Tagged with "USA"
Ranking the Conferences, Part IV: Full Season 2014
Category: NCAA
Tags: AAC ACC ARKANSAS AUBURN BIG TEN BIG XII BOSTON COLLEGE CUSA FLORIDA GEORGIA LSU MAC MISSOURI MWC

sec-pinwheel-logo

Part I: Frame of Reference
Part II: King of the Bowls
Part III: Overall Bowl Performance

1. SEC
2. Pac-12

Iím going to start with acknowledging that if you look solely at winning percentages against the P5 or even against the FBS, the Pac-12 has a better winning percentage than the SEC. In overall winning percentages, the SEC and Pac-12 are in a virtual tie (I will discuss that more below).

Iím going to give some records below. Since Iím trying to get this out before itís too late in the day (Iím on the West Coast), I havenít checked them with other sources since the bowl games, so if I missed one or two games, I apologize in advance.

I also want to mention that while this is my last entry about the conferences, I do plan at least one more blog about the rankings (comparing my pre-season list to the current list) and something about LSU. Apart from the Notre Dame ďRivalryĒ blog. I havenít done an LSU-specific blog since Thanksgiving weekend.

My philosophy for ranking conferences in my ďconference reportĒ series is as close as I can get to my philosophy for ranking teams. From watching the playoff games, the overwhelming consensus is that the team who entered those undefeated (Florida St.) was the worst of the four teams. So much so that they finished 6th in the coachesí poll and in a tie for 5th in the AP poll.

You canít get better than 100%. A lot of reasonable people had Alabama, who had only won 92.3%, ahead. The committee (and a few individuals) had Oregon (same winning percentage as Alabama) ahead. That winning percentage was also shared by Ohio St.

Oregon, the loser of the title game, won 86.7%, about 6 points below Florida St.ís current winning percentage.

In Part III of this series, I determined that the Pac-12 had a better bowl season than the SEC. The overall records of the conferences also reached a tipping point, as the Pac-12 record against other FBS conferences surpassed the SEC record against other FBS conferences for I believe the first time this season.

There is only a gap of 3.7% though. I think based on the discussion above, when itís a winning percentage that close, you need to look a bit deeper.
When you go down the line, the SECís opponents are consistently better though. Judge for yourself though. Iíll start with how they did against the ACC, Big Ten, and Big XII, respectively. I think the top four teams of each conference are fairly easy to determine, so Iíll separate it there. Unfortunately, there were no games between the SEC and the Pac-12.

After giving the records, I will list the wins over the top four, followed by other losses to teams outside of the top four. ďGoodĒ losses donít prove as much and neither do wins over mediocre teams.

Pac-12 vs. ACC: 1-0 vs. top 4 , 2-1 vs. others
SEC vs. ACC: 2-5 vs. top 4, 1-0 vs. others

Oregon beat Florida St.
Boston College beat USC

Georgia beat Clemson
Georgia beat Louisville.

Pac-12 vs. Big Ten: 1-1 vs. top 4, 5-1 vs. others
SEC vs. Big Ten: 2-2 vs. top 4, 1-1 vs. others

Oregon beat Michigan St.
Rutgers beat Washington St.

LSU beat Wisconsin
Missouri beat Minnesota
Indiana beat Missouri

Pac-12 vs. Big XII: 1-0 vs. top 4 (UCLA), 1-1 vs. others
SEC vs. Big XII: 1-2 vs. top 4 (Auburn), 4-0 vs. others

UCLA beat Kansas St.
Oklahoma St. beat Washington

Auburn beat Kansas St.

So the SEC played 14 games against top-4 opponents of the other power conferences against only 4 for the Pac-12. You canít tell me thatís not a disproportionate ratio. It happened to be that the team who played two of three was the best team in the Pac-12, and the one who won the other was arguably the second-best team in the Pac-12, UCLA. UCLA beat the same team SEC #6 Auburn beat.

The Pac-12 makes up some ground with Notre Dame, but I donít believe they would have been a top-4 team in any power conference apart from possibly the Big XII (unfortunately, their recent games with Oklahoma didnít take place this year to let us know more clearly). Arizona St. and USC beat Notre Dame. The Irish beat Stanford of the Pac-12 and LSU of the SEC. LSU and Stanford were similarly ranked in their respective conferences, and Notre Dame beat both by a field goal.

LSU was also denied what could have been a game-changing touchdown right before halftime. I donít bring that up to say LSU is better than Stanford or their loss is more excusable, but I think we can infer that if Notre Dame played two higher teams in the SEC like they did in the Pac-12 (Arizona St. and USC were higher in the Pac-12 than Stanford), they most likely would have lost both games.

Anyway, the differences in schedules donít end there. I think CUSA, MAC, and Sun Belt only have two teams worth considering apiece, but Iíll go with the top 4 for the MWC and AAC. Neither of those are very deep, but theyíre centered around a few serious teams. The MWC had four teams who each won at least 10 games, so I think theyíre all worth considering strongly (though not as strongly as the top 4 of the power conferences of course). The AAC had three teams tie for first. East Carolina was not in that tie, but I think they made up for having a couple more losses (two to teams in that tie) with their wins over North Carolina and Virginia Tech out of conference, so Iíll give them credit for 4 too. Iíll break these down collectively.

Pac-12 vs. G5: 2-3 vs. top teams, 16-1 vs. others
SEC vs. G5: 10-0 vs. top teams (Auburn), 18-1 vs. others

UCLA beat Memphis
Utah beat Colorado St.
Nevada beat Washington St.

South Carolina beat East Carolina
Florida beat East Carolina
Missouri beat Central Florida
Missouri beat Toledo
Ole Miss beat Boise St.
Ole Miss beat Memphis
Ole Miss beat ULL
Auburn beat Louisiana Tech
Arkansas beat Northern Illinois
Tennessee beat Utah St.
Temple beat Vanderbilt

Despite winning 11 games over the Mountain West, the Pac- 12 only won the bowl game against a 10-game winner. The Pac-12 was 0-2 against those teams otherwise and also lost to Nevada, the #6 MWC team. The Pac-12 also suffered a loss to BYU, who I included as one of the good G5 teams even though theyíre independent.

The only SEC loss to a non-P5 team was by the worst team in the SEC, Vanderbilt. They lost to Temple.

I mention who won the games because I have no problem with Oregon and UCLA both being in the top 10. You can even put them both ahead of Alabama if you want to, but they got all the major wins for the Pac-12, except for the two over Notre Dame and the one over Colorado St.

I just donít think the accomplishments of those two teams put the Pac-12 as a whole ahead of the SEC. The fact that teams so far down the SEC won major games, not to mention that 5 teams that werenít even in the top half of the SEC won bowl games. These are not the games mentioned above, except for the Florida win over East Carolina.

If you evaluate conferences anything like teams are evaluated in the main, youíd have to acknowledge that the SEC was far more tested in terms of opposition, and that how tested they were overcomes the slight deficit in winning percentages.

Some people only want to look at performance among the top teams or donít care at all (win or lose) what happened against non-P5 opponents, but thatís not how anyone I know of looks at teams. The concepts overlap, but Iíll give analogies.

Regarding the former outlook, West Virginia and LSU looked like two of the best teams when they played top teams. WVU was within a possession of Alabama for 50 minutes (losing by 10), beat Baylor, and lost by a single point to TCU. LSU beat Wisconsin, beat Ole Miss, and lost to Alabama in overtime. No one I know of is going to ignore that LSU lost to Arkansas and Notre Dame or that West Virginia lost to Texas and Texas A&M though.

Regarding the latter outlook, the problem many people had with Ohio St. was that they lost to Virginia Tech, who barely even qualified for a bowl game. Imagine they had lost to Navy instead. That wouldnít count against them? So when the Pac-12 loses to BYU and Nevada, that should count against them.

Still others might say that you look at the performance at the end. So between the last week of the season and the bowls, the SEC lost nine games to other conferences (even all of those were either the best independent team [Notre Dame] or in the top 4 of P5 conferences).

Anyway, as I indicated at the beginning, Iíll grant that there are ways of looking at this that would not put the SEC first, but not the way Iíve ever approached this discussion.

The demise of the SEC West was also greatly exaggerated. Even counting the bowl losses, the SEC West won 85.7% of its non-conference games. Granted, the Pac-12 South won 86.9%, but refer back to what I said about strength of schedule. Most of those quality SEC wins were by the West. Then take out the Oregon wins when you consider the Pac-12. Itís not even close.

Also, itís been overlooked that the SEC East went 5-0. They got a lot closer to the SEC West in the process. The SEC East won a total of 78.8% of their non-conference games. The Pac-12 North, on the other hand, won only 73.9% of their non-conference games.

The numbers I just gave count FCS opponents, so thatís where some of the discrepancy is, but I excluded those games initially because strength of schedule matters.

Including the FCS games, the Pac-12 was only 0.4 percentage points ahead, and there wouldnít even be that difference had the Florida/Idaho game not been canceled. Even if you donít place a high premium on it, if you donít think strength of schedule can change the outcome of just one game out of dozens, then I guess this just isnít for you. Also, I guess Marshall should have been in the top 2 going into Thanksgiving, and Florida St. was the best team going into the playoff games despite how those games turned out.

I think the bowl results are pretty conclusive as to the rest of the Power 5 conferences and many of the others, so rather than trying to fill up another blog with that, Iíll just list the teams and mention any highlights briefly.

3. Big Ten

Like the SEC/Pac-12 discussion, the B1G had a slightly worse record than the ACC against the P5, but the level of competition was higher. For instance, it played six games against the top half of the SEC compared to only four by the ACC. The ACC had a better record against the SEC than the B1G did, but mostly because they played Florida, South Carolina, and Kentucky. Also, the Big Ten had fewer losses overall, meaning they had fewer bad losses. It also helps that the B1G went 5-1 against the ACC, the only loss to Virginia Tech by Ohio St.

If youíre not convinced, this is the list of their P5 wins to compare with the others: Pitt, Syracuse, Miami, Boston College, North Carolina, Baylor, Washington St., Oregon, Missouri, Alabama, Auburn.

4. ACC

This is more a symptom of the weakness of the Big XII, who went only 6-11 against P5 conferences compared to the mark I mentioned by the ACC (nearly .500).

P5 wins by the Big XII: Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, Washington, Tennessee, Ole Miss. Two were against top teams of those conferences, but both were wins by TCU. Not a lot of depth.

P5 wins by the ACC: Ohio St., Oklahoma St., Kansas, Oklahoma, USC, Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, Kentucky, Mississippi St.

Also, if you didnít notice, the ACC went 3-0 against the Big XII.

5. Big XII

Even though 6-11 vs. the P5 isnít great, it beats the 5-18 mark of the MWC by far enough that we donít really have to look into the specifics much. The other four conferences went a combined 10-79. I did give the CUSA credit for having a better bowl season, but the bowl win by Louisiana Tech over Illinois was the only win of the season by the CUSA over a P5 opponent. Also, the Big XII only lost two games to a non-P5 opponent compared to the MWCís nine losses against that group.

6. Independents

Notre Dame, BYU, and Navy were all a bit above average (at least in records) while Army was a bit below. They went just under .500 against P5 opponents, and a few games over .500 against the FBS. Most of the big wins were by Notre Dame, but BYU beat Texas, Cal, and Houston. Navy didnít do anything spectacular, but they did beat three teams with winning records: Texas St., Georgia Southern, and San Diego St. The only somewhat bad losses were by Army: Yale, Kent St., and Wake Forest.

7. Mountain West (MWC)

The MWC, as usual, was clearly the best of the rest. It was competitive with many P5 opponents and had the best record of the G5 conferences against them. Also, it suffered no embarrassing losses. It went undefeated against FCS opponents (unlike the Big XII, by the way). There were only three losses to non-bowl teams. Colorado and Oregon St. beat Hawaii, and Oregon St. beat San Diego St. Colorado was a bad team, but they didnít beat one of the MWCís seven bowl teams. As to the Oregon St. win over San Diego St., itís not shameful in any way for a low-level G5 bowl team to lose to possibly one of the best P5 non-bowl teams. If there were a losing-record championship game, I probably would have liked to have seen Oregon St. vs. Kentucky.

8. CUSA
9. AAC

The CUSA has to have been happy with how well it fared given the defection of so many teams to the American (AAC), who I believe it just barely edged out. I mentioned the CUSA only had the one win over a P5 conference, and while that was certainly a negative, as were the two FCS losses. The CUSA had better games against everyone in between, however. 21-25 vs. the FBS is a lot better than the 10-31 mark of the AAC. The CUSA went 3-1 against the AAC (losing only to Memphis), it beat three of the MAC bowl teams (compared to only one such win by the AAC), and it beat three MWC teams (compared to only one). The wins over ULL and Navy roughly cancel out the two AAC wins over BYU.

10. Mid-American (MAC)

Like the AAC, the MAC only had 10 wins, but unlike the AAC, the MAC didnít beat teams like North Carolina and Virginia Tech and did lose to two FCS teams. The MAC only beat three bowl teams: Pitt, South Alabama, and Arkansas St. The last two were wins in bowl games.

11. Sun Belt (SBC)

The Sun Belt won only 5 FBS games, two over bowl teams. ULL beat Nevada, and Arkansas St. beat Utah St. It did get one P5 win, but Wake Forest (who lost to ULM) barely counts.

Ranking the Conferences, Part III: Overall Bowl Performance
Category: NCAA
Tags: AAC ACC BIG TEN BIG XII COLLEGE FOOTBALL CUSA HOUSTON LOUISIANA TECH MAC MARSHALL MICHIGAN ST. MWC NOTRE DAME OHIO ST.
The links, formatting, and picture wouldn't post since I'm on my iPad (regular internet is out). Here is the address of the version on my site:
http://theknightswhosay.wordpress.com/2015/01/10/ranking-the-conferences-part-iii/


The Pac-12 edged the SEC for #1. I cover the remaining conferences below.
.
Part I: Frame of Reference
Part II: King of the Bowls

1. Pac-12
2. SEC

3. Big Ten

The B1G finishes with one more win than the ACC, which had qualified one more team, so even if you prefer looking at percentages, they would come out on top.

Ohio St. was of course matched with another conferenceís #1. Michigan St. still gets credit for beating Baylor even though the way they did it was kind of ridiculous. That was another evenly-matched game. I think TCU should have been regarded as the tougher team to beat out of the Big XII. Wisconsin barely held on in overtime in what should have been a win anyway over Auburn, the SEC #6.

The next couple of teams, the ones who unsuccessfully competed for the Big Ten West, lost. Minnesota lost to Missouri, but if anything Missouri was a spot higher in the SEC. (I donít think Missouri should have been considered the SEC #2 though since the best SEC team they beat during the regular season was Florida.) Nebraska played respectably despite getting rid of Pelini but fell short to USC, another fair match-up.

Maryland was a little higher in the Big Ten than Stanford was in the Pac-12, but Stanford basically had a home game, so they should have been expected to win, which they did easily.

That still gives the top six of the Big Ten a 3-3 record. Thatís one game better than the top six of the SEC, but the other teams went 2-2 rather than the SECís 5-1 in other games. Had they gone 4-0 to give the Big Ten a total of record of 7-3, the Big Ten could have had an argument for #2.

I mentioned in the previous blog that if the conferences were equal, Iowa (the #7) should have been better than Tennessee, but they werenít. On the other hand, North Carolina probably should have beaten Rutgers and Boston College probably should have beaten Penn St., so these results help me determine SEC, Big Ten, ACC in that order.

Northwestern might have been a better bowl team than Illinois judging by the good teams they beat (Notre Dame and Wisconsin), but like Maryland, Illinois didnít get a geographically beneficial game, so I donít treat them too harshly for losing to Louisiana Tech.

4. ACC

Since it didnít make the cut for #3, the ACC was the obvious #4. It got four wins, twice as many as the Big XII. They also qualified four more teams. I covered most of the games already. I didnít mention Pitt losing to Houston in the most ridiculous conclusion this year. I donít think it was bad enough to drop the ACC lower than #4.

5. Conference USA
6. Big XII

Conference USA went 4-1. The Big XII should have won both of the games they won anyway. #1 vs. #4, and #7 vs. #8.

I mentioned Louisiana Tech beating Illinois, the only P5 opponent. Marshall beat Northern Illinois. Northern Illinois is not a P5 opponent, but I think theyíre a serious enough program to be considered in the same category as a low-level P5 bowl team. The only loss was by UTEP to Utah St., which beat BYU and Air Force during the season, so theyíre no joke either.

The Western Kentucky and Rice wins werenít impressive, but it was too hard for me to put a 2-win conference ahead of a 4-win one. Obviously the Big XII will still be much better overall.

TCU did a good job, I have no problem with them being in the top 5. Whatever happens with my objective system, thatís how I would have voted them, but their conference just didnít impress me enough to be #5 in the bowls.

7. Mountain West (MWC)

The MWC went 3-4, but also in that conference, there was a steep drop from #1 to everyone else, so thatís why I kept them behind the Big XII. I mentioned the Utah St. win. Air Force also beat Western Michigan. It would have been embarrassing to lose either of those games. Colorado St. and Nevada barely showed up (losing a combined 61-13), and San Diego St. basically lost a home game against Navy (although I do realized there are plenty of Navy people in the area).

8. Independents

The independents went 2-1. They qualified three of the four teams in that category, the only loss was to a conference co-champion. There were wins over SEC #7 and MWC #6.

9. American (AAC)

The AAC went only 2-3 even with Houstonís miraculous win. The losses to N.C. State and Cincinnati showed pretty clearly that they donít belong in consideration for a power conference. Even Memphis, the only of the three co-champions to win, needed two overtimes to beat BYU. BYU, who at one time was predicted to go undefeated, had continually gotten worse as the year went on. East Carolina was respectable in a loss, but thatís not much to go on.

10. Mid-American (MAC)

The MAC went 2-3, but Bowling Green (who beat South Alabama) beat one of the worst bowl teams in history, and Arkansas St. (who lost to Toledo) wasnít much better. The MAC #1 got blown out, Western Michigan lost by a couple of touchdowns to Air Force, and Central Michigan lost to Western Kentucky.

11. Sun Belt (SBC)

Last is the SBC. I mentioned it got two awful teams into bowl games. Itís a shame Georgia Southern and Appalachian St. couldnít get those spots or maybe the SBC could have gotten a spot or two higher. The only other team the SBC got into a bowl is ULL, but they only had to travel a couple of hours (by car) in what has become an annual New Orleans Bowl tradition to play Nevada, who came from half a continent away and was #7 in their conference.
Mid-Season Conference Report
Category: NCAA
Tags: AAC ACC BIG TEN BIG XII COLLEGE FOOTBALL CUSA MAC MWC PAC-12 SEC SUN BELT

*NOTE: This does not include today's games.*

I know itís not right in the middle of the season, but weíve had most of the inter-conference games that are scheduled, so I wonít do this again until before the bowls maybe.

The three records are overall, FBS, and power conferences. Just as a reminder, intra-conference games are excluded.

sec-pinwheel-logo

1. SEC
31-3, 26-3, 5-2
2. Pac-12
29-4, 21-4, 6-2
3. ACC
32-10, 18-10, 4-5
4. Big XII
19-8, 12-7, 4-6
5. Big Ten
35-14, 24-14, 5-11
(Independents {including Notre Dame}
10-4, 10-4, 4-4)
6. AAC
15-18, 7-18, 3-11
7. MWC
18-20, 8-20, 3-16
8. CUSA
20-21, 13-19, 0-17
9. MAC
16-29, 6-27, 3-18
10. Sun Belt
10-23, 3-22, 1-12

Iím glad I waited an extra week. The Big Ten turned things around. Not enough to surpass any of the other power 5 conferences, but at least they look like a power 5 conference (P5).

The SEC now has three losses out of conference, but thatís still fewer than any other conference. The SEC has three more overall wins (and six more FBS wins) than the Pac-12, which has four losses.

I also think the SECís quality wins are clearly best: Clemson, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas St., East Carolina, Central Florida, Boise St.

The Pac-12ís P5 wins are Virginia, Northwestern, Michigan St., Michigan, Illinois, and Texas. There are no particularly impressive wins against lower teams. UTSA may be the best one, and they nearly beat Arizona. Fresno St. would have been a good win last year, but they donít seem very good this year.

The Pac-12 is clearly ahead of any other conference apart from the SEC though. It actually has the best record against P5 teams with one more win than the SEC has. The other three P5 conferences all have losing records in those games.

Overall, the ACC, Big XII, and Big Ten are all between 70% and 75% success. The Pac-12 is at 87%, and the SEC is at 91%.

The Big Ten is clearly the lowest P5 conference still because is clearly worst (31.25%) against P5 teams (which include Notre Dame), and itís also last of the group in overall winning percentage and FBS winning percentage. The Big Ten also has the second-highest number of FCS opponents so far, after the ACC.

Itís not easy to determine the better conference between the ACC and Big XII, but I give the nod to the ACC, who has wins over two P5 runners-up last season, Oklahoma St. and Ohio St., as well as over USC. The Big XII only has wins over Maryland, Iowa, Minnesota, and Tennessee. The Big XII has won a higher percentage (65-62%) over the FBS, but unlike the ACC, the Big XII has a loss to an FCS team.

The three independents apart from Notre Dame have done well, but itís hard to compare three teams to 12 or 14 teams. But they combine for a winning record despite not having played any FCS opponents, so I think they would be right after the P5 conferences.

The first three second-tier conferences (I could call them group of 5, but that confuses people) that emerge are the AAC (some call it the American, itís what is left of the football Big East), the CUSA, and the Mountain West. The Mountain West (MWC) is now basically the WAC, so it has a lot more weak teams than it used to.

I decided the worst of those three conferences, despite some similar percentages against DI as a whole and FBS was the CUSA. The CUSA has two losses to FCS teams and no wins against P5 teams in 17 games.

The AAC quality wins are East Carolinaís two wins over ACC teams and Templeís win over Vanderbilt. I donít think Vandy will be a bowl team this year, but they were last year, and while it wouldnít be considered a good win for a P5, it is at this level. These are much better wins than the MWC over P5: Wake Forest, Colorado, and Washington St.

The only arguably good win for the MWC against other second-tiers is ULL, who has made (and won) minor bowl games a few years in a row, but the win was by Boise St., who may win the conference this year.

So that just leaves two more conferences to settle: the MAC and the Sun Belt. Apart from FCS teams, the MAC has better records in all the other categories. This is partly from having played 20 games already against the Big Ten, but as last week showed, that shouldnít be completely dismissed. The only good win for the Sun Belt was ULMís win over Wake, but Wake also lost to Utah St.

So I donít think that one win is enough to overcome the other deficiencies. The MAC is also 2-1 against the Sun Belt.

...For earlier access to my blogs, archives, etc., you can follow my†wordpress site†or my page on†facebook.

Better Late than Never: 2013 Conference Report
Category: NCAA
Tags: AAC ACC BIG EAST BIG TEN BIG XII COLLEGE FOOTBALL CUSA MAC MWC NOTRE DAME PAC-12 SEC SUN BELT

Iíll start with the records. I tabulate these myself, so they could be a game or two off for each conference (especially the ďgroup of fiveĒ conferences, due to membership changes). If there is a reliable database somewhere, let me know though.

Best records overall
SEC 53-11
Pac-12 37-9
Big Ten 38-16
ACC 46-21
Big XII 25-11

Best records vs. FBS
SEC 40-10
Pac-12 28-8
Big XII 19-9
Big Ten 29-16
ACC 33-21

Best records vs. BCS-conference*
SEC 17-9
Pac-12 10-7
Big XII 7-7
ACC 12-14
Big Ten 11-13

Notre Dame went 9-4 against the FBS and 6-4 against the BCS conferences, although Temple really shouldnít count.

*This includes Notre Dame since special provisions were made for them under the BCS. The American (AAC) was an automatic bid conference last season, so they still qualified. The AAC was the only conference outside of the ďBig FiveĒ (ACC, Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-12, SEC) that won more than 1/4 of its games against ďBig FiveĒ teams last year. Being that its membership continues to change and is now essentially what the CUSA was a few years ago, I did think it was fair to remove them starting this year. The new Playoff contract also treats them along with the CUSA, MAC, MWC, and Sun Belt (referred to as Group of Five).

I think itís fair to say the major teams have consolidated themselves into the Big Five conferences. There were 10 fewer teams in the Big Five overall just 11 years ago, so what used to be a competitive Big East has been absorbed by the other conferences (Temple is an exception, but they were removed from the Big East effective in the 2005 season before being invited back to join what became the AAC) . There were a couple of teams that competed in the Big East recently there were not absorbed (such as Connecticut, South Florida, and Cincinnati), but South Florida and Connecticut are still fairly new to the FBS (with transition years in 2002 and 2003, respectively). Cincinnati was in the CUSA as recently as 2004, but Iíll admit they would probably fit in playing in a Big Five conference. There have always been a few outliers since the BCS started though.

Overall rankings and reasoning

sec-pinwheel-logo

Anyway, no surprise, but #1 goes to theSEC. Itís really no contest whatsoever based on those numbers alone. 16 more wins than the Pac-12 versus only two more losses. Even if you whittle it down to BCS-conference opponents, itís 7 more wins versus two more losses.

It gets a little better when the AAC teams are eliminated, but one of those SEC wins was over Central Florida. Thatís better than the Pac-12ís best out-of-conference wins Notre Dame and Wisconsin (which South Carolina also beat). Oklahoma St. (beaten by Missouri in the Cotton Bowl) was also better than those two teams.

Being that the they were the only other conference worth discussing for #1, the Pac-12 takes #2.

Iím actually going to award #3 to the ACC. Theyíre behind the Big XII in winning percentage against the Big Five, but look how many more games. There are more teams, but itís approximately an average of one more opponent for every two teams. Ohio St., Georgia, and Auburn are a pretty good top of the list. Of course, LSU was the only team other than Florida St. to beat Auburn all year. Georgiaís only other out-of-conference loss was to Nebraska in the bowl game, and of course Ohio St.ís only other loss was in the Big Ten championship game.

Also, the ACCís losses are pretty solid. The only bad ones were Northwestern (which beat Syracuse), Ball St. (which beat Virginia) and ULM (which beat Wake Forest).

Despite not having the best strength of schedule, Iím going with the Big XII as #4. Except for the FCS losses, every other loss was to a bowl team. North Dakota St. (one of the FCS losses; the other was Northern Iowa) probably could have been a bowl team had the Bison played in the FBS. Iím not going to pretend Maryland and Rice were very good but these are the rest of the FBS losses: Central Florida, Iowa, Oregon, LSU, Ole Miss, Missouri, and BYU. The wins were similar in strength to those of the Big Ten, who Iíd put 5th.

As mentioned, the AAC was #6, due largely to Louisville and Central Florida.

#7 is a bit of a surprise. Iím going with theSun Belt (SBC), which had a winning record in non-conference games. The only thing the Sun Belt got seriously wrong was letting in Georgia St., which lost to three FCS teams. There were a total of 12 combined losses to the SEC and Big XII, and all but a couple of those were to bowl teams. There werenít any huge wins, but the SBC represented itself well against the other conferences: 4-2 against CUSA, 3-0 against the MAC, 1-0 against the MWC, and 5-1 against independents.

Speaking of Independents, I would put theindependents apart from Notre Dame after the Sun Belt, but since theyíre not really a conference we can call them #7.5. The main reason theyíre not even higher is because Idaho, New Mexico St., and Old Dominion were included last season.

CUSA is #8. North Carolina (lost to East Carolina) and Maryland (lost to Marshall) were decent wins, but there wasnít much else to write home about. There were a very high number of losses, include two to South Alabama, which had just fully joined the FBS. There were three other losses to Sun Belt teams, three losses to MWC teams, and four to MAC teams.

#9 is the MWC. Most of Big-Five-conference opponents were in the Pac-12, but there was only the one win over Washington St. The only other FBS win was over Rutgers. There was one other win of substance by Utah St. over Northern Illinois in the bowl game, but I think that was mostly the Huskies being let down by the loss to Bowling Green for the MAC title. There were also some bad losses to Utah, Colorado, UTSA, and Texas St.

The #10 MAC only won 11 games over the FBS. It won 10 games over the FCS but lost two. Northern Illiniois beat a decent Iowa team, but the other three wins over BCS conferences were Connecticut, Virginia, and Purdue. Ohio had three wins over the CUSA, and Bowling Green had one. Also, Toledo beat Navy. Not really an impressive group of wins there.

In the comments on my blog, someone gave a website that breaks down records against teams ranked at the time, teams that finished the season ranked, wins against teams that won 7 or more, wins against teams that won 10 or more, etc.† It looks like my numbers above are accurate, at least from the ones I compared.† The only thing the site doesn't do as compared to the chart I keep is break down the matchup of one conference to another, which I think is useful in my analysis.† The site also gives an overall strength of schedule (for last season, the SEC was first and the Big XII was second), but I'm not sure how that's computed.† I think that's just averages.† I look a little bit more at the extremes: marquee wins and embarrassing losses.† I also consider who the teams are and where they fall in the conference.† There is an example this weekend when Tennessee plays Oklahoma.† That won't be a mark against the SEC if Tennessee (who was 12th in the SEC last year) loses.† It's not the same as if Alabama or Auburn were playing Oklahoma (who finished tied for second last season in the 10-team Big XII) or if Tennessee were playing Iowa St. (who finished tied for 7th with two conference wins).†

Monday Moaning (Oh Canada edition)
Category: FEATURED
Tags: Hockey NHL Olympics Sochi Canada Team USA

Well, again Canada showed their dominance in the sport of Hockey, to the entire world...First there was the Canadian women beating the U.S. women in overtime, for the gold medal...

Then in the men's semifinals, the Canadian team shutdown, and dominated an American team that had looked strong the whole tournament...The Americans looked flat†most of the game, losing a tight defensive battle, 1-0...

The next day, the U.S. †fell flat again, looking pitiful in a 5-0 loss to Finland...Now, while Goalie Jonathan Quick played great against Canada, and he did play okay against the Finns, I would have started Ryan Miller in that game, just to give Quick the day off after the tough loss...I like Miller more anyways....But it didn't really matter...Quick was left hung out to dry most the game, as most of†the Americans were looking flat, or in the case of Patrick Kane, pressing too hard...

So Sunday I had my money on Sweden who rolled through the tourney...But Canada played the same stifling game they put the U.S. through, and beat the Swedes 3-0...Canadian goalie Carey Price was totally out standing throughout the Olympics...

Those Canadians produce good looking goalies...

I wonder how well she can stick handle!?!

There is something unique about Olympic Hockey...I watched a lot of these Olympic games, minus the figure skating...And I got up early or DVR'ed a number of the hockey games...In all other Olympic events, winners of the Silver, and Bronze for the most part, are thrilled...They look genuinely happy when they finish their races, or what not...And they look happy to be getting their not Gold medal...But in Hockey, those Silver medal winners look just miserable...

Odd right, cause look how happy these two losers look standing on the sides of the chick that smoked them....

Is it that hockey players just care more?† Do the athletes in these others sports just have more fun, and are just happy to be there?† What is it?†† I mean over time, I'd be happy to have my Silver or Bronze medal hanging on the wall, but that day...Right after some one beat my time, to take first place, I wouldn't bee smiling...I'd look pissed, and upset like the hockey players...

But now the Olympics are over and people can stop dreaming of another 1980 like "Miracle"...Every Olympics the 1980 U.S. Hockey team is brought up, and it brings us such joy...But it's time to knock it off...It will never happen again...Something that magical, and shocking, and thrilling won't happen, because, we have pro hockey players in the Olympics now...There is no dream of a bunch of college kids beating Russia's best...The Cold War is over...Their best play in the NHL, with our best, and Canada's best, and Sweden's best, and the rest of the best...Those moments are gone for good folks...

And for the few folks out there who were saying "Fuck Canada" over the last few days, I saw a great response to that on twitter Sunday morning...

"actually I'm pretty sure Canada fucks you" followed by this pic....

Pretty funny shit there!

Have a week...

The Beeze.

Next
1 2 3 4 5
RSS
Blog Categories

This website is powered by Spruz