If Alabama head coach Nick Saban had his way, they'd reduce the access agents and NFL teams had to players on campus. Would that have stopped Marcel Dareus from allegedly attending a party in South Beach allegedly hosted by agents? I can think of a dozen ways a kid ends up at that party without an agent stepping on to a college campus. The SEC coaches and ADs should certainly have some frank conversations and there's no time like the present, but hasty new policy shifts will only result in bad rules that will create new problems or new loopholes. Let's worry more about getting it right than getting it fast. Remember: if you want it that bad, you'll get it that bad.
Why does the SEC West seem more competitive than the East?
If you look at the middle and bottom of each conference, the teams generally there in the West have better facilities, tradition, and winning records than the East counterparts. I would also argue that the best coaches are currently in the West - including the coordinators and position coaches. However, like most things, this could all change with the tides. I, for one, think the conference needs a realignment to balance it a bit, but that's another story.
In my opinion, the West has more defensive minded teams that like to run more ball control offenses. That leads to closer games and in closer games strange things happen.
The illusion that the West seems to be more competitive than the East at this time is due to the coaches in the West. You have four big name coaches and two bright young ones, or at least that is the perception, whereas in the East you have two big name coaches, two unknowns, one completely off the radar and one washed up head coach. I'll let you tag the coaches' names with the tags. The "perception" is that the SEC West is better coached than its Eastern counterpart, but this is a conference that seems to run in cycles. When you take a closer look at the West, you have what should be a very good teams in Alabama and LSU and the rest of the West looks like a team that can beat any other SEC team on a given Saturday.
When you look at the East, you struggle to see a team that is clearly better than the rest. Most are going with Florida because it's logical given the past two years. Then you have Georgia and South Carolina - and nobody is sure if either of these teams are capable of stepping up - followed by Kentucky and a Vanderbilt team whose coach just quit on them a week ago. The West seems to be more competitive than the East because there are more knowns. I think the East race will be one of the best in years and they will not be a pushover to Western teams.