Dogged Sage's Blog
Now that all of the inter-conference regular season games at the Football Bowl Subdivision/ Division 1-A level have been completed, the time for my annual conference rankings has arrived. Conferences' members received points for victories against other FBS conference's teams. Victories at neutral sites and at opposing team's venues are worth more than victories at home. Bonuses are given for wins over other conferences' champions. No coaches' or journalists' opinions are factored into this ranking system nor are my own.

 Below are the results. I have also provided reviews of each conference's results influencing the results, for better or for worse.



Big Twelve :              .933

Southeastern:             .872

Big Ten :                    .641

Big East :                   .538

Conference USA :     .503

Atlantic Coast :         .483

Pacific Twelve :        .464

Mountain West :        .394

Sun Belt :                  .310

Western Athletic :     .279

Mid-American :  .236 

Big Twelve's positives: The Big Twelve finished 20-3 versus other FBS conferences. It had more wins than losses against every conference except one. Baylor defeated Mountain West champion, Texas Christian. Kansas defeated the winner of the Mid-American Conference, Northern Illinois.

Big Twelve's negatives: In its only match against the SEC, Texas A&M lost to Arkansas on a neutral field. In three games each versus the Pacific Twelve and Atlantic Coast Conference, the Big Twelve only won two out of three. The two wins against the Pacific Twelve came at the expense of teams finishing with losing records.                                                         

Southeastern Conference's positives: The Southeastern Conference did not have a losing record against any other FBS conference. The SEC's champion beat both the Pacific Twelve's champion and one of the three co-champions of the Big East. Tennessee also defeated one of the three co-champions of the Big East as the SEC won three of four matches against the Big East. Mississippi State defeated Louisiana Tech, the champion of the Western Athletic Conference. South Carolina romped over Clemson, the winner of the Atlantic Coast Conference. 

Southeastern Conference's negatives: The SEC split its two games versus the Mountain West Conference. Every SEC member played a 1-AA team, which weakened the strength of schedule for every one of them.                                                 

Big Ten's positives: The Big Ten won four of five matches against the Pacific Twelve. It also won ten of eleven games versus the Mid-American Conference. Wisconsin triumphed over Northern Illinois and Illinois did the same versus Arkansas State. Both of those non-conference victories came over eventual conference champions.                    

Big Ten's negatives: The Big Ten lost two out of three games versus the ACC and Notre Dame, respectively. Minnesota lost to North Dakota State, a FCS team.                         

Big East's positives: The Big East won eight of nine games against the Mid-American Conference. It won three of four contests versus the ACC. It also won both games against the service academies.                                                           

Big East's negatives:Two of the three co-champions lost to SEC teams, including a defeat by Tennessee who finished with a losing record. The Big East played eight contests versus the other four BCS conferences besides the ACC; its record was 1-7.

Conference USA's positives: Conference USA had a few victories over other conference's champions (Marshall over Louisville, Southern Mississippi and Houston over Louisiana Tech and Southern Methodist over Texas Christian). 

Conference USA's negatives: CUSA lost four of five games versus the Sun Belt Conference. CUSA also finished winless versus the Big Twelve (0-5) and Southeastern Conference (0-3).                                        

Atlantic Coast's positives: Members of the Atlantic Coast Conference defeated two other champions, North Carolina over Louisville and Virginia Tech over Arkansas State.                        

Atlantic Coast's negatives: The ACC had losing records against every other BCS conference except the Big Ten. Duke lost to Richmond, a 1-AA team. 

Pacific Twelve's positives: Its top two teams won eleven games each. The PAC Twelve won five out of six games versus the WAC.

Pacific Twelve's negatives: Pacific Twelve suffered from a severe case of top-heaviness. Its third place team slogged through ineligibility due to probation. After Southern California in the standings, no one won more than seven games, including the winner of its Southern Division who finished with seven losses. Oregon State lost to an FCS member, Sacramento State.

Mountain West's positives: A Mountain West member did defeat the SEC's Eastern Division champion. The MWC won five of the seven contests versus the WAC.     

Mountain West's negatives: The MWC finished winless in five games against the Big Ten and Big Twelve.                                                          

Sun Belt's positives: The Sun Belt rose above its reputation as being the weakest FBS conference. The SBC won three games versus BCS automatic qualifying conferences, including both which its members played against the Big East. 

Sun Belt's negatives: The SBC lost all seven games against the SEC and all five versus the ACC.                                                                                                

Western Athletic's positives: The WAC did manage one win in five contests against the SEC and one of six versus the Pacific Twelve. It also split its two games with the Big Ten.                       

Western Athletic's negatives: The Western Athletic Conference members seemed to come apart at the seams like the conference itself is doing due to impending defections. Only its champion won more than seven games. 


Mid-American's positives:  MAC members scored a victory over a member of the ACC, Big East and Big Ten respectively.None of its members lost to any 1-AA teams.                


Mid-American's negatives: MAC teams lost the other eight matches versus the Big East and the other ten against the Big Ten. MAC teams lost all three contests with SEC members and all four versus the Big Twelve.

These results indicate that the Big Twelve and SEC differentiated themselves from the other nine conferences. A precipitous drop in quality below them is evident. Fans of both conferences deserved to view their champions facing each other on the field to settle the national championship. Alas, pollsters  decided otherwise.






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