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SEC, Pac-12 vie for college football's strongest conference

The SEC might have the best teams at the top, but look up and down the Pac-12 and it's hard to find a boring matchup.

Mike DiNovo-USA TODAY Sports

Where would you rank the Pac-12 among the FBS conferences in terms of (a) best teams and (b) top-to-bottom strength?

Phil Fraser, Ralphie Report: I'd put the Pac 12 third in terms of top strength after the SEC and ACC. I don't think I've seen enough to gauge where we are top to bottom, so I'll act like an SEC fan by drinking some bathtub gin and blindly pretending that we're the best. PEE ONE TWO! PEE ONE TWO!.

Sean Reynolds, Block U: I think it's the second best conference in the country.

Jason Bartel, AZ Desert Swarm: Best teams - behind the SEC.  That conference will always have the claim to having some of the best teams in the country.  But I think the group of Oregon, Stanford and UCLA have proven that they can hang with the top three teams in any conference.

Top-to-bottom - You gotta go number one right now, right?  Cal's the only team below .500, and their two losses are to two top-20 teams.  No other conference can put that out there.  The bottom-tier teams of Utah, Colorado, Cal and WSU have all shown that they're much improved this year.  There's some serious depth to this conference this year.  October and November are gonna be fun.

Josh Schlichter, Pacific Takes: As this past weekend shows, the Pac-12 is basically right up there with the SEC. Aside from Ohio State, the Big Ten is a step below the Pac-12, and the Big-12 is a step below as well from top-to-bottom.

Jack Follman,  Pacific Takes: a - I would put the conference second. No team other than the SEC has more than two top teams and the Pac-12 has two very strong ones in Oregon and Stanford. b - Second again, behind the SEC, I think the Pac-12 showed their strength over the Big Ten last weekend, the Big 12 isn't nearly as strong up top, and the ACC is average after three teams. Also, with teams like Washington State, Utah and Colorado improving, I think the Pac-12 is right there with the SEC too for first.

Anthony Cassino, UW Dawg Pound: Top to bottom there's no question that it's the best conference in the nation. The whole conference seems better than it was last year and there are no easy outs. Even the bottom teams of the conference have something about them that makes them dangerous.

As far as at the top, it's impossible to say. Oregon certainly looks good, but I wouldn't take anybody to beat Alabama until somebody ever actually does it, and I'm not sure just yet if I'm ready to call anybody else in the conference truly elite. But if the Pac-12 doesn't have the #1 group of elite teams, they're not #3 either.