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Also see:

Benchmark Conference Comparison Part 1 - SEC

Benchmark Conference Comparison Part 2 - Big East

Benchmark Conference Comparison Part 3 - PAC 10

Benchmark Conference Comparison Part 4 - ACC

Benchmark Conference Comparison Part 6 - Big 10

Benchmark Conference Comparison Finale - Summary, Who's Best

Brief Overview

This is an apples to apples comparison between the major 6 conferences.  If this is your 1st time perusing this series, you will find a detailed description of how the comparison was made in Part 1 and Part 2 (link above).

In a nutshell, the conferences rankings were adjusted for different formats (for example, 3rd and 4th in the Big 10 was equated to a division 2nd place, etc.).

Then the games were compared based on how the teams ranked in their conference, splitting the inter-conference games into 3 categories: Evenly matched, Higher finish than their opponent, and Lower finish than their opponent based on the adjusted conference rankings above.

This was compared to their benchmark (expected) record based on the average of the conferences (benchmark wins = ½ even games plus the higher games, losses = ½ the even games plus the lower games).

Where there was a large deviation between the actual record an the benchmark record, an analysis was done to determine the most likely cause.

The Benchmark by Year

 

Yearly Results

Even

Higher

Lower

Total

Benchmark

vs.

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

BM

2007

1

-1

4

-3

5

-5

10

-9

8

-11

2

2006

2

-1

3

-2

1

-9

6

-12

6.5

-11.5

-0.5

2005

3

-0

2

-3

3

-2

8

-5

6.5

-6.5

1.5

2004

0

-1

4

-0

4

-4

8

-5

4.5

-8.5

3.5

2003

0

-0

6

-3

2

-11

8

-14

9

-13

-1

2002

3

-2

5

-2

5

-6

13

-10

9.5

-13.5

3.5

 

Cumulative to 2007

2007

1

-1

4

-3

5

-5

10

-9

8

-11

2

2006

3

-2

7

-5

6

-14

16

-21

14.5

-22.5

1.5

2005

6

-2

9

-8

9

-16

24

-26

21

-29

3

2004

6

-3

13

-8

13

-20

32

-31

25.5

-37.5

6.5

2003

6

-3

19

-11

15

-31

40

-45

34.5

-50.5

5.5

2002

9

-5

24

-13

20

-37

53

-55

44

-64

9

 

64.3%

64.9%

35.1%

49.1%

40.7%

 

              

With a solid cumulative 9 games above the benchmark (the most of any team) you might be inclined to crown the Big 12 as the best conference in the Nation.

If you are using the benchmark as the basis, you would be wrong.  The reason is in the balance of when the Big 12 was the higher and when they were the lower ranked team.  They are averaging 4% below the average benchmark for all of the conferences when the higher team (the average is 68.9%), and 4% above the average when they are the lower team (the average is 31.1%).  If they played an equal number of games as the higher and lower team, they would be 1 game above the benchmark from the even matches.  Instead, because they play over 1-1/2 time as many games as the lower team as the higher team, they pick up an additional 8 games against the benchmark.  This may be admirable for scheduling (or perhaps just the way things worked out), but playing average does not support being a dominant conference.

The benchmark is further distorted by the fact the conference's perennial bottom team - Baylor - has played the other major conferences only twice over the past 6 years (have they just given up?).  This is the 2nd lowest of any team in the major 6 conferences next to Stanford and could account for an artificially inflated winning percentage as the lower team.

Big 12 vs. SEC Recap

See part 1 for details

While the overall record is even (11-12), the Big 12 higher team is nearly .500 (8-6) against the SEC while the lower team is 2-6.  The Big 12 has won the only even matchup.

An analysis showed the SEC West is playing a step up (1 division ranking higher) against the Big 12.  (If SEC West teams were ranked 1 position higher, the benchmark is about even.)  Interestingly this did not extend to the SEC East.

Big 12 vs. Big East Recap

See part 2 for details

In 3 years the conferences have played 5 times and are about even against the benchmark (1-1 when even, 0-2 when lower).

Big 12 vs. Pac 10 Recap

See part 3 for details

The PAC 10 is the most common opponent among the major 5 conferences for the Big 12 with 31 games over 6 years.

Even if you negate the 2002 season (which was abnormally low for the PAC 10), the Big 12 has an excellent record against the PAC 10, finishing with both a yearly and cumulative positive record against the benchmark for every year except 2006.  They are well above the average for all conferences for higher and lower wins, and at the average for even wins.

It would not be true that the Big 12 is playing a division or even a conference rank better against the PAC 10 as was the case between the SEC West over the Big 12 (as this would reverse the benchmark results, not even them).  It is true that the Big 12 is consistently playing above their conference rank against the PAC 10.

Big 12 vs. ACC Recap

See part 4 for details

The conferences play each other sporadically.  They have played approx. even in their match ups with a nearly .500 record in all 3 categories (even, higher, lower).

Big 12 vs. Big 10

 

Big 10 by Year

Even

Higher

Lower

Total

Benchmark

vs.

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

BM

2007

1

-0

1

-0

1

-1

3

-1

1.5

-2.5

1.5

2006

1

-0

1

-0

0

-2

2

-2

1.5

-2.5

0.5

2005

0

-0

1

-0

2

-0

3

-0

1

-2

2

2004

0

-0

0

-0

1

-3

1

-3

0

-4

1

2003

0

-0

3

-1

0

-2

3

-3

4

-2

-1

2002

0

-0

0

-1

2

-2

2

-3

1

-4

1

 

Cumulative to 2007

2007

1

-0

1

-0

1

-1

3

-1

1.5

-2.5

1.5

2006

2

-0

2

-0

1

-3

5

-3

3

-5

2

2005

2

-0

3

-0

3

-3

8

-3

4

-7

4

2004

2

-0

3

-0

4

-6

9

-6

4

-11

5

2003

2

-0

6

-1

4

-8

12

-9

8

-13

4

2002

2

-0

6

-2

6

-10

14

-12

9

-17

5

 

100.0%

75.0%

37.5%

53.8%

34.6%

 

Like many conferences, the Big 12 capitalized on the Big 10's miserable 2007 year.  They also capitalized on the previously noted imbalance in higher and even games to exaggerate the benchmark score.

Still, even without the 2007 season, they would be about 1-1/2 games above the benchmark against the Big 10, finishing at the average when higher and approx. 4% above the average when the lower team.  (With the 2007 season they would be about 2-1/2 games above the benchmark).

Half of the lower wins have come from the Iowa State-Iowa rivalry (perhaps the best inter-conference in state rivalry you never bothered to watch).  1/3 came against Michigan whose poor record in inter-conference games extends to the Big 12.

Benchmark by Conference Ranking

 

Even

Higher

Lower

Total

Benchmark

vs.

rank

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

BM

1.1

2

-2

6

-2

0

0

8

-4

10

-2

-2

2.1

0

-1

7

-4

0

-2

7

-7

11.5

-2.5

-4.5

2

2

-1

7

-2

4

-3

13

-6

10.5

-8.5

2.5

3

2

-1

4

-3

5

-9

11

-13

8.5

-15.5

2.5

4

2

0

0

-2

5

-8

7

-10

3

-14

4

5

1

0

0

0

5

-11

6

-11

0.5

-16.5

5.5

6

0

0

0

0

1

-4

1

-4

0

-5

1

Except for the items noted earlier this is a rather typical performance when compared to the other major 6 conferences.

Benchmark by Team

average

Even

Higher

Lower

Total

Benchmark

vs.

rank-team

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

W

L

BM

2

Oklahoma

1

-2

6

-1

1

-2

8

-5

8.5

-4.5

-0.5

2

Texas

1

-0

5

-1

2

-2

8

-3

6.5

-4.5

1.5

2

Colorado

0

-1

2

-5

1

-5

3

-11

7.5

-6.5

-4.5

2

Missouri

1

-1

5

-1

1

-0

7

-2

7

-2

0

3

Nebraska

1

-0

3

-2

4

-3

8

-5

5.5

-7.5

2.5

3

TT

2

-1

1

-1

3

-2

6

-4

3.5

-6.5

2.5

4

KSU

1

-0

1

-1

1

-3

3

-4

2.5

-4.5

0.5

4

TA&M

0

-0

1

-1

1

-7

2

-8

2

-8

0

5

Kansas

1

-0

0

-0

1

-3

2

-3

0.5

-4.5

1.5

5

Iowa State

0

-0

0

-0

3

-4

3

-4

0

-7

3

6

Ok State

1

-0

0

-0

2

-4

3

-4

0.5

-6.5

2.5

6

Baylor

0

-0

0

-0

0

-2

0

-2

0

-2

0

Colorado's performance has been as bad as the Texas and TT performance has been good.

A Look Inside the Big 12 - Average Ranking

This is a conference with 2 distinct personalities between their divisions.

Oklahoma and Texas have finished 1-2 5 of the 6 years, and neither has finished lower than 3rd in their division.

Oklahoma State and Baylor have finished in the bottom 2 of the conference 4 of the 6 years.  Only Oklahoma State has made it out of the bottom 2, finishing 3rd in 2003 and 4th in 2002.

Texas Tech and TA&M have filled the remaining 2 rankings.

This is the mot constant division you will find.

In the other half, 4 of the 6 teams have won the division.  Kansas has finished in the bottom 2 5 of 6 years, but no other team has finished in the same half more than 4 of the 6 years.  This is the most dynamic division there is.

This makes the Big 12 both the most constant and most dynamic conference of the major 6 conferences.

Sampling

The Big 12 averages just 9 games over the 6 years against the other major conferences, tied for the fewest with the PAC 10.  Even if you negated Baylor and Stanford these teams would still have the fewest games with the PAC 10 just edging out the Big12.

The rarity of games coupled with a poor overall record (because the teams are generally the lower ranked team) and a poor performance against the SEC West have combined to prevent the Big 12 conference as a whole from getting the respect they should from much of the country, instead being viewed as just Oklahoma and Texas.

Discrepancy With Common Opinions

Why the deviation from common opinion?  See Part 2 of the series.

 

In Part 6 we will take a detailed look at the Big 10.

 

Friendly Reminder

This is a Prove It blog, not a bastion of free speech.  As a courtesy to my 6 readers, leave an idiot comment and I will zap it or trash you with facts as the mood hits - either way, at best you're wasting your time, at worse you are stepping on an uneven field.

 

Thanks for reading.

 

Calculations and Games

Details of the calculation of conference ranking are at the bottom of Part 1

The individual games, rankings, and results can be found listed with the other parts (the Big 12 - Big 10 games will be found in Part 6) except for the Big12 - SEC listed below.

If you find a mistake, please let me know.  (with approx. 380 conference teams-years ranks and 670 games I suspect I made at least 1 mistake)

2007confrankteam rankteamconf33Coloradolost5AlabamaSEC2.12.1Missouribeat3ArkansasSEC2.12.1Missouribeat6MississippiSEC44KSUlost2AuburnSEC55Ok Statelost2GeorgiaSEC200622Missouribeat5MississippiSEC2.11Nebraskalost2AuburnSEC55Coloradolost4GeorgiaSEC55Ok Statebeat4AlabamaSEC200522Missouribeat2S CarolinaSEC22TTlost3AlabamaSEC200422Texasbeat3ArkansasSEC33TA&Mlost2.1TennesseeSEC200333Missourilost4ArkansasSEC2.12.1Oklahomabeat5AlabamaSEC22Texaslost4ArkansasSEC2.12.1Oklahomalost1.1LSUSEC33Ok Statelost2MississippiSEC44TTbeat2MississippiSEC200244Nebraskalost5MississippiSEC1.11.1Oklahomabeat2.1AlabamaSEC22Texasbeat4LSUSEC33TTbeat5MississippiSEC

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