theknightswhosay

Mid-Season Conference Report

In College Football, Conference Reports on September 26, 2014 at 1:18 PM

I know it’s not right in the middle of the season, but we’ve had most of the inter-conference games that are scheduled, so I won’t 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

I’m 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 that’s 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 SEC’s quality wins are clearly best: Clemson, Wisconsin, West Virginia, Texas Tech, Kansas St., East Carolina, Central Florida, Boise St.

The Pac-12’s 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 don’t 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 it’s 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.

It’s 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 it’s 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, it’s 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 Carolina’s two wins over ACC teams and Temple’s win over Vanderbilt. I don’t think Vandy will be a bowl team this year, but they were last year, and while it wouldn’t 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 shouldn’t be completely dismissed. The only good win for the Sun Belt was ULM’s win over Wake, but Wake also lost to Utah St.

So I don’t think that one win is enough to overcome the other deficiencies. The MAC is also 2-1 against the Sun Belt.

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