To #3, agree largely a product of the BCS era. However, agendas have huge impact on perception. For example, when Ohio State was struggling with Illinois at the beginning of the Big Ten season this past year, McShay talked about how bad OSU looked while Robert Smith simply pointed out that maybe Illinois was a better team at home then previously thought. When a clearly medocre at best Tennesee team pushed LSU to the limit, it was the depth of the SEC that was the reason.
Granted, McShay is a nob. We all know the ESECPN agenda. The worst part is that i hear Ohio people, who are mostly uninformed but represent a majority of fans I would assume, regurgitating this crap as a result.