SEC West remains nation's best division

Chris Petersen hopes to eclipse his success at Boise State in his new digs at Washington. AP Photo/Ted S. Warren

As we count down 50 days until the start of the 2014 college football season, ESPN Insider Travis Haney is answering at least one big question a day until South Carolina and Texas A&M’s kickoff on Aug. 28.

Heisman contenders, breakout freshmen, conference winners -- it will all be covered as part of Insider’s Ultimate Season Preview.

Today's question: Could Chris Petersen’s arrival at Washington mean the Pac-12 North supplants the SEC West as the country’s top division?

• No, because the SEC West is still really, really good.

I think Texas A&M is an above-average football team with some star quality. I also think there’s a decent chance the Aggies finish fifth or sixth in the SEC West this fall, behind the obvious front-runners -- Alabama, Auburn and LSU -- and possibly Ole Miss and Mississippi State. I’m inclined to believe they would fare better in the Pac-12 North, tussling with Oregon State and Washington for third in the division.

The point is, the team and personnel depth just isn’t there yet. The North doesn't even come close to matching the West in recruiting. Since 2010, the West has signed a total of 15 top-10 classes, according to RecruitingNation. The North: zero. And the SEC West could conceivably have six AP Top 25 teams to start this season, compared to maybe three out of the North. Plus, when it comes to the two divisions’ heavyweights, the West is still producing teams that play for (and win) titles. Which brings me to that