Pac-12 still third in conference rankings

The SEC still leads ESPN Stats & Info's conference power rankings, but the Pac-12 has strengthened its position at No. 3 behind the SEC and Big 12.

The Pac-12 gained 3.6 points, most of any conference this past week. It is now 15.2 points behind the Big 12 and 7.3 points ahead of the Big Ten.

Why the move up?

The Pac-12 continues to rise based upon the resurgence of USC. At the beginning of the season, the Pac-12 looked to be a two-team race, but USC’s four-game win streak has catapulted the Trojans into the AP Top 10 and helped the Pac-12 build a solid lead for third place in the conference rankings.

The SEC holds a solid 5.7 point lead over the Big 12 heading into Championship Weekend. The ACC slid 7.6 points and fell into sixth place in the rankings for the first time this season. Losses by Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia dropped the ACC in the AP ranks, as the ACC now averages 64.5 fewer AP points per team than the Mountain West Conference.