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Sep
20
2015

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 3 with Playoff Analysis.

RobertAg

Things just get crazier each week… Let’t get right into things.

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 – 8.0

The SEC keeps backing up to the rest of the country. Arkansas dropped another game to an unranked OOC team. This time it was Texas Tech. Missouri doesn’t belong in the top 25 after another terrible OOC performance. 9-6 wins over Connecticut don’t cut it. Auburn will drop out of the top 25 finally after getting blasted by LSU. Who the heck is ranking the Auburn Tigers in the coaches poll? I think LSU are Georgia are the real deal.

Alabama going down to Ole Miss knocks them out of the playoff race. They can still get back into it, but can’t afford another loss. Ole Miss gets into the picture, but I’m not ready to anoint them playoff material yet. Alabama has a history of struggling with quality spread teams.

LSU steps out of conference to play Syracuse this week. Orange will get see a very good team up close.

Playoff Contenders 

Georgia, LSU

In the Playoff Picture

Ole Miss

2) Pac 12 – 7.5

The Pac 12 is almost too balanced for its own good. This is still a deep conference, but the lack of elite teams is a problem. USC losing to a Stanford team that was beat by Northwestern is very damaging. California did beat Texas. UCLA escaped with a win over BYU, but looks beatable. Utah and Arizona are good teams.

As the Pac 12 moves into conference play, there won’t be many chances to improve the conference’s stature.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Oregon, UCLA

3) Big 10 – 7.25

The Big 10 lost the ACC/Big 10 challenge 3-2. Purdue, Illinois, and Nebraska went down to Virginia Tech, UNC, and Miami. Iowa did beat Pittsburgh, and Northwestern continues to impress with a nice at Duke.

Next week BYU plays Michigan in an intriging game, and Wake Forest faces Indiana. The Big 10 isn’t deep but that won’t keep an Ohio State or Michigan State from the playoff if they win out.

Playoff Contenders  

Ohio State, Michigan St.

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

4) ACC – 7

The ACC picked up several power 5 conference wins this week. Virginia Tech beat Purdue, UNC beat Illinois, and Miami nearly blew a 23 point 4th quarter but got a nice win over Nebraska. That’s the good news. The bad news is the ACC couldn’t get that signature win they lack. Georgia Tech didn’t play well and lost 30-22 at Notre Dame, and Duke is still looking for their first quality OOC win under Cutcliffe. Pittsburgh lost on 57 yard FG at Iowa. 3-3 versus the Power 5/Notre Dame is an ok, but not great week. The ACC still only has 1 loss on the season to a non-power 5/Notre Dame on the season.

Based on this week’s results you really can’t move the ACC up or down.

Next week provides a few more opportunities for the ACC.  Boise State plays Virginia, Indiana will face Wake Forest, and Syracuse has an ill-advised game with LSU. Always dangerous East Carolina meets Virginia Tech.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Florida State, Clemson

4) Big 12 – 7

Texas Tech beat Arkansas in the week’s highlight for the Big 12. From there conference continues to disappoint. Iowa State became Toledo’s latest victim, and Texas was beat at home by middle of the pack Pac 12 team California. TCU did not play well against SMU, and doesn’t look like a playoff team.

Oklahoma State and West Virginia might be better than expected to give the conference a little more depth.

Next week West Virginia plays Maryland and Kansas plays Rutgers.

Playoff Contenders

TCU

In the Playoff Picture

Baylor

The Rest 

Notre Dame moves into playoff consideration with a rock solid win against Georgia Tech, and now plays UMASS this week. BYU would have been in the picture but couldn’t hold on against UCLA.

Playoff Contenders 

Notre Dame

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

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 –  Notre Dame | Ohio State | Michigan State | LSU

Just Missed – 5) TCU  6) Georgia  7) Ole Miss  8) Clemson


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