It is not really much of a debate anymore. The SEC is the best conference in college football. While the four straight National Championships should be proof enough, the real proof comes in the NFL Draft.
Every year the NFL Draft selects the best college football players in the country. This year the SEC set a draft record, 49 league players selected out of the 255 drafted. That's nearly one in every five draft picks.
Taking a look at the 2010 draft, the next closest conference, the Big 10, had 34 players taken. The rest of the conference breakdown in the 2010 NFL Draft looked like this: ACC (31), Big 12 (30) and Pac-10 (29). (It should be noted that the Pac-10 and Big Ten have 10 and 11 teams in their conferences, respectively, so both of these conferences actually outperformed the ACC and Big 12 on a per team basis.) The SEC the conference has also led or tied for most players taken in the draft 11 of the past 13 seasons.
However, in my humble opinion I believe where the SEC has shown its true dominance is on the defensive line. Top teams all over the country have speed at the skill positions, but on the defensive line the SEC has had an overwhelming advantage. Look at the number of defensive linemen taken in the first round of the last four NFL Drafts: SEC (9), ACC (5), Big 12 (5), and Big Ten (4).
Again, the numbers do not lie.