From this, on paper, the championship game would be between the winners of the Big 12 South Div A and the BIG East Div A. Both would have gauntlets to go through to win their perspective divisions.
Since LSU beat my beloved Buckeyes in the n'ship the 07 season, their record has been 8-5, 10-3, 10-3, 12-1 (smashed by Bama in n'ship), 11-2, 9-4, 8-5. Averaging over 3 losses a season in that time period, to me, doesn't spell "elite". And Georgia's record is even worse; over the past 5 seasons: 10-3, 8-5, 11-2, 9-4 (loss to MSU in Outback Bowl), 6-7. That's not even "good", really it's average. I'm not knocking the SEC. Anyone with any kind of reason about them would say the SEC is still the best conference. However, it's not like the SEC is #1 conference and the other 4 conferences are 5a, b, c, and d. The gap is closing between ALL the conferences. I love the playoff system so much because now you have to play your way in instead of just automatically qualifying because of past accomplishments. With the playoff, it's either put up or shut up.
I'm not basing my thoughts on a SINGLE year's play. Looking back at the past SEC nat'l champs you have Bama, Auburn, Florida, & LSU (I'm not leaving out any am I?) Of course Bama is still an elite team -- nobody's questioning that. You seem like a reasonable person (guy/girl?), you mean to tell me that you'd realistically/honestly say that LSU and Florida are still elite teams JUST because they won a c'ship within the last decade? Auburn, for me, is on the fence; they won a c'ship in 2011 and got back to the big game 3 years later. Besides Bama and Auburn, who out of the SEC has PROVEN that they should be endowed with "elite" status?
C5, I upvoted you for having a well thought out and respectful opinion, however, I disagree with your sentiments. You mention these SEC teams are elite because of the 10 year record of said teams. How many players from these 4 nat'l champ teams are still playing for those teams? In short, none. You can't base current status off of PAST success. In the here and now, as last year proved, there aren't a PILE of elite teams in the SEC anymore (if there ever really were), and over the last few years, MSU has proven they are more that just "good". What makes them NOT elite. The only way to really prove what a team's worth is to play OTHER teams, and we see what happened when the "elite" teams out of the SEC played teams outside of their conference when it mattered.