The race for the top conference in college football remains tight with the Big 12 and SEC separated by just 0.5 points in ESPN Stats & Info’s Conference Power Rankings.
The SEC has a commanding lead in the part of the rankings that measures the AP Poll with five teams ranked in the AP Top 10. No other conference has more than two Top 10 teams.
The computers favor the Big 12 with nine of its 10 teams ranked in the top 34 out of 124 possible schools. In comparison, only eight of 14 schools in the SEC rank in the top 34 by the computers.
The ACC fell in the rankings for the third straight week after losses to the Middle Tennessee Blue Raiders (Sun Belt), Louisiana Tech Bulldogs(WAC) and Cincinnati Bearcats (Big East) on Saturday. Overall, the ACC is 26-12 in out of conference games, including 3-4 against Big East opponents.
The Big East saw the greatest rise in the rankings after going 3-1 in non-conference games this weekend. The Louisville Cardinals, Rutgers Scarlet Knights and Cincinnati all received votes in the AP Poll as all three teams are undefeated entering conference play.
The Sun Belt also rose significantly in the rankings, moving out of last place and into ninth place. Wins by Middle Tennessee, Louisiana Monroe Warhawks and Western Kentucky Hilltoppers against teams in AQ BCS conferences have helped the conference over the past few weeks.
Next weekend has five ranked matchups with the potential to shake up the rankings. Four of the top ten teams in the AP Poll are playing each other as the (4) LSU Tigers head to (10) Gainesville to face the Florida Gators and the(5) Georgia Bulldogs take on (6) the South Carolina Gamecocks.
Additionally the Big 12 (West Virginia Mountaineers at Texas Longhorns), Big Ten (Nebraska Cornhuskers at Ohio State Buckeyes) and Pac-12 (Washington Huskies at Oregon Ducks) each have a ranked matchup on their schedules.