And as for depth of the conference, it's a circular debate. The Big 12 in recent years has produced more national-impactful upsets than has the SEC. Texas Tech over unbeaten OU in 2011. Iowa State over unbeaten OSU in 2011. Baylor over unbeaten Kansas State in 2012.
But were those upsets the result of a stronger middle class or a weaker upper class?
* On the SEC's mystique and reputation: “Propaganda that gets fed to you. You are more than smart enough to figure it out. You can look at the top 2-3-4-5-6 teams and you can look at the bottom 6-7-8 and how well are they all doing.”
Stoops is correct, even if he doesn't figure it out himself. The SEC has been master of propaganda, through savvy media decisions and scheduling decisions.
For example, the SEC's expansion to 14 teams did not include an increase in conference games. SEC teams still play eight conference games. Thus SEC heavyweights play each other less, not more, than in the previous format.
This season, Alabama nor Texas A&M play Florida, Georgia or South Carolina. South Carolina does not play LSU, Alabama or A&M.
And while some SEC schools have tough non-conference schedules (Georgia plays Clemson and Georgia Tech; South Carolina plays North Carolina and Clemson; Florida plays Miami and Florida State), others don't. Texas A&M, for instance, plays Rice, Sam Houston, SMU and Texas-El Paso. Plus only two of the other five SEC heavyweights.