The results are in, and the math makes it official: The Big 12 passed the Pac-12 as the nation's No. 2 conference, according to ESPN Stats & Information's Conference Power Rankings.
For the second consecutive season, the Big 12 was the No. 1 conference according to the computer ratings, too. It was No. 3 in the AP poll rating, behind the Pac-12, which was No. 2. The Pac-12, though, was No. 4 in the computers, behind the Big Ten.
The Big 12 went just 4-5 this bowl season, compared to the Pac-12's 4-4 record, but edged out the Pac-12 by less than a point.
Here's the full table:
Stats & Info Final Conference Power Rankings
The biggest difference between the two conferences was depth. The Big 12 had nine of its 10 teams play in bowl games compared to eight of 12 teams for the Pac-12.
In head-to-head bowl games, the Big 12 won two of three games against Pac-12 opponents, including Baylor’s 49-26 victory over Pac-12 South champion UCLA. Yet, Oregon ran past Kansas State in the conferences’ only BCS Bowl matchup.
You can also see the full standings for each conference's bowl record in the Stats & Info post.
No huge surprise here. You knew going into the bowl season that these rankings were going to be close, but the SEC's 6-3 bowl record (the best of any conference) helped it run away with the No. 1 spot in the rankings as the season progressed.
Still, a solid accomplishment for the Big 12 to close the season.