Updated non-conference records among the six BCS leagues through the first two+ months of the season:
The SEC's dominance in these standings earlier in the season has eroded and the Big XII and ACC are in position to pass them. The ACC especially, what with four head-to-head matchups with the SEC still on tap.
Conf. Record Pct. SEC 33-8 .805 Big XII 38-10 .792 ACC 34-10 .772 Big Ten 31-12 .721 Big East 26-12 .684 Pac 10 13-16 .448
To delve a little deeper, below is the combined record of all 1-A/FBS opposition faced by each BCS league in non-conference play:
Call me crazy, but the ACC looks damn fine with the third best record, against the second best competition. The Pac 10's horrid showing is somewhat understandable, while the SEC's record doesn't appear so sterling now.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 162-106 .604 ACC 152-127 .545 Big East 157-135 .538 Big Ten 170-155 .523 Big XII 176-183 .490 SEC 137-172 .443
ON THE ROAD
Below illustrates the percentage of games each league has played away from home in non-conference action:
*non-conference neutral site games (i.e. Missouri-Illinois, Alabama-Clemson) are calculated as road games for both leagues.
Conf. Road Games/OOC Games Pct. Big East 15/38 39.5% Pac 10 10/29 34.5% ACC 12/44 27.2% Big XII 13/48 27.1% SEC 11/41 26.8% Big Ten 11/43 25.6%
Historically, the ACC and Big East always seem to play more non-league road games while Big Ten schools are seemingly oblivious to the likes of Travelocity and Orbitz.
The following indicates the percentage of non-conference competition played against fellow BCS-league opponents:
*For this analysis, Notre Dame is included as a BCS/power-league team
Conf. BCS Foes/OOC Games Pct. Pac 10 13/29 44.8% ACC 19/44 43.2% Big East 15/38 39.5% Big XII 15/48 31.3% Big Ten 13/42 30.6% SEC 11/41 26.8%
And each conference's record against other power-league competition:
Furthermore, the following is the combined record of each league's BCS opposition:
Conf. Record Pct. ACC 12-7 .632 Big East 8-7 .533 Big XII 7-8 .467 Big Ten 6-7 .462 SEC 5-6 .455 Pac 10 5-8 .385
Perhaps this will dispel all the parity-due-to-mediocrity talk in terms of the logjam in the ACC standings these days. These numbers prove that the ACC is a damn good league thus far this season. And a golf-clap to the Big East as well, for being the only other BCS league team with a winning record against other power-conference competition...and against the third best BCS opposition to boot.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 81-47 .633 ACC 109-69 .612 Big East 87-59 .596 Big Ten 67-53 .558 SEC 56-45 .554 Big XII 82-68 .547
OTHER 1-A/FBS COMPETITION
Each league's record against other 1-A/FBS foes...that is, the non-conference results against the poor schmoes from Conference USA, the MAC, the WAC, etc.:
And the combined record of the "other 1-A" opponents for each BCS league:
Conf. Record Pct. Big XII 21-2 .913 SEC 20-2 .909 Big Ten 17-5 .773 ACC 8-3 .727 Big East 11-5 .688 Pac 10 6-8 .429
OK, so the ACC's armor gets a little chinked here. But the SEC and Big XII's lofty records are partially the result of fattening up on a horde o' UAB and North Texas-style cupcakes, while the Pac 10 was getting dusted by the likes of Utah, Boise State, TCU and BYU. Let the numbers drive it home for you....the Pac 10 and SEC's non-BCS 1A competition both have 81 wins; but the SEC's opposition has 68 more losses. Thank you, and good night.
Conf. Record Pct. Pac 10 81-59 .579 Big Ten 103-102 .502 Big East 70-76 .479 Big XII 94-115 .450 ACC 43-58 .426 SEC 81-127 .389
THE 1-AA/FCS FACTOR
The percentage of non-conference games against 1-AA competition...
And this is what keeps the ACC out of the Big XII/SEC "best conference" talk this season. Just under a third of all ACC out-of-conference games have been against the minor leaguers. Unacceptable. And the close calls (UNC-McNeese, Maryland-Delaware, Georgia Tech-Gardner Webb) further erode credibility. On the flipside, the Pac 10 would do well to not be so damn righteous.
Conf. 1-AA Foes/OOC Games Pct. ACC 14/44 31.8% SEC 7/33 19.5% Big XII 9/48 18.8% Big Ten 8/43 18.6% Big East 7/38 18.4% Pac 10 2/29 6.9%
POTENTIALLY FLAWED SUBJECTIVE CONCLUSION
All that said, this is how I'd rank the conferences so far in 2008:
1) Big XII
4) Big Ten
5) Big East
6) Pac 10
I think the numbers above support this ranking. Maybe next year I'll have devised a formula I like that just swallows up the percentages from above and spits out a rating. But for now, I think this is as accurate a ranking of the BCS leagues as you'll find.