After a busy weekend with a handful of inter-conference matchups, our conference rating system has tightened up at all levels.
At the top the SEC seems destined to once again be the strongest conference in America. The SEC has the best out-of-conference record against other FBS schools at 31-6, including a marquee neutral site win against Texas A&M. Outside of Boise State’s win against Virginia Tech, Arkansas’ victory over the Aggies may be the best OOC victory of any FBS school.
The Big Ten, Big 12, and Pac-10 have flip-flopped between two and four all season long.
The Big Ten is the definition of top heavy as it currently has three schools inside the AP top 7, but eight schools receiving zero AP votes. The out-of-conference schedule for the Big Ten is not doing it any favors as the best OOC win is either Illinois’ defeat of a 10-2 Northern Illinois squad or Michigan’s home win against 7-4 Connecticut.
The Big 12 is much more balanced with only one school (Kansas) outside the upper half of the FBS in the computer ratings. The Big 12 also has a solid OOC win over Florida State. However, the Big 12 struggles in this system as it is devoid of a true BCS contending school outside of whomever wins its conference championship game next weekend.
The Pac-10 is somewhere in the middle with two elite schools and a handful of above average ones. While the Pac-10 did play the toughest OOC schedule in the nation, it does have the worst record against other FBS schools among the top four conferences at 14-10. It has zero OOC wins against schools in the current BCS top 25.
The MWC and WAC are engaged in a tough battle for the fifth best conference. The WAC holds the advantage in the AP poll, while the MWC has the upper hand in the computers. The bowl season will be needed to decide this battle.
At the bottom the Big East maintains its marginal lead over C-USA. Barring a complete meltdown in the bowls, the bottom four should remain relatively stagnant for the rest of the season. This may not seem like a good thing for the Big East, but it could have been a lot worse.
For a brief recap on how we rank the conferences click here.