Is there too much parity in the SEC for a repeat champion?
I'd like to say no, but the evidence is to the contrary. There hasn't been a repeat champion since Tennessee did it in 1997 and 1998. Right now, the SEC is ripe with a lot of teams in the middle, all of which are able to knock off the top teams and muck up a repeat run.
I don't think it's too much parity, just that the odds are against a team repeating because everyone wants to beat the defending conference champion. It's hard to win it again with the target on your back - just ask Tim Tebow and Florida - because every team brings their best game when facing the defending champion.
The SEC has not had repeat champions since the 97-98 Volunteers did so, and you had Florida winning from 93-96 before that. That was back when the SEC was regarded basically as a top-heavy league dominated by Florida. You knew going into those seasons that the winner of the UT/UF game was going to the SEC Championship Game, and it was usually the first SEC game for both schools. The league has changed dramatically since the 90s and parity is at an all-time high (along with SEC coaches salaries).
If a team is lucky enough to repeat, there will have to be a lot of luck along the way. Florida last season was a sure lock to the national title game and a repeat in the SEC, but it came up short. Bama is in the same shoes as UF last season, but unlike UF, it has lost a majority of the defensive starters. I think this a league, and particularly this season, any team can win with the exception of Vandy. This looks to be the most competitive conference from top to bottom in the country, and with that said, I find it hard to believe that we will have a repeat SEC champion nor a SEC national champion.
Parity? How are we defining that? The SEC has won four consecutive national championships, with one team winning twice. The idea that, as tough as the SEC is, a team cannot emerge from this conference, play a championship game, and win a title has been put to rest. The SEC title game has featured the same two teams for two straight years. The last four years have seen three teams win the title game. Only three teams from the SEC East have represented that division in the championship game since its inception. There is balance from top to bottom in the SEC and great football players at every school. There is some degree of balance, but I'm not sure how much parity there really is.