ETA: And evidence of a bias DOES NOT mean evidence of a conspiracy. There can be bias without a
And, here we have a winner.
I've resisted this thread, mostly for the sake of my sanity, but now I feel compelled to elaborate on your point.
Outside of 2 games at Auburn in the mid 2000's, no one should be taken seriously with allegations of a conspiracy. Here's my take on this obvious trend.
I cannot confirm or link this, but it is reasonable to assume that many of the conference's officials reside in or very near the state of Alabama, with their offices located in Birmingham. I've been told as many as 2 out of 3. I've met one from LA, and one from MS. Both confirmed this ballpark figure to be a reasonable assessment.
These guys take their job very seriously, and regardless of some of the fans' opinions, have the best interest of the game at heart. However, officiating is open to subjectiveness. They know the teams, the players, and the tendencies. Bias is human nature.
All of these guys live and work in a world that is not devoid of Alabama football. As a matter of fact, those they associate with on a daily basis, know they officiate games, and are more likely to address this fact when encountering them. If you don't think this can have subconcious effects on the calling of a game, especially calls of the ticky-tack variety, you're not being honest with yourself.
Now, let's throw in the fact that many of these officials are hired during the offseason to work scrimmages (consultants, I like to call them). Players become more aware of what they can and cannot do. Obviously, every team can and does do this. But, these guys have full time jobs. They can't just cater to every team across the expanse of the SEC. And, the closer the school, the more convenient.
The same could be said for those officials who live and work in any other state, but there's just more in close proximity to Birmingham. I'm sure this makes it easier for them to meet, evaluate, etc. I get this, but to me, it's not hard to translate this into the biased results.
There's no malice involved. It's just human nature. And it probably gets amplified some when you have a guy like Saban there. Sort of the same way Ted Williams and Greg Maddux developed the benefit of the doubt with major league umpires.
Another fact that reinforces my beliefs, is that championship level college and professional teams have historically shown to be some of the more penalized teams. The explanation I've always heard for this phenomenon was that the opposition is perceived to be inferior, and gets the benefit of the doubt more times than not. Yet, Bama plays for their third championship in four years as one of the least penalized teams in the nation.
My assertions are all heresay, and my theories are just that, theories. Take from this what you will, or ignore.
The TL/DR crowd will love this one. I use posts like this to figure out the ones worthy of a response.