Who does the Pac 10 play out of conference? Oregon plays no body outside of conference this year. Stanford and USC have their contracts with ND who yea this year is right now the best team but if it's the past 8 out of 10 that's not a good team to have on your schedule (I'll admit it we ranged from suck to average to ok top 20-25 team)
That's Because K state bailed and they had to scramble and find an opponent to fill the spot. That's not their fault. Hell if they would have beaten K State I wonder how that would have affected the polls?
Anyway back to the main point. The SEC is good, but I never really got the feeling they are/were head shoulders above everyone else this year. I mean Florida needed a blocked punt to beat Lafayette at home. LSU almost lost to Towson. It's still the best conference, but I don't think the gap is as large as some make it out to be. A lot of people act as if other conferences don't even belong on the same fied. A lot of this is cyclical anyway. Who knows the SEC could be down and the Big 12 could be up.