Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after week 8 with Playoff Analysis.



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 – 7.7

It was a stunner at Penn State, where the Nittany Lions took out Ohio State. That was the same Penn State that lost to middle of the pack ACC team Pittsburgh. Ohio State is still in the playoff chase, but that stings. The Big 10’s best conference lead keeps shrinking as the SEC and ACC are hard charging. Michigan and Nebraska stayed undefeated.

Next week Michigan plays a rivalry game with Michigan State, but the Spartans are awful this year. Nebraska and Wisconsin play and a win by Nebraska would start to make believers of their critics.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Nebraska, Ohio State

2) SEC – 7.6

Alabama is the best team in the country by a wide margin and ran away from Texas A&M in the second half. The Aggies are a decent team, but not playoff caliber. There are no other teams in the SEC that playoff caliber to be honest. LSU and Auburn – two of the better SEC teams have lost OOC already. Missouri took an embarrassing loss to Middle Tennessee State this week.

Florida plays Georgia this week, and maybe the Gators can get to the fringes of the playoffs with a win.

Playoff Contenders  


In the Playoff Picture


3) ACC – 7.5

When two of the best wins of the weekend – Auburn and Penn State have already lost to ACC teams (Clemson and Pittsburgh), you know the ACC is right there with Big 10 and SEC. There were no upsets in the ACC this week. Louisville looked very much like a playoff team after wiping out NC State.

This week Clemson is at Florida State in one of the biggest ACC games of the year.

Playoff Contenders 


In the Playoff Picture


4) Pac 12 – 6.5

Washington is by the class of a down Pac 12. Stanford is free fall, and Huskies have zero notable wins.

Next week is one of the Huskies few challenges as they have to play at Utah. A loss by Washington would really hurt the Pac 12’s playoff hopes. A 1 loss Pac 12 Champ would definitely be behind a 1 loss Champ from the Big 10, SEC or ACC.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture


5) Big 12 – 6.0

You have to pay attention to West Virginia now. They moved 6-0 after beating TCU, and in the middling Big 12, they can run the table. Oklahoma managed to outscore Texas Tech, but they have no chance at the playoffs. They are probably the Big 12’s second best team as no one is buying Baylor.

West Virginia plays at Oklahoma State in a tricky road game. Baylor plays reeling Texas.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Baylor, West Virginia

The Rest 

Boise State beat BYU 28-27 to stay undefeated, but until they reach the top 10 they won’t sniff playoff serious consideration.

Playoff Contenders 


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 | Michigan

Just Missed – 5) Louisville  6) Ohio State  7) West Virginia 8) Nebraska

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