For the second straight year, it's quite clear that the national spotlight is squarely upon the SEC. Perhaps it could be said that two years is hardly an accurate amount of time, but the lingering attention on Alabama and LSU in particular as the top two teams in the nation feels like a tape replayed from 2011. After the fall of USC from grace to the hands of Stanford over the weekend, we're back to the conversation about both SEC powers being the top two teams in the country.
Unfortunately for the Big 12, they're nowhere near the conversation for national contender at this point. The Big 12 season will need to form a victor who can get through the gauntlet of the season unscathed or else we're likely in for another final round between two of the haves in a conference with several have-nots. Unlike the SEC, the Big 12 has only one real weakness in Kansas and even that defense looks tougher than last season.
Oklahoma is at No. 6 overall and from there you'll find several Big 12 teams ready to fill the void. But at the top, Georgia is also in contention at No. 5 and it's a list that also includes Oregon and Florida State. Even if Alabama loses to Louisiana State in early November during the regular season showdown, it's going to have to be a lopsided victory to force Alabama far enough down the rankings to allow another conference to enter the picture. If Georgia runs the table, then that's only going to make it much tougher for Oklahoma, Kansas State or another Big 12 contender to really make some noise.
There's little doubt that the Big 12 is the second most talented conference in the country at this point, but that's little to celebrate when there's so little attention -- and money -- that comes with it.