Thursday, October 18, 2007

Out of Conference Report - Week 7

For previous editions of this feature this season, click right here and scroll down a bit.

Updated non-conference records among the BCS/power leagues, seven weeks into this nonsensical season:
Big 1028-7.800
Big 1236-11.766
Pac 1020-8.714
Big East26-11.703
Again, the ACC brings up the rear in these standings. On the plus side, the continuous improvement by the league each time I track these records is a positive sign. You gotta hand it to the SEC, a 30-4 record in this nutty year is good no matter how you slice it. But, as always, there's much more to the story...

The ACC still has the second highest percentage of non-conference games in unfriendly environments...
Conf.Road Games*/OOC GamesPct.
Big East15/37.405
Big 1215/47.319
Pac 108/28.286
Big 109/35.257
*neutral site contests were counted as road games for both teams involved

Well then, I think we can all see how the SEC gets that nice and tidy 30-4 record. The ACC and Big East were the bottom two in the overall standings, yet are the top two in percentage of non-conference road games, while the SEC and Big 10 were the top two in the overall standings, yet play the least amount of their non-conference games on the road. Discuss.

44% of the ACC's out-of-conference matchups so far have been against power-league competition, easily tops among the BCS conferences. See below:
Conf.BCS Foes/OOC Games Pct.
Big 1013/35.371
Big East13/37.351
Pac 109/28.321
Big 1211/47.234
And each conference's record against other power-league competition:
Big 109-4.692
Pac 105-4.556
Big 125-6.455
Big East6-8.429
And yet, there is still even more to the story. The Big 10's 9-4 record looks impressive, but let's take a look at each conference's actual wins and losses vs. BCS foes to see how those records were compiled. Just for fun, count how many times you see "Notre Dame" and "Syracuse" among the Big 10's wins...

Big 10: Wins- Washington State, Notre Dame, Syracuse, Notre Dame, Pittsburgh, @Washington, @Syracuse, @Notre Dame, Notre Dame; Losses- Missouri, Oregon, @Iowa State, Duke

Pac 10: Wins- @Syracuse, Tennessee, @Michigan, Colorado, @Nebraska; Losses- @Wisconsin, @Cincinnati, Ohio State, Notre Dame

SEC: Wins- Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, @North Carolina; Losses- @California, Missouri, USF, vs. Florida State

ACC: Wins- @Notre Dame, @Northwestern, @Colorado, Texas A&M, vs. Alabama, @Rutgers, Pittsburgh, @Notre Dame, UConn; Losses- UConn, Nebraska, @Oklahoma, @LSU, West Virginia, @USF, Louisville, South Carolina

Big 12: Wins- @Illinois, Miami, @Wake Forest, @Mississippi, Iowa; Losses- @Georgia, @Auburn, @Arizona State, USC, Florida State, @Miami

Big East: Wins- @Duke, Oregon State, @Auburn, @Maryland, North Carolina, @N.C. State ; Losses- Washington, @Iowa, @Michigan State, Illinois, @Kentucky, Maryland, @Virginia, @Virginia

After looking at the win/loss records and then the individual wins and losses listed above, I think it's beyond debate that the ACC has the most impressive resume in this category. 9-8 against BCS foes, 9 of the 17 games on the road, 6 of the 9 wins over teams with winning records, and 5 of the 8 losses to teams currently in the BCS Top 10. The SEC has the second best performance overall by my estimation. Strangely, after looking at the actual wins and losses, I'm least impressed by the Big 10, despite the 9-4 record.

The percentage of non-conference games against 1-AA competition...
Conf.1-AA Foes/OOC GamesPct.
Big 107/35.200
Big 128/47.170
Big East6/37.162
Pac 102/28.007
The Big 10 (Michigan) and Big 12 (Iowa State) have suffered the indignity of a loss to the lowly 1-AAers. As for the rest...bravo to the Pac 10. That is all.

Each league's record against non-BCS/non-1AA foes...that is, the non-conference results against the bourgeois class of 1-A:
Big 1013-2.867
Big 1224-4.857
Big East14-3.824
Pac 1013-4.765
And folks, now we have your reason why college football pundits all around the fruited plain are messing their pants over how powerful the SEC is this year...they're beating the daylights out of the Sun Belt and Conference-USA. Yes...part of that comment is supremely sarcastic, but part of that is the God's-honest truth as well. The ACC has seen UCF win at NC State, East Carolina knock off UNC, and - most egregiously - Wyoming piledrive Virginia. Among the twelve SEC teams, not once have they dropped a game to an Arkansas State, Troy or Middle Tennessee. Even Vandy, Ole Miss and Mississippi State are holding serve. Every other conference has had a member or two stumble badly in one of these lower-end matchups, but not the SEC. That apparently means the world in terms of conference perception.

The secret to having a dominating out-of-conference performance? Never, ever, ever play non-conference road games; do make sure to play the highest percentage of 1-AA foes; and do not stumble even once in the supposed "patsy" non-league games. Seriously. In this crazy year, that earns you the top spot in my ranking of the BCS conferences to date:

1. SEC
2. Pac 10
3. ACC
4. Big 12
5. Big 10
6. Big East

The difference between all six leagues is relatively small, with 3 through 6 separated by just one or two non-conference games swinging the other way. The ACC is doing much better than the media horde and message board yahoos would have you believe, and as illustrated above, the SEC's dominance is largely - but certainly not completely - the result of kicking the crap out of the Middle Tennessees and Tulanes of the world.

1 comment:

Lee said...

Ow, the logic.