Will the SEC East Catch Up to the SEC West in 2014?
The SEC West, arguably the toughest division in all of college football, hasn't always been the superior division in the best football conference in the country.
No, the SEC East really did boast the top teams in the conference and the country at one point.
In the past, teams like the Florida Gators and Tennessee Volunteers were competing for not only SEC championships, but national championships as well.
Now, these programs are a shell of their former selves. And despite most analysts (including myself) believing that both programs will be much-improved come fall, they still have a ways to go before becoming the national powers that they once were.
Georgia and South Carolina have also been excellent in recent years, but neither has been able to make it over the hump and play for a national title.
So, thanks to a variety of factors, the strength of the SEC has undoubtedly rested upon the shoulders of the elite teams in the West for quite a few years now.
Since 2007, five out of seven BCS national champions came from the SEC West (Alabama, Auburn, and LSU) while one came from the SEC East (Florida in 2008).
Needless to say, that's a pretty dominant streak. And had Auburn pulled out the victory over Florida State, the West would have added another trophy to the list.
However, is this trend one that we should expect to continue in 2014?
At this point, there's little evidence to support the argument that the East will reign supreme once again.
As mentioned, Florida and Tennessee will be better, but won't be at a championship level just yet. Georgia and South Carolina will be the class of the East, however, it feels like both are still a piece or two away from truly being considered the top team in the league.
Perhaps the bigger problem for the East is that the West boasts three legitimate national title contenders.
You guessed it -- the same three teams that have won five of the last seven titles.
Alabama, Auburn, and LSU have most of what they need in place to compete for the biggest prize in college football. To meet that goal, Alabama and LSU will need to find stability at quarterback. For Auburn, it'll be about getting improved play from the defense.
Even with these minor flaws, there's no doubt that these three teams have the best chance of winning the first ever college football playoff come January.
So if you're looking for the pendulum to swing back in the favor of the East, better luck next year.
When do you see the SEC East catching up with the SEC West? Let us know your thoughts by commenting below! For more college football talk, follow FanIQ College Football or myself on Twitter!