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Sep
11
2016

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

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Why am I discussing conference power rankings? Well because as teams start playing each other in their conference, the strength of a conference determines the quality of your wins as the playoffs approach. It matters so let’s get right into it.

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.

Let me explain my relative rankings

0-5 : Conference lacks depth no elite teams

6-7: Conference lacks depth, and there are 1-2 elite teams, and 1-2 quality teams

7-8: At least 2 elite teams, and at least 2 quality teams.

8-9: 3 elite teams, and at least 2 quality teams

9-10: 1/2 of conference is elite and/or quality teams.

1) Big 10 – 8.0

The Big 10’s top teams looked good this past week. Wisconsin, Ohio State, Michigan, and Iowa all rolled. The Big 10 has 5 teams ranked in the top 15. Lower on down the conference, there some OOC losses thought. Penn State lost to Pittsburgh, Illinois lost to UNC, Purdue went down to Cincinnati and Northwestern took an ugly loss to Illinois State.

The Big 10 is strong through it’s top 5 teams but there are several very bad teams in the conference.

Next week gives the Big 10 a chance to extend their top football conference lead. Ohio State plays Oklahoma, Michigan State plays Notre Dame, Michigan plays Colorado, and Nebraska plays Oregon.

Playoff Contenders

Ohio State, Michigan, Wisconsin

In the Playoff Picture

Michigan State, Iowa

2) SEC – 7.6

After the week 1 disaster, the SEC will be fighting for weeks to catch the Big 10, but this week was a good start. The SEC did not lose a game OOC this past week. The SEC’s week was highlighted by a big Arkansas win on the road at TCU. Tennessee also looked sharp in a win over Virginia Tech. Georgia struggled with Nicholls State but won 26-24.

This week the SEC stays mostly in-conference, but Vanderbilt does Georgia Tech, and South Carolina plays the always dangerous East Carolina. Alabama plays at Ole Miss, and the Tide have had trouble with the Rebels in recent years.

Playoff Contenders  

Alabama

In the Playoff Picture

Georgia, Tennessee

3) ACC – 7.3

Overall it was a mixed bad for the ACC this week. Pittsburgh picked a solid win over Penn State and UNC took care of Illinois on the road. Virginia as expected was no match for Oregon, and Virginia Tech was too mistake prone against Tennessee. NC State became the ACC’s latest loss to East Carolina. Clemson noticeably had real issues holding off Troy.

The ACC has some under the radar OOC games this week. Pittsburgh and Oklahoma State is a very intriguing game. Miami plays an extremely tricky game at Appalachian State. Georgia Tech and Vanderbilt hook up. Florida State and Louisville play in-conference and would give the winner a major playoff boost.

Playoff Contenders 

Clemson, Florida State

In the Playoff Picture

Louisville

5) Pac 12 – 6.8

Some good and some bad for the Pac 12 this week. Utah got a nice win over BYU, Oregon beat Virginia, and Arizona State beat Texas Tech. That was the good. The bad was Boise State beating Washington State and California taking a bad loaa to San Diego State. The Pac 12 has a big hole to crawl out of, but at least they aren’t last in these rankings.

Next week Colorado plays Michigan, UCLA plays BYU, and Oregon plays Nebraska.

Playoff Contenders

Stanford

In the Playoff Picture

Washington

5) Big 12 – 6.5

The Big 12 has problems. Two of it’s ranked teams lost at home. Controversy or not, Oklahoma State going down to Central Michigan is a bad loss. TCU also lost to unranked Arkansas on it’s home field. Iowa State was blown out by Iowa. Texas Tech lost at Arizona State.

Oklahoma is a virtual must win for the Big 12 against Ohio State. Oklahoma State hosts Pittsburgh, and Texas heads to California. By the end of next week the Big 12 could be without a playoff  contender or it could have two.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Texas

The Rest 

Houston stayed undefeated, but has a difficult game at Cincinnati this week. Notre Dame plays Michigan State, and if the Irish lose, they have no chance to reach the playoffs.

Playoff Contenders 

Houston

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 –   Houston | Alabama | Florida State | Ohio State

Just Missed – 5) Michigan  6) Clemson  7) Stanford 8) Wisconsin

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