Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after Week 3 with Playoff Analysis

While the playoff committee doesn’t rank the power 5 conference, there is no way conference strength – which means OOC results doesnt figure in to a committee members thought process.

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) Pac 12 – 7.7

Last week provided no real answers about how to rank to the Power 5 conferences. So there’s no reason to modify the rankings from week 3. We’ll stick with the Pac 12 as number 1 due to their 6-2 record against the rest Power 5, but that doesn’t mean there weren’t some ugly results for the Pac 12 last week.

Two ranked Pac 12 teams UCLA and Stanford went down to group of 5 opponents Memphis and San Diego State. California did pick up a nice win over Ole Miss, and USC beat Texas.

Playoff contenders USC and Washington face tricky in-conference opponents Cal and Colorado this week.

Playoff Contenders

USC, Washington

In the Playoff Picture

Utah, Washington State

2) SEC – 7.6

The SEC went a pedestrian 1-2 against the Power 5 last week. Ole Miss lost to Cal, and Missouri got blown out by Purdue. Let’s give Vanderbilt credit for a huge win over a previously ranked Kansas State.

LSU plays Syracuse this week, and I think that game will get ugly for the Orange. The loser of Mississippi State and Georgia will leave the SEC struggling for playoff contenders outside of Alabama. Keep an eye on Alabama vs Vanderbilt this week. If Vanderbilt wins are they SEC’s best team? I’m serious…

Playoff Contenders 


In the Playoff Picture

Georgia, Mississippi State

3) ACC – 7.6

No surprise Pitt got trounced by Oklahoma State, but Duke did knock off Baylor this past week. Boston College lost to Notre Dame. Clemson looks like one of the country’s 3 best teams after routing Louisville.

The ACC has the 4 top 15 teams the most of any conference.

Syracuse vs LSU is the only OOC matchup.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Miami, Virginia Tech, Florida State

3) Big 10 – 7.5

Rough week for the Big 10 as Nebraska took an embarrassing home loss to North Illinois, and Illinois got routed by South Florida. Purdue did beat Missouri.

The conference lacks any surefire playoff teams at the moment.

This week Notre Dame plays Michigan State, and Maryland has an interesting game with UCF.

Playoff Contenders  


In the Playoff Picture

Penn State, Wisconsin, Michigan

5) Big 12 – 7.3

I said the Big 12 had to go 3-2 in OOC Power 5 games last week to move them up. They went 2-3. Oklahoma State did beat Pitt and Texas Tech defeated Arizona State. Texas played well but lost to USC. Baylor went down to Duke, and surprisingly Kansas State lost to Vanderbilt. Oh yea Kansas lost to Ohio… ouch

 Texas Tech plays Houston this week, and a game with playoff implications TCU squares off with Oklahoma State.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Oklahoma State, TCU

The Rest 

Unless a Group of 5 or independent team can reach the top 15, there’s not much to note outside the Power 5 in terms of the playoff.

Playoff Contenders 


In the Playoff Picture


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 –   Oklahoma | Alabama | Clemson | USC

Just Missed – 5) Washington  6) Penn State 7) Oklahoma State 8) Wisconsin

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