Penn State fans, and fans of every team outside of the SEC, complain all the time about how much media coverage the SEC receives. It's easy to make the argument, however, that such coverage is justified, considering the amount of talent that resides in the conference.
Before you start yelling at me and pointing out all the talent in other conferences in the country, save your breath. I know. I know that the Big Ten very well might have the most first round picks in the upcoming draft. I know the ACC and PAC 12 are loaded with talent as well. But the simple fact is, that the south produces more top-tier talent in high school, and most of those kids tend to stay down in the warm weather for college. Therefore, there is a ton of talent in the SEC.
What if Penn State fans got their wish, though? What if the Nittany Lions were covered by the national media as heavily as Alabama, LSU, Texas A&M and company? How would Penn State actually fare with the schedules those teams play? For reference, let's use example schedules from one team in the SEC East (Florida), and one from the SEC West (Alabama).
|Florida Schedule||Alabama Schedule|
|vs. New Mexico State||vs. Wisconsin|
|vs. East Carolina||vs. Middle Tennesse|
|@ Kentucky||vs. Ole Miss|
|vs. Tennessee||vs. Louisiana-Monroe|
|vs. Ole Miss||@ Georgia|
|@ Missouri||vs. Arkansas|
|@ LSU||@ Texas A&M|
|vs. Georgia||vs. Tennessee|
|vs. Vanderbilt||vs. LSU|
|@South Carolina||@ Mississippi State|
|vs. Florida Atlantic||vs. Charleston Southern|
|vs. Florida State||@ Auburn|
Just for fun, let's use the S&P+ ratings to predict Penn State's record with each schedule. The statistics predict that with Florida's schedule, Penn State would finish 8-4 (losses to Tennessee, Ole Miss, LSU and FSU), and 6-6 with Alabama's schedule (losses to Wisconsin, Ole Miss, Arkansas, Tennessee, LSU and Mississippi State).
Do you think those projections are fair? How do you think Penn State would do this season, with this season's team, if they were in the SEC? Would they be in the conversation to be ranked?