After a lengthy hiatus, the college football column is back. A lot has gone on in college football over the last few weeks, and it’s time to update the conference rankings. Here are the overall rankings:
2. Big XII
4. Big Ten
5. Pac 10
6. Big East
There are four clear tiers here. The first tier consists of the SEC and Big XII. These two conferences are in a league (well, leagues) of their own. This is pretty well accepted at this point in the season. A good argument could be made for either to be ranked 1 or 2 but for now, the SEC has the slightest of edges (detailed below). The next tier is occupied solely by the ACC. The ACC may very well be the strongest conference in the bottom three quartiles (again, see below), but cannot be placed in the top tier along with the SEC and Big XII because their top quartile right now is far too weak. The third tier is home to the Pac 10 and the Big Ten, the two outspoken anti-playoff conferences. Like the top tier, a good argument could be made for either to be 4 or 5 but for now the Big Ten has a slim lead. The bottom tier consists of everyone else. There is no need to even rank the Big East. The conference is that bad this year. Well, I guess we have to put the Big East in there after all since they are technically a BCS conference.
To better further break down these rankings, I have divided each conference into quartiles and then ranked each conference by quartile.
T1-2. Big XII (Texas, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State)
T1-2. SEC (Alabama, Florida, Georgia)
T3-4. Pac 10 (USC, California, Oregon)
T3-4. Big Ten (Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan State)
5th. ACC (Wake Forest, Florida State, North Carolina)
6th. Big East (South Florida, Connecticut)
1st. Big XII (Texas Tech, Missouri, Kansas)
T2-3. ACC (Virginia Tech, Georgia Tech, Boston College)
T2-3. SEC (LSU, Vanderbilt, South Carolina)
T4-5. Pac 10 (Arizona State, Oregon State)
T4-5. Big Ten (Minnesota, Northwestern, Illinois)
6th. Big East (Pittsburgh, Louisville)
1st. ACC (Maryland, Miami, Clemson)
2nd. SEC (Mississippi, Kentucky, Auburn)
T3-5. Big Ten (Iowa, Wisconsin)
T3-5. Pac 10 (Arizona, UCLA)
T3-5. Big XII (Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas State)
6th. Big East (West Virginia, Louisville)
1st. SEC (Tennessee, Mississippi State, Arkansas)
T2-4. ACC (Duke, Virginia, NC State)
T2-4. Big Ten (Purdue, Indiana, Michigan)
T2-4. Big XII (Baylor, Iowa State, Texas A&M)
5th. Pac 10 (Stanford, Washington, Washington State)
6th. Big East (Rutgers, Syracuse)
To sum up….
1. SEC (T1-2, T2-3, 2nd, 1st)
2. Big XII (T1-2, 1st, T3-5, T2-4)
3. ACC (5th, T2-3, 1st, T2-4)
4. Big Ten (T3-4, T4-5, T3-5, T2-3)
5. Pac 10 (T3-4, T4-5, T3-5, 5th)
6. Big East (6th, 6th, 6th, 6th)
As you can see, the SEC gets the slight nod over the Big XII due to being stronger in the 3rd and 4th quartiles, even though the Big XII is stronger in the 2nd quartile.
The ACC is every bit as strong as the SEC and Big XII in the bottom three quartiles, but just can’t compete in the top quartile.
The Big Ten gets the slight nod over the Pac 10 because the Big Ten is stronger in the bottom quartile.
The Big East is the worst conference at every single quartile.
**For all you Notre Dame fans out there, I will reveal which quartile Notre Dame would fall in for each conference once the regular season is over. Come on, it won’t hurt you to at least imagine Notre Dame actually participating with everybody else.**