Monday, October 15, 2012
SEC boosts lead in Power Rankings
By Sharon Katz
The SEC has a commanding five point lead over the Big 12 in the conference power rankings after seven weeks of football.
The SEC has seven teams ranked in the AP Top 25, including four teams ranked in the AP Top 10. No other conference has more than four teams ranked in the entire AP Top 25.
South Carolina’s loss to LSU did not significantly impact the conference rankings because LSU and Florida gained about as many points in the AP poll as South Carolina lost.
Additionally, Texas A&M’s 59-57 thriller over Louisiana Tech late Saturday night gave the conference its 31st non-conference victory in 38 attempts. Only the Big 12 (26-3) has a better record in games outside of its conference.
The Big 12 was hurt most by West Virginia’s loss to unranked Texas Tech Red Raiders. West Virginia fell from fifth to seventeen in the AP Poll and no Big 12 teams were able to regain the points lost by the Mountaineers.
The Big East continues to rise in the conference rankings after victories by Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati to remain undefeated on Saturday.
Overall, the Big East has more undefeated teams than the Big 12, Big Ten, and ACC combined. The conference is tied with the SEC for the most undefeated teams in FBS, but the SEC has six more teams in its conference than the Big East.
Because the Big East has just eight teams, strong starts by three of its eight members have helped the conference jump over the Big Ten for fourth-place in the conference rankings.
If there is any doubt whether the Big East should be ranked ahead of the Big Ten and the ACC, just look at the AP Poll. The Big East has three teams ranked in the AP Top 25, and the Big Ten and ACC each have two ranked teams.
The top of the Big East will be tested next weekend as Rutgers and Cincinnati head on the road against Temple and Toledo, respectively. Additionally, Louisville will host a South Florida team that was picked to finish at the top the Big East in many preseason polls.
Other ranked matchups, particularly in the Big 12 and SEC, will add clarity to many conference races and the conference power rankings.