Follow the money
The answer is easy — follow the money.
Six conferences rule in college football, led by the Southeastern, which has won five straight BCS titles. The six power conferences make the lion's share of the money, attract the most attention and require the most scrutiny. Unfortunately, there aren't enough cops to cover the neighborhood.
For all the whispers about the SEC, not one of the conference's BCS titles has been vacated. The Pac-12's only BCS title, won by USC in 2004, has been vacated and Oregon is under investigation.
Ohio State, of the Big Ten, vacated all of its wins last year. There's that old motto, "if you're not cheating, you're not trying." For the big boys, these are trying times.
SEC too good to be true?
A reader emailed me recently to say that any player who signs with a school that's not in the Southeastern Conference must be afraid of competition. Yes, SEC fans have a rather high opinion of their league.
That's warranted, of course, when you look at the SEC's five-year winning streak in BCS title games.
Then there's this: Since 1987, every SEC football program other than Vanderbilt has gotten busted for committing a major NCAA infraction.
So, yeah, keep a close watch on the SEC. Think of Robert De Niro's character, Jack Byrnes, pointing to his eyes in "Meet the Parents."