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Monday, November 14, 2011
Upsets don't impact conference rankings

By Sharon Katz and Albert Larcada


Jason O. Watson-US PRESSWIRE
Boise State and Oregon shook up the Top 25 on Saturday, but the upsets didn't disrupt the ESPN Stats & Info Conference Rankings.
After a wild weekend that claimed two more unbeaten teams, the ESPN Stats & Info Conference Rankings remain relatively unchanged.

The Big Ten reclaimed third place in the rankings after wins by Nebraska, Michigan, Michigan State and Wisconsin. Despite not having a team ranked in the Top 12 of the AP Poll, the Big Ten has five teams ranked in the AP Top 25, which is tied with the SEC for the most of any conference.

The Big Ten does not have one elite national-title contender, but the conference has five teams with an 8-2 record and only two teams with losing records. In contrast, the Pac-12 only has three teams with two or fewer losses and four teams with losing records.

For the first time this year, the Big East does not have a team ranked in the AP Top 25 after Cincinnati lost at home to West Virginia to drop out of the rankings.

The Big East remains below both the Mountain West Conference and Conference USA in ESPN Stats & Info’s Conference Rankings after falling an additional 3.1 points this week. The MWC and C-USA each have two teams ranked in the AP Top 25.

TCU’s victory over Boise State helped the conference in the rankings. For the first time since Week 5, the Mountain West has two ranked teams. The Horned Frogs gained many of the points that Boise State lost in the polls as the Mountain West Conference inched closer to the ACC for fifth in the Conference Rankings.

The gap between the top two conferences--the SEC and Big 12--and every other conference is noticeable. If Oklahoma State and LSU remain undefeated, the top conference debate will be settled on the field.

If either team slips up, the relative strength of the conferences could play a role for voters in which one-loss team has a chance at the national title.

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