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Oct
16
2016

Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 7 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 – your 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 – 7.9

The Big 10 has 2 playoff caliber teams in Ohio State and Michigan. Wisconsin is very good, and Nebraska is a top 10 ranked team that has taken advantage of a very easy schedule so far. After those 4, the Big 10 is a bunch of middling to poor teams. No other conference can match the Big 10’s 1-2-3 punch of Ohio State, Michigan, and Wisconsin.

Next week Ohio State plays at Penn State and Michigan faces Illinois. The Buckeyes and Wolverines should keep cruising towards their late season collision course.

Playoff Contenders

Ohio State, Michigan

In the Playoff Picture

Nebraska

2) SEC – 7.6

Alabama continues to toy with the SEC, after wiping out Tennessee. The Tide look like the country’s best team, and are in a category of their own. The SEC did have some ugly results this week. Mississippi State lost at BYU, and Georgia took a loss to a Vanderbilt team that got beat by 31 at Georgia Tech. The SEC has 8 ranked teams, but the Big 10 has 4 top 10 teams to the SEC’s 2. Also 3 of those SEC ranked teams, Auburn, LSU, and Ole Miss have taken losses OOC. That’s why I give the Big 10 the edge.

Next week Alabama and Texas A&M play, and while I expect Alabama to easily handle Texas A&M, it’s still a top 10 matchup.

Playoff Contenders  

Alabama, Texas A&M

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

3) ACC – 7.4

The ACC’s best teams struggled badly this week. Clemson and Louisville played poorly against NC State and Duke, and nearly got beat. Florida State wasn’t exactly lights out against in a win Wake Forest.

The ACC’s depth took a hit when ranked teams Virginia Tech, and Miami lost to Syracuse and UNC. That’s leaves UNC has the Coastal’s only ranked team, and they have loss to a mediocre Georgia team.

It’s a light week in the ACC with playoff relevant games. Louisville does face dangerous NC State this week.

Playoff Contenders 

Clemson

In the Playoff Picture

Louisville

4) Pac 12 – 6.5

It was pretty quiet in the Pac 12 this past week. Stanford beat Notre Dame, but who isn’t these days. Washington remains the only Pac 12 team that looks like a playoff team. Utah is the Pac 12’s only other ranked team.

Washington plays Oregon State this week, but shouldn’t have any problem them. Doesn’t it seem like there just aren’t many interesting games this year in the Pac 12?

Playoff Contenders

Washington

In the Playoff Picture

NONE

5) Big 12 – 6.0

The Big 12 now has the Pac 12 in sight. West Virginia routed Texas Tech on the road, and while I’m not ready to call the Mountaineers a playoff team, you have to start paying attention to them. Baylor beating Kansas means nothing, and I think West Virginia is actually the better of the two.

West Virginia hosts TCU this week, and I expect WVU to win.

Playoff Contenders

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Baylor, West Virginia

The Rest 

Boise State is only Group of 5 / Independent team worth paying attention to. They are undefeated and ranked in the top 15. A game with BYU this week is actually a good solid matchup. Louisville hopes Houston can get back into the top 10 before they play in November.

Playoff Contenders 

NONE

In the Playoff Picture

Boise State

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 –   Washington | Alabama | Clemson | Ohio State

Just Missed – 5) Michigan  6) Texas A&M  7) Louisville 8) West Virginia

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