Monday, September 17, 2007

Out of Conference Report, Week 3

Last week's anaylsis

Updated out-of-conference records for the season, post Duke-streak-busting-celebration:

Conf.RecordPct.
SEC18-3.857
Big 1026-7.788
Big East18-5.783
Pac 1020-6.769
Big XII27-9.750
ACC16-8.667
Now that's a shade more respectable. The ACC raised it's winning percentage 100 points from last week while the Big East dropped 100 points. Kudos to the SEC for just gettin' it done.

ON THE ROAD
The ACC has the second highest percentage of non-conference games in unfriendly environments...

ConferenceOOC Games/Road GamesPct.
Big East23/9.391
ACC24/8.333
Pac 1026/8.308
Big XII36/11.306
Big 1033/8.242
SEC21/3.143
I retract my "kudos to the SEC" statement above. They damn well better have that good of an OOC record if 18 of their 21 non-conference games have been at home.

THE COMPETITION
The ACC is also tied for the second-highest percentage of it's non-conference competition coming against power conference (BCS) schools. See below:

ConferenceOOC Games/BCS FoesPct.
Big East23/9.391
ACC24/8.333
Big 1033/11.333
SEC21/7.333
Pac 1026/8.308
Big XII36/10.278
And each conference's record against other power-league competition:

Conf.RecordPct.
Big 107-4.636
Pac 105-3.625
SEC4-3.571
Big XII5-5.500
Big East4-5.444
ACC3-5.375
Considering that 4 of the ACC's 5 losses in this category are to teams currently ranked 2, 4, 5, and 24 in the latest AP poll, that 3-5 record looks a tad more respectable. I was just as mystified as you are by the Big 10's 7-4 record against power conference competition, but then I realized that four of the seven wins are over Notre Dame (twice) and Syracuse (twice).

THE 1-AA (OR "FCS" IF YOU WANT TO BE ALL TECHNICAL) FACTOR
The percentage of non-conference games against 1-AA competition...

ConferenceOOC Games/1-AA FoesPct.
Big East23/6.261
SEC21/5.238
Big 10 33/7.212
ACC24/5.208
Big XII36/5.139
Pac 1026/2.008
Bravo to the Pac 10, a half-hearted thumbs up to the Big XII, and a pox on all the other conferences.

THOUGHTS & CONCLUSION
I'd still classify the ACC as the worst of the BCS/power-leagues right now, although the Big East now appears most ripe to be overtaken...being just an 8-team league, losses like Louisville's to Kentucky resonate that much more. The ACC and Big East meet up 5 times in the next few weeks (UNC-USF, NC State-Louisville, Maryland-Rutgers, UVA-Pitt, UVA-UConn)...unfortunately, all 5 ACC participants in those games are in the bottom half of the league whereas 3 of the 5 Big East clubs are in the top half of their league. If the ACC managed just two wins in those contests, I'd classify the ACC as better than the Big East.

Considering all the above factors, I'd rank the conferences in this order after three weeks of play:
1. Pac 10
2. SEC
3. (tie) Big 10 & Big XII
5. Big East
6. ACC

All is not lost, ACC fans. When Duke can march into a Big 10 stadium and come out with a win, perhaps the worm has finally turned.

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