Ohio State Football, Sports

Conference Strength Report

10.24.07 | 3 Comments

STOP – This data has been updated for the entire season in this entry. Enjoy.

Well, this has proven to be a popular feature, so I’ll write a short update (here’s the initial entry on Which Conference is Weakest and the follow-up on Conference Strength.) The college football season has now completed its 9th week and the debate rages on about which major Conference is strongest and weakest. In fact, given the oddities of the season, the fact that the pre-season Top 10 all have at least one loss, and the I-AA upsets, it’s not all surprising.

Some changes to announce this week:

  • While Notre Dame is miserable this year, it’s a mistake not to include them in the OOC as they are part of the BCS. And hey, they have managed one win…
  • Terminology on win rates: out-of-conference win rate is OOC; out-of-conference win rate less division I-AA teams is No Patsy; and out-of-conference vs. BCS competition is Big Boy.
  • I’ll update this feature each week through the end of the season, and then one last time after the bowl play is completed.

So, on to the current results as of games completed Sunday, October 21. Here’s the table with Notre Dame results included:

Chart showing relative college football BCS conference strength from on field performance data as of Oct 21, 2007.

Comments on each conference follow, in alphabetical order:

  • ACC – Continues its relative recovery from being an outlier in prior reports. Benefits to the tune of 2-0 vs. Notre Dame improving their Big Boy win rate dramatically.
  • Big East – Won a couple of OOC games improving all but the Big Boy win rate.
  • Big 10 – Benefits the most from Notre Dame inclusion going 4-0. A 5-4 Big Boy record without the Domers, close to the other conferences. Another loss to a I-AA team over the weekend mitigates the high win rate percentages across the columns.
  • Big 12 – No change.
  • Pac 10 – Adding Notre Dame changes the OOC Big Boy record to 6-4 from 5-3. The Pac 10 has only played 2 division I-AA teams.
  • SEC – A pedestrian .500 Big Boy record does nothing to indicate that this conference is significantly stronger than any other. The high OOC and No Patsy percentages does demonstrate the league dominates against lesser competition (as all BCS leagues should.) 14 of the conferences 30 OOC wins against I-AA and Sun Belt teams…

And now, based on performance to date, I believe the conference pecking order should be:

  1. Pac 10
  2. SEC
  3. Big 10
  4. Big 12
  5. Big East
  6. ACC

Come back next Wednesday for an update of the Conference Strength Report.