Monday, October 28, 2013
Big 12 Rises in Conference Power Rankings
By Sharon Katz, ESPN Stats & Info
A quick refresher: ESPN Stats & Information’s 2013 conference power rankings are based off of a formula that equally weighs the rankings from the AP poll and ESPN’s new Football Power Index (FPI) in order to determine the best and worst conferences in the country. For more information on the rankings and FPI, which will be released later this season, click here or here.
The SEC took its largest lead of the season in the ESPN Stats & Information conference power rankings after five of its top six teams won on Saturday, including three wins over non-conference opponents by a combined 112 points.
The SEC is now 38-7 in out-of-conference games (.844 win pct), which is the best non-conference win percentage of any conference.
Despite two of its top four teams losing on Saturday, the Pac-12 remains the No. 1 conference in the Football Power Index. The Pac-12 has four of the top 10 teams in the FPI, a ratings system that measures overall team efficiency.
However, the SEC has a major edge in the portion of the conference power rankings that measures the AP Poll. Six of the top-15 teams in the AP Poll reside in the SEC, three more than in any other conference.
Elsewhere in the rankings, the Big 12 jumped ahead of the ACC for third place this week. Four of the Big 12’s 10 teams have one or fewer losses, most of any conference. Baylor and Texas are both unbeaten in conference play, which could result in a de facto Big 12 championship game in the final week of the season.
The top teams in the ACC Coastal division had a rough Saturday. No. 7 Miami needed a last-second touchdown in its win against Wake Forest, then-No. 14 Virginia Tech committed four turnovers and was held scoreless for the first 44:49 in its loss to Duke and Pittsburgh was outscored 17-8 in the fourth quarter in its loss to Navy. These struggles were reflected in the ACC’s rating in the conference power rankings.
Fresno State survived a 35-28 overtime thriller against San Diego State to remain unbeaten. The Bulldogs are carrying the Mountain West Conference in the rankings and have a chance to earn an automatic BCS bowl bid if they remain unbeaten. Similarly, the MAC’s eighth place spot in the rankings is a result of strong starts by Northern Illinois (8-0) and Ball State (8-1).
Next week there are only three matchups between ranked opponents, so look for upsets to have a major impact on rankings.