Pac-12 still third among power conferences

The SEC moved past the Big 12 into first place of the ESPN Stats & Info's Conference Power Rankings, while the Pac-12 remained third, 10.5 points behind the Big 12.

Why did the SEC move up?

The SEC jumped over the Big 12 largely due to its strength in the AP Poll. The conference has seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25, including three of the top four teams in the nation. No other conference has more than four teams ranked in the Top 25.

But the top two or top three isn't terribly notable. What is notable is the void between the top three and the rest of the major conferences. The Big Ten is now fourth but it trails the Pac-12 by 34.6 points. The ACC, after Florida State's tumble, is even behind the much-maligned Big East.

The Pac-12 might be able to chip away at the Big 12 and SEC lead if it has a good weekend in road nonconference games. Stanford is at Notre Dame and Oregon State is at BYU.