Ranking the Power 5 Football Conferences after Week 8 with Playoff Analysis

While the playoff committee doesn’t rank the power 5 conference, there is no way conference strength – which means OOC results doesn’t 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) SEC – 7.4

Quiet week in the SEC… Alabama predictably cruised past Tennessee, and Georgia continues to gain steam as a playoff contender.

Georgia plays Florida next week and I expect the Dawgs to roll, but that’s been a rivalry dominated by the Gators.

Playoff Contenders 

Alabama, Georgia

In the Playoff Picture


2) Big 10 – 7.3

Penn State blew out Michigan. The Wolverines are finished as a playoff team. Wisconsin moves closer and closer to serious playoff consideration at 7-0.

Next week is a monster game with playoff implications. Ohio State heads to Penn State. If the Buckeyes lose they are out. Penn State can solidify their spot in the top 4 with a win.

Playoff Contenders  

Penn State, Wisconsin

In the Playoff Picture

Ohio State

3) ACC – 7.2

Miami got by tricky Syracuse to stay undefeated. Virginia Tech has only the single loss to Clemson, and with just 1 loss, could be a darkhorse playoff team with a couple of more wins.

NC State with just 1 loss themselves can enter the picture if they can beat Notre Dame this upcoming weekend. Miami gets reeling UNC, and Clemson hosts dangerous Georgia Tech.

Virginia Tech gets a struggling Duke team at home.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Clemson, Miami

4) Big 12 – 7.1

Oklahoma and Oklahoma State had a couple of scares with Kansas State and Texas but survived. TCU easily got past Kansas.

Oklahoma State has a tough game at West Virginia next week, Oklahoma hosts Texas Tech, and TCU heads to rapidly improving Iowa State.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture

Oklahoma, Oklahoma State

5) Pac 12 – 6.8

If a conference is in trouble it is definitely the Pac 12. USC got whacked by Notre Dame, and the Pac 12 is very much on the outside looking in.

The Pac 12 is 1 more Washington and Washington State loss from being totally eliminated from the playoffs. They play each other later in the year so in effect they are 1 total loss from odd conference out of the playoffs.

Playoff Contenders


In the Playoff Picture


The Rest 

Ok Notre Dame we see you after routing USC. Their only loss is to Georgia, and with NC State, Miami and Stanford left to play the Irish have chances to make their playoff case.

Playoff Contenders 


In the Playoff Picture

Notre Dame

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 –   Penn State | Alabama | TCU | Georgia

Just Missed – 5) Wisconsin  6) Clemson 7) Notre Dame 8) Miami

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