It’s no secret that the SEC has dominated college football as of late. Dating back to 2006, the SEC has won six consecutive National Championships, and SEC frontrunner Alabama is currently the top-ranked team in this week’s BCS Standings. However, some arguments have been made that perhaps the SEC is not as strong top-to-bottom as it has been in the past. Could another conference be emerging as the next superpower in college football? Here is a breakdown, by conference, of the top 25 teams in the BCS as of November 4, 2012.
To reward teams for higher rankings, each is awarded a point total from 1-25, with 25 points going to the first place team and one point going to the 25th place team. Here are the conference rankings, based on that system.
#1 – SEC: 119 Points
Perhaps even more impressive than seven SEC programs in the BCS Top 25 rankings, is the fact that five of those teams are in the Top 10. Clearly, even if the rest of the SEC is not as strong as in years past, the core of the conference is still the most impressive contingent of BCS-caliber programs in America. Alabama is expected to make another appearance the National Championship game, and if they don’t it will be because an upstart Texas A&M team or a team like Georgia in the SEC Championship game knocks them off. It may be getting old, but there is no denying that the SEC is still the best when it comes to college football.
Point Breakdown: Alabama (25), Georgia (21), Florida (20), LSU (19), South Carolina (18), Texas A&M (11), Mississippi State (5)
#2 Pac-12: 65 points
The Pac-12 is doing its best to eliminate any East-coast bias and draw attention to the left coast. Colorado aside, the Wild West has proven to be a competitive league, week-in and week-out, where upsets become the norm and high scoring affairs are aplenty. Oregon is the crown jewel of the conference, but Oregon State, Stanford , UCLA and USC could go toe-to-toe with anyone on a good day.
Point Breakdown: Oregon (23), Oregon State (15), Stanford (12), UCLA (8), USC (7)
#3 Big XII: 51 points
The Big XII, even with just 10 teams, is still relevant in the national picture. With the loss of Missouri and Texas A&M to the SEC, along with the loss of the conference championship game, the Big XII was hobbled a little, coming into the 2012 season. However, the emergence of Bill Snyder’s Kansas State squad has kept the spotlight on the conference, even with a subpar year from #17 Texas. Not quite as strong as recent years, the Big XII still has a lot of talented teams, all of which are especially fond of scoring touchdowns (stopping them, not so much).
Point Breakdown: Kansas State (24), Oklahoma (14), Texas (9), Texas Tech (4)
#4 ACC: 29 points
It’s been a disappointing year thus far for the ACC. National Championship contender Florida State faltered badly at a mediocre North Carolina State team, which effectively ended any hope of a title run in 2012. Interestingly, the second biggest story out of the conference has been the bowl-eligible Duke Blue Devils, although they seem to be cooling off as of late. With powerhouses like Virginia Tech and Miami having down years, the ACC is as weak as it has been in a long time, but Florida State and Clemson can still play with anybody. Unfortunately for ACC fans, they are both in the Atlantic Division, which means we can expect a lopsided ACC Championship game come December.
Point Breakdown: Florida State (16), Clemson (13)
#5 Big East: 20 points
Since Notre Dame (22 points) is not in a conference, the Big East slides in at #5. The Big East took a hit when it lost West Virginia to the Big XII this season, but perhaps all that is needed to be said about this conference is that its leader, an undefeated Louisville team, can’t crack the AP Top-10 and barely earned that recognition from in Coaches Poll. The conference only features three teams with winning records at this point in the season (Louisville, Rutgers and Cincinnati). The biggest matchup of the year will come on November 29th, when Louisville and Rutgers square off, but even if Louisville remains undefeated, they will be lucky to crack the BCS Top-5.
Point Breakdown: Louisville (17), Rutgers (3)
#7 Big Ten: 12 points
If you thought the ACC was having a down year, the Big Ten is downright reeling. Nebraska and Northwestern are the only two ranked teams in the BCS standings, much to the chagrin of disappointments like Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and bowl ineligible Penn State and Ohio State. The Buckeyes, 10-0, are taking advantage of an extremely weak conference, despite a one-dimensional offense and average defense. Sadly, the state of the Big Ten is so bad that an Indiana team, a regular doorstep of the conference, has a chance to be the frontrunner to represent the Leaders division in the conference championship, with an upset of Wisconsin this week.
Point Breakdown: Nebraska (10), Northwestern (2)
Non-BCS Conferences Represented
#8 WAC: 6 points
Point Breakdown: Louisiana Tech (6)
#9 MAC: 1 point
Point Breakdown: Toledo (1)