College football's "National Signing Day," that first Wednesday each February when star high-school seniors officially sign on their college's dotted line, should summon visions of future glory in the heads of fans nationwide. But in the past few years, it's been hard for anyone who roots for a team that's not in the Southeastern Conference to get too giddy about what the games ahead hold.
After all, Alabama's humbling of Notre Dame last month marked the seventh consecutive season that a team from the SEC team won college football's national championship. The South's dominance, impressive as it's been, has gotten a bit monotonous.
SEC adherents would have everyone believe that its conference's gridiron hegemony will not be slowed anytime soon. And indeed, yesterday the SEC scored six of the top ten recruiting classes as ranked by Scout.com. But non-SEC college football fans need to dream. All reigns come to an end ... right?
Which conference, though, can put forth a team to threaten the SEC's run? The Big 12, with Texas and Oklahoma? The Big 10, with Ohio State and Michigan? Maybe even the ACC, which features Florida State and Miami? Historically, those would be the safe picks.
But I'd make the case for a different challenger: the Pacific-12.