What does it take to win the Pac-10?

This is cool: It's the introduction to "The Eliminator," which is tracking the title race in each conference. Today's entry does this:

We ran the stats of every Division I team, looking specifically at the national and conference champions of the past several years, to find out what statistical categories correlate to college football success. Then we set statistical benchmarks for each league to see what's been required for each conference champion (for example, you better score a lot of points if you want to win the Pac-10; in the ACC, not so much).

It's an Insider story, but here's a peak at what it said about the Pac-10:


  • Score at least 30.5 points per game

  • Have a completion percentage of 58 or better

  • Average 4.08 yards per carry or better

  • Post a turnover margin of 0.15/per game or better


  • Hold opponents to 23.8 points per game or fewer

  • Hold opponents to a 38.74 third-down conversion percentage or less

Not terribly surprising. The Pac-10 is an offensive league, with good weather (for the most part), great skill players and complicated schemes. Still, the numbers are interesting.