Non SDA sources affirm Daniel 8's little horn had to do with pagan/papal Rome
The position that Daniel 8's little horn had something to do with pagan and/or papal Rome was held by such greats in the past as:

  • Martin Luther (1522)
  • Philip Melanchthon (1543)
  • Heinrich Bullinger (1557)
  • George Downham (1603)
  • Sir Isaac Newton (1727)
  • The Berlenburg Bible (1743)
  • Thomas Newton (1754)
  • John William Fletcher (1800) 
  • Adam Clarke (stated that the little horn of 8:9 was Antiochus IV, but might be pagan Rome.)

Samuel Lee (1783-1852), Professor of Hebrew at the University of Cambridge, "The wording of the Hebrew is peculiar here and highly deserving of remark. It stands literally thus, — “Until (the) evening (and) morning, or it may be until the evening of the morning, two thousand and three hundred, and the sanctuary (lit. holiness) shall be sanctified.” Evening and morning, I take here to be a mere periphrasis for a day; and so our translators have taken it, Genesis 1:5. The day here had in view must mark the period of Daniel’s seventieth week — the numbers given above must be understood indefinitely, and as intended to designate a considerable length of time.  This consummation could not be effected by Antiochus Epiphanes: he only suspended the service of the Temple for about three years and a half. By every consideration, therefore, it is evident that the Little Horn of Daniel’s seventh and eighth chapters, is identically the same, and that this symbolized that system of Roman rule which ruined Jerusalem, and then made war upon the sainted servants and followers of the Son of man; and in this he prospered and practiced, until he in his turn fell, as did his predecessors, to rise no more at all. (An Inquiry into the Nature, Progress, and End of Prophecy, p. 168.)


Froom, vol. 2, pp. 269, 270, 289, 290, 343, 535, 662, 685, 688, 703, 784, 785).
How do you know that Daniel 8's horn power does not refer to Antiochus Epiphanes?
The four universal kingdoms brought to view in chapters 2 and 7 of the book of Daniel, as most agree, are Babylon, Medo-Persia, Grecia, and Rome. In Daniel 8, since the ram and goat are identified by Gabriel as being Medo-Persia and Grecia, one would think that the horn that comes after them and waxes "exceeding great" should be the next kingdom in the series, Rome. Some, however, identify this horn as being Antiochus Epiphanes, a Grecian king of the Seleucid dynasty. Yet there are some problems with this view:
[The ram] became great. . . . Therefore the he goat waxed very great . . . . a little horn, which waxed exceeding great, toward the south, and toward the east, and toward the pleasant land. (Dan. 8:4-9)
Clearly, the little horn must become greater than either Medo-Persia or Alexander's Grecian empire in three directions in a precise order. Antiochus's conquests, pseudo-conquests, and failures never attained to the glory of Cyrus the Great or Alexander. (See: Did Antiochus Epiphanies wax exceedingly great? He went east last, not second, and perished there. In stark contrast, Rome excelled all in might, annexing Carthage to its south first, Macedonia, Syria, and Egypt to the east second, and Judea third. Thus Rome fulfilled the prophecy to a "T," even getting the order of conquest right.