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College Football Conference Rankings

Old 12-04-02, 10:48 PM
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College Football Conference Rankings

Except for Peter Wolfe's and maybe the NY Times computer (I couldn't access conference rankings because reg req'd), the Pac-10 is the #1 conference in college football.

Sagarin: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbc02.htm

1 PAC-10 (A) = 80.80 80.82 ( 1) 10
2 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 79.43 78.55 ( 2) 12
3 BIG 12 (A) = 79.12 78.12 ( 3) 12
4 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 77.32 76.70 ( 4) 9
5 BIG TEN (A) = 76.22 76.06 ( 5) 11
6 BIG EAST (A) = 76.21 75.46 ( 6) 8

Anderson & Hester: http://www.andersonsports.com/football/ACF_frnk.html

Pac-10 .627
Southeastern .605
Big Ten .595
Atlantic Coast .588
Big 12 .579
Big East .567

Massey's: http://www.masseyratings.com/rate/cfIA-m.htm#conf

Conference Tms W L Rating Power Off Def HA Parity
1 Pacific Ten 10 30 10 1.799 46.25 49.43 21.23 2.90 0.6042
2 Southeastern 12 37 12 1.699 43.24 45.20 22.45 2.52 0.6023
3 Big Twelve 12 36 15 1.697 43.56 48.48 19.49 3.39 0.4950
4 Atlantic Coast 9 26 14 1.640 42.04 45.48 20.96 2.77 0.5965
5 Big Ten 11 33 13 1.609 40.86 46.04 19.23 3.11 0.5070
6 Big East 8 27 14 1.599 40.68 45.22 19.87 3.09 0.4403

Billingsley: http://www.cfrc.com/Ratings_2002/CC_15.htm

RK Conference Rating

1 Pac 10 237.322
2 Big East 236.544
3 Big 10 236.539
4 SEC 233.114
5 Big 12 231.346
6 Independent 215.545
7 ACC 215.037

Colley's: http://www.colleyrankings.com/foot2002/conf15.html

1. PAC 10 25-10 0.680516
2. SEC 32-12 0.665738
3. BIG 10 30-13 0.636827
4. BIG 12 29-15 0.627865
5. BIG EAST 23-13 0.620205
6. ACC 23-14 0.61712

Peter Wolfe: http://www.bol.ucla.edu/~prwolfe/cfo...tings.htm#conf

1 SEC I-A 12 7.247 0.365
2 Big East I-A 8 7.070 0.771
3 Atlantic Coast I-A 9 6.913 0.388
4 Pacific 10 I-A 10 6.905 0.319
5 Big 12 I-A 12 6.754 0.416
6 Big 10 I-A 11 6.459 0.498
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Old 12-04-02, 10:58 PM
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Oh yeah, all the computer rankings I linked were the ones that the BCS uses to determine BCS rankings, except for NY Times, which I don't have access to...
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Old 12-04-02, 11:16 PM
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While I think the Pac-10 is a fine conference, I don't agree with a lot of these measuring techniques. There's a huge emphasis on W/L records, but the PAC-10 got most of those wins against really wussy teams. USC picked up a lot of the slack, but let's look at what really happened, not just the numbers:

USC:
Wins: Auburn, Colorado, Notre Dame
Losses: Kansas State

Washington State:
Wins: Nevada, Idaho, Montana State
Losses: Ohio State

Arizona State:
Wins: E Washington, Central Florida, San Diego State
Losses: Nebraska, North Carolina

UCLA:
Wins: Colorado State, Oklahoma State, San Diego State
Losses: Colorado

Oregon State:
Wins: E Kentucky, Temple, UNLV, Fresno State
Losses: None (thank God ... against those teams)

Cal:
Wins: Baylor, New Mexico State, Michigan State
Losses: Air Force

Washington:
Wins: San Jose State, Wyoming, Idaho
Losses: Michigan

Oregon:
Wins: Mississippi State, Fresno State, Idaho, Portland State
Losses: None

Arizona:
Wins: N Arizona, Utah, North Texas
Losses: Wisconsin

Stanford:
Wins: San Jose State
Losses: Boston College, Notre Dame

USC clearly got the job done, beating some good teams outside of the conference, but whenever any other Pac-10 team faced someone remotely competitive, they lost ... and badly. As if losing to North Carolina wasn't bad enough, Arizona State got killed by Nebraska 48-10. UCLA beating Colorado State could be seen as a solid victory.

In any case, the PAC-10 plays a LOT of offense and very little defense (save Washington State and USC). Consequently, they can run up the score on those bad WAC and MWC and Sub Belt teams they play, but when faced with a legitimate opponent from a real conference, they couldn't get it done.

UNC, Temple, Michigan State, Baylor, Mississippi State, Idaho (x3) ... these are real bottom feeders. I guess I'm just not impressed.

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Old 12-04-02, 11:24 PM
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At least the RK and Peter Wolf have it right. The Big East should be near the top, not near or at the bottom.

Big East Bowl Eligible teams:

Miami
West Virginia
Pitt
Virginia Tech
Boston College

I think those teams stack up pretty damn well with the bowl eligible teams for the other conferences. The Big East is 8-2 in bowls the past two years (4-1 both years), and I expect similar results this year.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:27 PM
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I'd be very tempted to rate the Top 5 Big East teams as the Best Top 5 in the country. I'd say the Big 10 and Big XII have a stronger Top 4. But you can't just ignore Syracuse, Temple, and Rutgers. A strong Top 5 is great, but it can still be brought down by 3 pretty bad teams.

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Old 12-04-02, 11:33 PM
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That's true. I just think bowl eligible teams are the best way to compare conference strength.

Most conferences have some doormats (i.e. Duke and Wake in the ACC), and the more solid conferences (i.e the PAC-10), as you pointed out, make up for the lack of conference doormats by playing the doormats from other conferences.

In my mind, the confernce with the strongest group of bowl eligible teams is the best.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:34 PM
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I'm a MD fan and I'll be the first to say that the ACC sucks this year. I don't need computer rankings to make this determination.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:37 PM
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Das, I couldn't agree more about the PAC 10.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:39 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
UNC, Temple, Michigan State, Baylor, Mississippi State, Idaho (x3) ... these are real bottom feeders. I guess I'm just not impressed.

das
I guess my argument would be that every other conference also plays these bottom feeders. The SEC is pretty much the 2nd strongest rated conference out of the big 6 in the computer rankings. Their OOC wins:

Indiana, Temple, Syracuse, Rutgers, Clemson, Georgia Tech, South Florida, Troy State, UConn, Wyoming, UAB, Louisville, Memphis, Southern Miss, Memphis, Ohio U, Miami (OH), Boise State ("good" win), UTEP, Hawaii, MTSU, UL Monroe, New Mex St, North Texas, UL Lafayette, Arkansas State

They went 11-1 against the Sun Belt Conference. In the 2 games against the Pac-10, Miss St lost to Oregon, and Auburn lost to USC. Bama lost to Oklahoma, Ole Miss to Texas Tech, LSU to VA Tech, Florida to Miami, Tennessee to Miami, Vandy to GA Tech, South Carolina to Virginia and Clemson, Florida to Florida State. Overall record against teams from other major conferences: 6-11.

The other conferences:

The Big 10 went 10-0 against the MAC. They went 3-1 against the Pac-10 but every game was played at Big-10 home stadiums. Overall record against other Big 6 conferences: 8-5.

The Big 12 went only 1-2 against the MAC, and went a combined 12-1 against the WAC, Sun Belt, and Conference USA. Against the other Big 6 conferences: 9-8 record.

The Big East went 11-2 against ConfUSA, MAC, and SunBelt. Against the other Big 6 conferences: 7-8 record.

The ACC had the most difficult SOS, going 9-5 against minor conferences (MWC, CUSA, MAC, WAC). They went 10-7 against major conferences.

The Pac-10 went 17-1 against the minor conferences, 7-8 against major conferences.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:42 PM
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Yeah ... I'm more tempted to "rank" a conference by its top half of teams than the whole conference. I really don't place much value in beating teams you should beat. In turn, I really don't fault a team for losing games it should lose (example, I don't fault F$U for its losses to Miami and Notre Dame or Notre Dame for its loss to USC).

The money is in what happens when two good teams play each other. A good team is going to beat a fairly bad team just the same as it's going to beat the worst team in football history. It's no more difficult to beat one than the other. To that end, I consider all teams with 4 or fewer wins to be all on the same order of magnitude of "bad."

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Old 12-04-02, 11:44 PM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
That's true. I just think bowl eligible teams are the best way to compare conference strength.

Most conferences have some doormats (i.e. Duke and Wake in the ACC), and the more solid conferences (i.e the PAC-10), as you pointed out, make up for the lack of conference doormats by playing the doormats from other conferences.

In my mind, the confernce with the strongest group of bowl eligible teams is the best.
The Pac-10 has 8 teams that have 7 wins. Yes, many were against bottom feeders, but that's 8 out of 10 teams that have enough wins to be bowl eligible. Only California can't go because of a postseason ban. 80% of your teams going to a bowl game is pretty good to me. Maybe not the strongest in terms of quality, but they will have 2 BCS teams, and are solid top to bottom.

Edited: Well, 70% technically bowl eligible.

Last edited by mnguye10; 12-04-02 at 11:46 PM.
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Old 12-04-02, 11:45 PM
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Quoth mnguye10
I guess my argument would be that every other conference also plays these bottom feeders.



No doubt. Everyone plays the bottom-feeders. That wasn't my point. My point was that the PAC-10 got all its wins from the bottom-feeders (save USC). Even their 3rd best team, Arizona State, lost to the only two decent teams they played, and calling UNC and Nebraska "decent" is generous.

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Old 12-04-02, 11:58 PM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
Quoth mnguye10
I guess my argument would be that every other conference also plays these bottom feeders.



No doubt. Everyone plays the bottom-feeders. That wasn't my point. My point was that the PAC-10 got all its wins from the bottom-feeders (save USC). Even their 3rd best team, Arizona State, lost to the only two decent teams they played, and calling UNC and Nebraska "decent" is generous.

das
That wasn't my point either. My point was that every other conference gets its wins the same way - against the bottom feeders.

And ASU is the 3rd best team in standings from their conference play, not their OOC play. As the Pac-10 has the most parity from top to bottom, there are hardly any easy games when it comes to conference play, as someone else pointed out...

I guess this will somewhat be settled after the bowl season eh?
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Old 12-05-02, 12:01 AM
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Originally posted by mnguye10

I guess this will somewhat be settled after the bowl season eh?
Nope. The Big East has went 4-1 in bowls the past 2 years and still gets no respect.

They're just too much bias for the Big 10, SEC and Big 12.
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Old 12-05-02, 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Nope. The Big East has went 4-1 in bowls the past 2 years and still gets no respect.

They're just too much bias for the Big 10, SEC and Big 12.
"bias" must be your secret code word for "strength".
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Old 12-05-02, 12:03 AM
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Originally posted by Red Dog
I'm a MD fan and I'll be the first to say that the ACC sucks this year. I don't need computer rankings to make this determination.
The disparity of the ratings is so much that I don't really see that much validity to these ratings unless they back it up with what they are measuring. I really can't see how any of the ratings can rate the ACC highly and over conferences such as the Big 10. The ACC has mostly been a joke this year.

SEC seems to have a lot of balance and not much at the top except for Georgia. It's hard to say how well they measure against the rest of the country though as I don't see much if any wins against top teams outside of their conference. Therefore, I'm wondering how these services are all measuring them so high.
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Old 12-05-02, 12:04 AM
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Originally posted by Josh Hinkle
Nope. The Big East has went 4-1 in bowls the past 2 years and still gets no respect.

They're just too much bias for the Big 10, SEC and Big 12.
Part of the reason could be that the Big East only played in 5 bowl games combined in the past 2 years. I know they'll play in more this year, but you gotta get more than 2 teams from your conference into bowl games to earn respect.
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Old 12-05-02, 12:06 AM
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Originally posted by DVDealer
The disparity of the ratings is so much that I don't really see that much validity to these ratings unless they back it up with what they are measuring. I really can't see how any of the ratings can rate the ACC highly and over conferences such as the Big 10. The ACC has mostly been a joke this year.

SEC seems to have a lot of balance and not much at the top except for Georgia. It's hard to say how well they measure against the rest of the country though as I don't see much if any wins against top teams outside of their conference. Therefore, I'm wondering how these services are all measuring them so high.
If there's no validity to these rankings, then why are they used to calculate the BCS? Does that mean there's no validity to the BCS rankings?
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Old 12-05-02, 12:11 AM
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Originally posted by mnguye10
Part of the reason could be that the Big East only played in 5 bowl games combined in the past 2 years. I know they'll play in more this year, but you gotta get more than 2 teams from your conference into bowl games to earn respect.
I didn't post that clearly. They went 4-1 EACH of the past two years, for a combined 8-2 recrod. They've played 10 bowl games the past 2 years.
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Old 12-05-02, 12:12 AM
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Quoth mnguye10
That wasn't my point either. My point was that every other conference gets its wins the same way - against the bottom feeders.



Then you're point is inaccurate.

Look at the Big-10 for example. While beating bottom-feeders (as I said), they also racked up victories against Washington, Washington State, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Or the Big-XII. They beat bottom-feeders too but also Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Ole Miss, Illinois, Iowa and Pittsburgh.

The Big East took down LSU, Florida, Tennessee, A&M, Florida $tate, Virginia, and Notre Dame.

The Pac-10 only has wins over Auburn, Colorado, and Notre Dame, all thanks to USC. Meanwhile, every other decent team from a major conference beat them.

Like I said, everyone beats bottom-feeders. The PAC-10 only beat bottom-feeders. Other conferences, however, beat both bottom-feeders and strong teams.

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Old 12-05-02, 12:15 AM
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Quoth mnguye10
If there's no validity to these rankings, then why are they used to calculate the BCS? Does that mean there's no validity to the BCS rankings?



The BCS doesn't rank conferences; they rank teams. There's a distinct difference.

The BCS is intended to find the Top 2 teams ... that's it. It's not intended to be accurate on any level below the #15 team on the list.

Using those computers to rank and then sort 117 teams is crazy.

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Old 12-05-02, 12:25 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey

The BCS is intended to find the Top 2 teams ... that's it.
And it's proven that it can't even do that on a yearly basis.
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Old 12-05-02, 12:26 AM
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Originally posted by das Monkey
Quoth mnguye10
That wasn't my point either. My point was that every other conference gets its wins the same way - against the bottom feeders.



Then you're point is inaccurate.

Look at the Big-10 for example. While beating bottom-feeders (as I said), they also racked up victories against Washington, Washington State, West Virginia, and Virginia.

Or the Big-XII. They beat bottom-feeders too but also Arizona State, USC, UCLA, Alabama, Ole Miss, Illinois, Iowa and Pittsburgh.

The Big East took down LSU, Florida, Tennessee, A&M, Florida $tate, Virginia, and Notre Dame.

The Pac-10 only has wins over Auburn, Colorado, and Notre Dame, all thanks to USC. Meanwhile, every other decent team from a major conference beat them.

Like I said, everyone beats bottom-feeders. The PAC-10 only beat bottom-feeders. Other conferences, however, beat both bottom-feeders and strong teams.

das
If you're going to include teams like Ole Miss, Virginia, and Illinois as quality wins, then you should include Oklahoma State, and Colorado State in the list of wins for the Pac-10 as well. Maybe also a 7-5 Fresno State team too...
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Old 12-05-02, 12:44 AM
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Fine. Inculde them. Or not. Doesn't really matter. To be true to my original point, you can take all 3 of those teams (UVA, Ole Miss, and Illinois - wasn't really thinking that much when I typed them) from those I listed. It doesn't change anything. The point still holds either way.

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Old 12-05-02, 01:03 AM
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Originally posted by mnguye10
If there's no validity to these rankings, then why are they used to calculate the BCS? Does that mean there's no validity to the BCS rankings?
As noted by others here, they rate teams in the BCS. And these same polls rating teams in the BCS also have wide and disparate results too (like the NY Times poll which seems so out of step having USC #1, Colorado #6, and Oklahoma at #14, and Washington State at #16). Without understanding what criteria are used to lead to these ratings, I have a hard time respecting these sorts of widely different results. My suspicion is that the NY Times uses an algorithm that weighs more heavily recent game results than the others, which if not done right could be a problem and not be accurate with some teams ending their season early and others ending a lot later.

I think next year, we're going to see more public specification of computer poll algorithms both in terms of requirements that the BCS makes of them and also in terms of what what rule tweaks each of the services adds to those BCS rules, so that we can understand and reproduce their ratings and see if they are accurate and judge more if they are valid.
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