Big 12 remains atop conference rankings

September, 26, 2011
9/26/11
1:17
PM ET
Last week the Big 12 overtook the SEC as the top conference in the nation in ESPN Stats & Info’s Conference Power Rankings –- a system that that equally weighs the rankings from the AP Poll and a compilation of available BCS computer rankings in order to determine which conference is the strongest and weakest from top to bottom.

The Big 12 remains atop the rankings despite the Texas A&M Aggies falling out the Top 10 in the AP Poll. Overall, the Big 12 went 3-0 in non-conference games this past weekend, including wins over Miami (FL) and Nevada. The Big 12 is 26-2 in games outside of the conference, which is the best non-divisional win percentage of any conference (SEC is 25-4).

The LSU Tigers jumped the Oklahoma Sooners to take the top spot in the AP Top 25 Poll. It is the first time that LSU has been ranked No. 1 since the final poll in 2007 when the Tigers won the BCS National Championship. The SEC has three teams ranked in the Top 10 and five teams in the Top 25 (tied with the Big 12 for most of any conference). Overall, nine of the 12 SEC teams received at least one AP vote, while eight of the 10 Big 12 teams got at least one vote.

The Big Ten saw the greatest jump of any conference after Week 4. Eight teams won games outside of the conference, but only one win was against another AQ conference (Ohio State beat Colorado). The Big Ten has four 4-0 teams all ranked in the AP Top 25 as the heart of the conference schedule begins this weekend.

Speaking of this weekend, look for big inter-conference matchups that could alter next week’s rankings. Future SEC member Texas A&M takes on Arkansas in a matchup of AP Top 20 teams looking to bounce back after tough conference losses. Also, MWC member Boise State hosts Nevada looking to avenge last season’s loss and represent its new conference.

For a brief recap on how we rank the conferences, click here.


Albert Larcada is an Analytics Specialist in ESPN's Stats & Information group. Among other analytics projects, he maintains, advances and writes about ESPN's Soccer Power Index (SPI) algorithm.

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