Remember 2010? At the time, it seemed the SEC West was set to reign supreme. Nick Saban had won the 2009 BCS title. Auburn won it in 2010. LSU won in 2007 and had an NFL pipeline of talent. Bobby Petrino had elevated Arkansas to a contender.
The SEC East on the other hand was as bad as it had ever been. Florida had tumbled from the top of the mountain to an Urban Meyer made Swamp of mediocrity. Mark Richt was on the hot seat after losing to UCF in the Liberty Bowl. Tennessee was a mess with Derek Dooley being the 3rd man in three years to be head coach in Knoxville. South Carolina had a break through year as a program, but won the school's first division title on a 5-3 conference record before getting blown out by Auburn.
Funny how things change in two short years. Bobby Petrino lost control of his motorcycle, got fired, and Arkansas is now rebuilding. After two close but no cigar years in Baton Rouge, LSU is hemorrhaging talent with nine underclassmen declaring for the draft. Auburn ran out of Cam Newtons and Chizik got run off after posting an 0-8 conference record in 2012. Alabama still reigns supreme, and new comer Texas A&M appears to be the closest challenger (yes, Aggies, I am aware y'all did win in Tuscaloosa). After that, there is a significant drop in the West.
Steve Spurrier has elevated South Carolina to official contender status as the Gamecocks have passed Tennessee and join Florida and Georgia at the top of the East. Mark Richt has new life in Athens after winning back-to-back SEC East tites and coming up five yards short of an SEC title. Will Muschamp in year two, posted 11 wins including wins over Texas A&M, LSU, South Carolina, and Florida State. No doubt Alabama is top dog, but for 2013, the toughest division in the conference is the SEC East.
Looks like the balance of power, minus Alabama, has shifted to the SEC East....right?