Monday, September 24, 2012
Tight race at top of conference rankings
By Sharon Katz
The Big 12 remains slightly ahead of the SEC in the Stats & Info Conference Power Rankings after another strong weekend in non-conference games.
The Big 12 went 3-1 out of conference this past weekend, including wins over two ACC opponents when TCU beat Virginia and West Virginia beat Maryland.
Overall, the Big 12 is 25-3 in games outside its conference, the best record of any AQ conference.
The SEC continued to climb in the AP Poll after losses by top teams in the Pac-12 and Big 12 the last two weeks. The SEC has four of the top six teams in the poll and is tied with the Big 12 with a total of six ranked teams.
Arkansas’ loss to Rutgers continued a trend of SEC teams being upset by out-of-conference opponents. The conference already has seven non-conference losses, which is three fewer than it had all of last season (including bowl games).
The Big Ten continued its free fall with losses to by Iowa, Michigan and Illinois on Saturday. As a result, the conference saw the greatest drop in the conference rankings this week.
The WAC climbed in the rankings as a result of a 52-24 victory for Louisiana Tech over Illinois. Louisiana Tech now has beat Houston, Rice and Illinois and has received votes in the AP Poll for the second straight week.
Finally, the MAC had a successful weekend with Central Michigan winning at Iowa, Northern Illinois defeating Kansas, Ball State beating South Florida and Western Michigan outscoring Connecticut. The MAC has six wins over BCS AQ teams this season, and four of them came on Saturday. The bottom of the conference weighs down its ranking though, as the MAC has three of the seven lowest-ranked teams.
Next weekend’s slate of games is full of intra-conference matchups. As we have seen over the first few weeks though, upsets are aplenty and have the ability to shake up next week’s edition of the conference rankings.