"Among the 14 SEC Championship Game participants, only three were not the best team in their division according to the end of the year F/+ ratings. As I just mentioned, one of those was '11 LSU, who was well ahead of Alabama in F/+ before and after the conference title game. The best team in the conference made it to Atlanta every year except for 2011, which was a special case indeed.
The SEC has a reputation for being a league where anyone can beat anyone else. That is true insofar as teams can rise and fall from one year to the next. Within a particular year though, upsets are rate and the end result is usually what you would expect. That combination—the ability of many teams to compete across different years with few upsets inside a given year—is why the SEC's reputation of being the toughest league sticks even in the years when it might not be."
— Team Speed Kills read our article on the frequency with which the best team wins the ACC title and applies the analysis to the SEC.