life. Anyway, this weekly (or sometimes bi-weekly) compilation is starting to get
some attention on message boards and other blogs, so I feel that a regular update is
in order from here on out. So here goes...
Updated non-conference records among the BCS/power leagues, eight weeks into this
And the ACC finally climbs out of the cellar in these standings, although the margin among the Pac 10, ACC and Big East is razor thin, to the point where you have to consider them all tied for 4th.
Conf. Record Pct. SEC 30-5 .857 Big 10 30-8 .789 Big 12 36-11 .766 Pac 10 21-8 .724 ACC 31-12 .721 Big East 28-11 .718
ON THE ROAD
The ACC continues to have the second highest percentage of non-conference games played in unfriendly environments...
*neutral site contests were counted as road games for both teams involved
Conf. Road Games*/OOC Games Pct. Big East 15/39 .385 ACC 16/43 .372 Big 12 15/47 .319 Pac 10 9/29 .310 Big 10 10/38 .263 SEC 7/35 .200
Notice how these standings just about flip the overall record standings on it's head. Correlation: the fewer amount of non-conference road trips, the better your overall record is going to be.
The ACC played four non-conference opponents last week, none of them from a BCS conference, and yet the league has still played the largest percentage of it's non-conference competition against power league teams, by a fair margin. See below:
And each conference's record against other power-league competition:
Conf. BCS Foes/OOC Games Pct. ACC 17/43 .395 Big East 14/39 .359 Pac 10 10/29 .345 Big 10 13/38 .342 SEC 10/35 .286 Big 12 11/47 .234
Not a whole lot of change here from last week's report...in fact the only BCS conference matchups this past weekend were USC-Notre Dame and West Virginia-Mississippi State. Anyway, below is a compilation of each league's non-conference wins and losses against other BCS conferences.
Conf. Record Pct. Big 10 9-4 .692 Pac 10 6-4 .600 ACC 9-8 .529 SEC 5-5 .500 Big East 7-8 .467 Big 12 5-6 .455
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, Notre Dame; Losses- @Wisconsin, @Cincinnati, Ohio State, Notre Dame
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
SEC: Wins- Oklahoma State, Kansas State, Virginia Tech, Louisville, @North Carolina; Losses- @California, Missouri, USF, vs. Florida State, @West Virginia
Big East: Wins- @Duke, Oregon State, @Auburn, @Maryland, North Carolina, @N.C. State, Mississippi State ; Losses- Washington, @Iowa, @Michigan State, Illinois, @Kentucky, Maryland, @Virginia, @Virginia
Big 12: Wins- @Illinois, Miami, @Wake Forest, @Mississippi, Iowa; Losses- @Georgia, @Auburn, @Arizona State, USC, Florida State, @Miami
Looking at the overall win/loss record and the quality of the competition, I still say the ACC comes out the best in this category. But I'm also not the most objective voice regarding this.
THE 1-AA (OR "FCS" IF YOU WANT TO BE ALL TECHNICAL) FACTOR
The percentage of non-conference games against 1-AA competition...
The Big 10 clearly fares the worst in this category...not only has just over one-fifth of all their non-conference competition involved 1-AA opposition, they've lost two of those games (Appalachian State-Michigan and North Dakota State-Minnesota). Honestly, only the Pac 10 really comes off well in this category.
Conf. 1-AA Foes/OOC Games Pct. Big 10 8/38 .210 SEC 7/35 .200 Big 12 8/47 .170 ACC 7/43 .163 Big East 6/39 .154 Pac 10 2/29 .007
AND ALL THE REST
Each league's record against non-BCS/non-1AA foes...that is, the non-conference results against the poor schleps from the Sun Belt, Conference USA, MAC, etc.:
Once again, the SEC's record in this category appears to be a major (and subliminal) reason why that conference has been fawned over left and right this season. Like or not, they've taken care of business every time against the Tulanes, UL-Lafayettes, FAUs and such. None of the other conferences can say that. Florida handled Troy, but Virginia got clocked by Wyoming. Tennessee cruised past Southern Miss, but UCLA got smashed by Utah. Nonetheless, this seems like an underwhelming empirical reason for the frothing media adulation heaped upon the SEC.
Conf. Record Pct. SEC 18-0 1.000 Big 10 15-2 .882 Big 12 24-4 .857 Big East 15-3 .833 ACC 15-4 .789 Pac 10 13-4 .765
FACTUALLY SUPPORTED SUBJECTIVE CONCLUSION
I'll just repeat what I said last week: the secret to having a dominating out-of-conference performance? Never, ever, ever play non-conference road games; do make sure to play a higher 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. SECThe only change from last week is dropping the Big 10 from 5th to 6th. Minnesota's loss to North Dakota State gave the league two 1-AA losses this season, and too much of their BCS-conference competition to date has consisted of Notre Dame and the dregs of the other power-leagues (Syracuse, Pitt, Iowa State, Duke, Washington State).
2. Pac 10
4. Big 12
5. Big East
6. Big 10
As an aside, let me say that I believe non-conference competition is by far the best way to compare the leagues side-by-side-by-side, but this compilation is certainly not a complete analysis. Margin of victory, the placement of games on the schedule, the equality of matchups, and countless other factors aren't really taken into account here. These reports try to make the comparisons as objective and concise as possible, but in reality there will likely never be a thorough enough and definitive enough analysis to determine how the leagues truly stack up to one another.