The SEC is getting better

The nation's top league is improving. Could that hurt its BCS title chances?

Updated: August 19, 2013, 12:47 PM ET
By Rod Gilmore | ESPN Insider

AJ McCarronRoss Dettman for ESPNAJ McCarron and Alabama face a tough road to get through the SEC and repeat as BCS champs.

There is no question that the SEC is the best conference in college football. Seven straight national championships make that discussion moot.

Even with that being the case, the SEC we see this season will be, top to bottom, the most competitive and possibly the best we've seen during that streak. But while that might make the league seem like a lock to extend its title streak, the improvements we'll see from the conference this year could end up costing the SEC a potential eighth straight national championship. Here's why:

There are two significant reasons the SEC will be better this season: improved quarterback play throughout the conference and the league's perennial bottom-dwellers are losers no more. Let's take a look at each of these points.

Rod Gilmore

College Football analyst
Rod Gilmore serves as an ESPN studio analyst on SportsCenter and College Football Live, and provides commentary on ESPN's Friday night game telecasts. He writes regularly for ESPN Insider.