Conference power rankings tighten

A wild weekend didn't knock the SEC out of the top spot of the ESPN.com conference power rankings, but it did tighten things among the top-four conferences.

The SEC lost 2.9 points, but it still remains almost eight points ahead of the Pac-12, which gained 0.2 points.

The third-place ACC advanced 1.1 points and is 5.3 points behind the Pac-12. But the big mover was the Big 12, up 14.8 points, so that it is now 1.5 points below the ACC.

The conference power rankings equally weighs the rankings from the AP poll and ESPN’s new Football Power Index (FPI) in order to determine the best and worst conferences in the country.

From ESPN Stats & Analysis:

The Big 12 gained 14.8 points in the power rankings after its top four teams -- Baylor, Texas Tech, Oklahoma and Oklahoma State -- all rose in the polls. As a result, the Big 12 jumped to second in the portion of the power rankings that measures the AP Poll.

Similarly, the Pac-12 moved from second to first in the computer portion of the conference power rankings (FPI). The Football Power Index (FPI) is one of ESPN’s new storytelling metrics that measures the relative strength of a team in terms of scoreboard points on roughly a -30 to +30 scale with 0 being average. The average Pac-12 team has an FPI rating of 14.6, meaning they are 14.6 points better than an average FBS team on a neutral field. In comparison, the SEC’s average FPI rating is 12.8.

So the ESPN.com computers actually like the Pac-12 the best!