SEC finishes 2011 on top of Big 12

The ESPN Stats & Information crew wrapped the 2011 season with its final conference rankings of the season, and after the shakeup and nonconference play of the bowl season (except, of course, the national championship), the SEC maintained its No. 1 spot ahead of the Big 12.

The Big 12 took the top spot for a month early in the season, but after Oklahoma's upset loss to Texas Tech, the SEC snatched the lead for good.

Final Conference Power Rankings

Sharon Katz and Albert Larcada write:

The Big 12 finished second in the rankings after a strong season by many of its top programs. The conference went 6-2 in bowl games, which was the best winning percentage of any AQ conference. Overall, the Big 12 finished with the best out-of-conference record (33-5) in the nation, but it lacked two top-tier teams, ultimately costing the conference the top spot in our rankings.

A good season, no doubt. But for now, the SEC's reign continues.