Cmon man, if we had played Bamas schedule we'd be beating our chests about the number of bowl teams we'd beaten. Give credit where its due. Is Bama clearly the best team right now? I don't think so but they ARE in the discussion. Would they want to play us right now? I doubt it.
Does the SEC get too much credit conference wise? I think so but that doesn't mean they aren't a tough conference. Its all a matter of degree.
I have conceded for years that the SEC , top to bottom, is the toughest.... but not by nearly the margin they like to think. They have 6-10 programs that put the type of financial support to football that only OSU/Mich and maybe PSU/Neb do in the B1G. MSU lags behind us in the type of financial commitments to football but they get huge returns on their investments. In the SEC you have Bama, Auburn, LSU, UGA, Fla, Tenn, S Car, A&M, Arky and Ole Miss that throw tons of money at coaching staffs, recruiting pipelines etc. Obviously many get a poor return on their investments but they put a better than average product on the field most of the time.
Personally I agree with the approach of the NW, Wisc, Minn and Iowa programs(Wisc is actually a tweener); get a solid coach, find players that buy in and are tough and go play sound football. Will they beat the A&Ms/Arkansas/Ole Miss/South Car most of the time? Maybe not but they will beat them enough of the time and rarely get embarrassed.
I think the SEC schools are stupid to be honest. They end up having 3 or 4 that pay mega millions for a 4or 5 loss team and then they have to pay more to upgrade their coach to meet the fans ridiculous expectations.