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Monday, October 24, 2011
Big 12 reclaims top spot in Power Rankings

By Sharon Katz and Albert Larcada

The Big 12 is again atop the ESPN Stats & Info Conference Power Rankings after a brief stint at No. 2 last week.

While the SEC has the top two teams in the nation in LSU and Alabama, the Conference Rankings are designed to measure a conference’s relative strength from top to bottom. Seven of the Big 12’s 10 teams have two or fewer losses, and all seven of those schools received at least 25 points in the AP Poll.

In comparison, five of the SEC’s 12 teams have two or fewer losses and only six SEC teams received AP votes.

The computers favor the Big 12 over the SEC as the Big 12’s average computer ranking is 8.5 points higher than the average SEC ranking. Oklahoma State is the top-ranked team in the nation according to the BCS computers.

Texas Tech's victory against Oklahoma demonstrated the depth of the Big 12. The Red Raiders were previously 1-2 in Big 12 play, but were able to go on the road and shock one of the top teams in the country. Texas Tech jumped into the AP Top 25 for the first time this season after the victory.

Other upsets this weekend did not help certain conferences in the rankings. The Big East lost 13.5 points after two of the top teams in the conference, West Virginia and Rutgers, lost on Friday. West Virginia fell from 11th to 25th place in the AP Poll after the loss, and the Big East is in jeopardy of falling out of seventh place.

Losses by Wisconsin and Illinois also hurt the Big Ten’s ranking. Just two weeks ago the Big Ten had three undefeated teams (Wisconsin, Michigan and Illinois), which was tied for the most of any conference after six weeks. Today, no team in the Big Ten is undefeated or ranked in the top eight of the AP Poll.

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