How the Conferences Rank, 1-12: Week 3
By Paul Myerberg // Sep 10, 2012
As an accompanying post to today’s re-ranking, here’s the entire F.B.S. conference breakdown in terms of average P.S.R. 1-124 ranking. It’s not entirely fair to include the Independent programs among the true conferences, seeing that there’s only four Independent teams, but it does give a slight slice-of-life taste of where that quartet stands in the big picture. The listings include the average ranking, highest team ranking and number of teams in the top 25 in parentheses. Without further ado:
1. Big 12 (33.4, 8, 5)
2. SEC (38.7, 1, 7)
3. Pac-12 (42.5, 3, 4)
4. Big Ten (48.8, 7, 2)
5. A.C.C. (51.8, 4, 3)
6. Independent (52.3, 17, 2)
7. Big East (60.8, 27, 0)
8. Mountain West (79.8, 22, 1)
9. WAC (79.9, 29, 0)
10. MAC (86.9, 18, 1)
11. Conference USA (88.5, 49, 0)
12. Sun Belt (91.2, 50, 0)
Thoughts? It’s the Big 12 above the rest – and if not with a bullet, by a fairly high margin. It’s not surprising: the SEC is better along the top slice, but the Big 12 is by far the deepest league in college football. Nine Big 12 programs rank in the top 54, from West Virginia through Texas Tech; the only team piggybacking on the upper crust is Kansas, which lost to a food product on Saturday.
In contrast, the SEC has three teams hanging onto the top tier’s coattails: Auburn, Mississippi and Kentucky – doubly on the latter pair. Would the SEC’s best beat the Big 12’s best? I think that’s a safe presumption. But would the Big 12 beat the SEC in some sort of basketball-like challenge?
I’d give the Big 12 the edge – I think. Consider the breakdown, using this week’s rankings and some sort of formula to match the SEC’s 14 teams with the Big 12’s 10 teams. Alabama would play West Virginia; L.S.U. and Texas; Georgia and Oklahoma; Kansas State and South Carolina; T.C.U. and Mississippi State; Baylor and Missouri; Oklahoma State and Arkansas.
And so on. At the very least, the Big 12’s wall-to-wall depth – everyone but Kansas – threatens the idea that the SEC is the undisputed belt-holder among the B.C.S. conferences. Then again, Alabama or L.S.U. would beat any team the Big 12 sent into the B.C.S., based off what we know today, so the theory is, in the end, utterly meaningless.
The Pac-12 made a move up to third at the Big Ten’s expense, thanks in large part to two major non-conference wins from U.C.L.A. and Oregon State. The WAC is right on the Mountain West’s heels after Utah State’s 33-spot leap. The Big East remains entrenched as the worst B.C.S. conference, though there’s a larger gap between the Big East and the Mountain West than in the recent past.
Tags: A.C.C., Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Conference USA, Independent, MAC, Mountain West, Oregon State, Pac-12, SEC, Sun Belt, U.C.L.A., WAC
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