as Elite? Conference? History? Competition? Tradition? All of the former?
I've said in previous posts that there are roughly 15 teams that I would consider as among the national elite. These teams effectively are Division 1A. There are a few other teams that I felt comfortable placing in Honorable Mention - Division 1B and then the rest. I based my list off of recent and historical success, public perception, and the ability of a program to recover from "down" periods relatively quickly. I won't post them in any order other than Ohio State at the top for obvious biased reasons. Here's my list by conference:
|B1G||Ohio State, Skunk Weasels|
|SEC||Alabama, LSU, Florida, Georgia|
|Big 12||Texas, Oklahoma|
|PAC 12||Oregon, USC, Stanford|
|ACC||Florida State, Miami, Clemson|
|B1G||Penn State, Nebraska, Wisconsin|
|SEC||Auburn, South Carolina, Texas A&M|
|BIG 12||Oklahoma State, West Virginia, TCU, Kansas State|
|ACC||Virginia Tech, North Carolina|
|Others||Boise State, Louisville|
I truly believe that the teams in the Elite chart will year in and year out meet in the new playoff system for the National Championship. The Honorable Mention schools have a better shot than the rest to get in if they have an undefeated year. For anyone else to be considered they would also have to have an undefeated year along with a down year for their conference "Elites" to get any consideration. It simply the have's vs. the have nots.
I suppose "anything could happen" however the reality of it is that we have roughly 15 teams that are all but guaranteed to face each other.
Your thoughts/lists? Have I left anyone off that truly deserves to be mentioned with the others? Am I the one that is full of shit? (rhetorical)