It's a three-horse race for league supremacy 

September, 8, 2009
9/08/09
11:07
AM ET
Leading up to the 2008-09 college basketball season, I believed that the Big East was by far the best league in the nation. The only reasonable discussion regarding best conferences was, "Which is No. 2?" This season, it is more of a horse race, with the Big Ten, Big 12 and ACC in the mix for the top spot.

Let's address one thing straight off the top. Every major conference is really tough to win. Although there may be degrees of toughness and depth, very little separates these leagues. Ask any coach who has switched conferences, and he will tell you that the league he is currently in is the toughest. Teams in the ACC would have greater respect for teams in the Horizon League if they had to play that league's schedule, and teams in the Horizon would feel a lot different about the world if they had to run the ACC gamut.

There is wide disagreement over exactly what "best conference" really means. Is the best league the one with the most NCAA tournament teams? Or is the best league the one that is most competitive from top to bottom and has the most truly competitive teams?