Monday, November 28, 2011
ACC slips in Conference Power Rankings
By Sharon Katz & Albert Larcada
After an exciting weekend with a handful of inter-conference matchups, ESPN Stats & Info’s Conference Power Rankings remain relatively unchanged at the top.
The SEC holds a solid 5.7 point lead over the Big 12 heading into Championship Weekend. The SEC went 3-1 in inter-conference game this weekend as South Carolina, Georgia and Vanderbilt won by a combined 69 points against their ACC rivals. Overall, the SEC is 42-6 in games outside of its conference, including wins over three of the top six teams in the ACC. The SEC was always going to fall a bit this week because it was likely to lose one team from the AP top 3, but its strong out of conference performance made the drop very slight.
As a result of the SEC’s dominance this weekend, the ACC slid 7.6 points and fell into sixth place in the rankings for the first time this season. Losses by Clemson, Georgia Tech and Virginia dropped the ACC in the AP Ranks, as the ACC now averages 64.5 fewer AP points per team than the Mountain West Conference.
The Mountain West Conference continues to climb in the rankings based upon the strength of its top two teams. Boise State and TCU are the only two teams in the conference ranked in the top third of the country in the computers, but the their consistency and strong out of conference wins have helped the conference climb into fifth place.
The Pac-12 continues to rise based upon the resurgence of USC. At the beginning of the season, the Pac-12 looked to be a two-team race, but USC’s four-game win streak has catapulted the Trojans into the AP Top 10 and helped the Pac-12 build a solid lead for third place in the conference rankings.
Finally, at the bottom of the rankings the Big East remains behind Conference USA, but for the first time in three weeks the Big East has a team ranked in the AP Top 25. The MAC passed the Sun Belt for ninth place and the WAC continues to miss Boise State as it remains in last place.