Posted by MikeT23 on 8/25/2014 9:32:00 AM (view original):
If by "truly elite" you mean "capable of winning the NC", you're probably right. I don't think GA/SC has had the horses to beat the SEC West's best over the last few years. And, if you can't win the SEC, you aren't winning the Natty. But I think that definition is about to change. Because now I think "truly elite" should be defined as "Making the final four". I think any of SC, GA, LSU, Auburn or Bama could make the playoff. Possibly two of them. And, just outside that group, TAMU, Mizzou and Ole Miss look pretty damn good and could possibly finish in the top 20.
Fair enough, but if you are talking about making the playoff, you could reasonably see 4 or 5 teams from the Big 10, Pac 12, and Big 12 all have that shot if the chips fall right for them this year (though early on it will be clear that a few teams just don't have that shot). I mean I don't think anyone would be surprised if Oregon, UCLA, Stanford, Southern Cal, Arizona St., or Washington, had a season worthy of the playoff, but I certainly wouldn't call all of those elite teams before the season started (and early on some of them will show to not be worthy). Same in the Big 10 where OSU and MSU look like the clear favorites, but a team like Wisconsin, Iowa, Nebraska, or Michigan might run through their division and prove worthy. Big 12 has OU and Baylor in the top 10 and KSU and UT ranked in many polls. Is it unfathomable that one of those 4 might run the table (or end up with just 1 loss)?
Going into the season, you are right a number of SEC teams might make a run at a playoff birth, but I do really think only Alabama and Auburn are what appear to be elite teams (South Carolina has the talent, but they always seem to fail to reach the talent so I just can't be sold on them ever until they prove to me that they can do it). Obviously that could and probably will change as the season bears itself out, but if you had to pick what you thought were elite teams, I'm not sure many people will go further than the two teams in Alabama from that conference.