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Sep
13
2015

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 2 with Playoff Analysis.

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What a wild weekend! How did it affect the conference rankings?

Let me point out on my philosophy on these rankings – you’re most recent  OOC results count a lot, and you’ll see me reference that throughout the season.

We’ll give each conference a relative strength value 1-10.

1) SEC – 8.5

After a solid week 1, the SEC looked like it was ready separate from the rest of the power 5. Nope… It wasn’t quite the disastrous weekend it could have been, but it was bad enough. Tennessee blew a 17-0 lead at home and lost Oklahoma in OT. Auburn went to OT with FCS member Jacksonville St, and barely escaped a humiliating loss. Arkansas the trendy darkhorse pick to win the SEC West was embarrassed by 16-12 loss to Toledo. Florida and Missouri had single digit wins over East Carolina and Arkansas St.

Texas Tech and Arkansas is the only power 5 OOC game next week. The SEC was good, but not great in their OOC slate of games. Auburn\LSU and and Ole Miss\Alabama highlight SEC conference games next week. Here’s something we can bank on in week 2, the SEC isn’t getting 2 teams in the playoff.

Playoff Contenders 

Alabama

Darkhorses

Georgia

2) Pac 12 – 7.5

The Pac 12 has definitely disappointed this year, but there are still 5 legit top 25 teams. USC, UCLA, Arizona, Utah and despite a loss to Michigan State – Oregon. The Ducks are still are top 20 team, and if they run the table probably still make it back to the playoffs. For that the Pac 12, maintains the second position here. Oregon State took a loss at Michigan, but Washington State beat Rutgers this week.

The Pac 12 doesn’t have a playoff team in week 2, but they are definitely not out of the chase. California plays Texas this week, and UCLA faces an always dangerous BYU team.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

Darkhorses

USC, UCLA

3) Big 10 – 7.25

The Big 10 is a two team conference, but it’s two really good teams. Ohio State is well Ohio State, and Michigan St. proved how good they are by beating Oregon. New members to the Big 10 Maryland and Rutgers had big black eyes. Maryland got thumped by Bowling Green 48-27, and Rutgers lost to a Washington St. team with an FCS loss.

Northwestern might a top 25 caliber team, and shouldn’t be forgotten.

This week there are several ACC/Big 10 matchups – Illinois/UNC, Duke/Northwestern, Nebraska/Miami, Purdue/Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh/Iowa. The winner of the series stays ahead of the other next week.

Playoff Contenders  

Ohio State, Michigan St.

Darkhorses

None

4) ACC – 7

Louisville lost at home to Houston which was the ACC’s first lower division loss of the season. That’s the fewest of any power 5 conference. The conference didn’t play a power 5 opponents this week. Next week decides if the ACC can move up as high as 2nd on this list, or falls to last.

OOC matchups are Illinois/UNC, Duke/Northwestern, Nebraska/Miami, Purdue/Virginia Tech, and Pittsburgh/Iowa. Georgia Tech plays Nortre Dame in a monster OOC game. The ACC has been a little bit of unknown, so this is a very important week. Clemson needs to avoid a loss at 0-2 Louisville which would certainly hurt the ACC’s chances of getting to the playoffs.

Playoff Contenders

None

Darkhorses

Florida State, Georgia Tech, Clemson

4) Big 12 – 7

Iowa beat Iowa St. and Kansas, the worst power 5 team in America, got pounded by Memphis. The Big 12’s week was salvaged when Oklahoma went on the road and beat Tennessee. The rest of the Big 12 took care of their lower division opponents. Considering how close the 5 power 5 conferences are, that’s a nice win, and moves the Big 12 slightly up.

Next week California plays Texas and Texas Tech faces Arkansas.

Playoff Contenders

TCU

Darkhorses

Baylor

The Rest 

Notre Dame survived at Virginia, but the competition goes way up with Georgia Tech this week. Boise St. lost to BYU, and eliminates them from playoff consideration.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

Darkhorses

Notre Dame

My Current Playoff Teams

As my personal criticism of the playoff committee, I don’t think the top 4 seeds order should be released until the final rankings. The playoff committee’s inconsistent and ever changing criteria is causing unnecessary frustration and confusion. It’s one of the improvement points I’d have for them.

If I had a vote this is who I would put in the playoff right now.

In –  TCU | Ohio State | Michigan State | Alabama

Just Missed – 5) USC 6) Georgia 7) Clemson 8) UCLA


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