A quick refresher: Last week, ESPN Stats & Information released its 2013 conference power rankings, 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.
After a weekend of upsets and surprises, the SEC has extended its lead in the conference power rankings largely because of its strength in the AP poll.
The SEC has eight teams ranked in the AP poll, the most any conference has ever had in a week of the poll. Six of those eight teams are ranked in the top 15, including three teams in the top seven. To put that into perspective, no other conference has more than four teams ranked in the AP poll.
Week 8 Conference Power Rankings
Losses by Georgia and Florida did not significantly impact the SEC in the conference rankings because they lost to other ranked opponents. Therefore, the points that the Bulldogs and Gators lost in the AP poll were accrued by Missouri and LSU, respectively.
In comparison, fifth-ranked Stanford lost 454 points in the AP poll after its 27-21 loss to unranked Utah. The Utes remained unranked and were able to add only 47 points (in the "others receiving votes" section) for the Pac-12 with their win.
ACC rises to third
The ACC continued to rise in the conference rankings after its top teams took care of business on Saturday. The ACC now has three teams ranked in the top 10 for the first time since the week of Oct. 30, 2005. Further, the ACC has more undefeated teams (three) than any other conference, and five of its 14 teams have one or fewer losses.
This will change next week as No. 5 Florida State heads to No. 3 Clemson (8 p.m. ET, ABC) in the first top-five matchup between two ACC opponents since Nov. 5, 2005, when No 5. Miami defeated No. 3 Virginia Tech 27-7.
Tough week for Big Ten
Elsewhere in the rankings, the Big Ten fell by 7.5 points after Northwestern and Michigan fell out of the AP Top 25 after losing to unranked opponents. The Big Ten now has two teams ranked in the AP poll, which is two fewer than any of the other “big five” conferences.
Look for the Big Ten to bounce back in Week 8 as conference play continues. Four of its top teams play at home, and three of those teams have a chance to jump into the AP Top 25 with a victory.