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Monday, December 13, 2010
Ranking the conferences: From 1 to 32

By Albert Larcada

Here are this week’s ESPN Stats and Information conference rankings.

We made a very slight adjustment to the human polls element in our formula from last week. Thanks to a helpful comment, we fine-tuned the human effect to account for conference size. The long and short of it is we now divide each conference's size by the average conference size (a little above 10) and multiply that result to the human number already found. Essentially, larger leagues will be penalized because they have more opportunities to put schools in the human polls.

As you can see in the rankings, the adjustment -- and actual results from last week -- did not affect the ranking of any of the top seven conferences.

The Big Ten has the best out-of-conference winning percentage at 83.6 percent. Outside of Michigan State, however, its strength of schedule numbers are not all that impressive. Only the Spartans have an SOS rank better than 50, according to Pomeroy.

The Big East on the other hand has played a strong schedule and has the second-best OOC winning percentage. Its problem is it is being weighed down by several below-average schools at the bottom of its conference. DePaul, for example, has an average computer ranking of 278.5. The Big Ten’s worst school, Iowa, has an average of only 173.3.

The Mountain West is still above the Pac-10 with the computers and humans. In fact, the Pac-10 does not have a single team in either the AP or Coaches top 25 this week.

The Colonial Athletic Association moved into the top 10 this week as well. It already has wins against UCLA, Clemson and Xavier on its conference resume.