Saturday, December 19, 2009

2009 College Football Conference Ratings and Rankings

With the regular season complete, we can now take a look at how the conferences compare and see if it matches perceptions.

First, lets take a look at the average/high/low rating across all of the conferences using my computer ratings as a reference.

Rank
Conference
Average
High
Low
Rank
Conference
Average
High
Low
1
SEC
78.134
92.067
63.234
2
Pac-10
73.561
82.424
54.839
3
Big-12
73.170
86.519
63.500
4
ACC
72.969
82.604
63.626
5
Big-East
72.193
81.371
62.401
6
Big-Televen
69.403
78.391
62.090
7
Mountain-West
66.870
85.377
52.423
8
Independent
65.699
71.911
55.203
9
WAC
64.261
81.817
51.060
10
C-USA
63.107
72.384
52.853
11
MAC
60.047
72.570
45.613
12
Sun-Belt
56.712
68.263
45.520

So the SEC was far and away the best conference based on average rating with a 4.5 point gap to the #2 Pac-10.  I think most would be surprised the Pac-10 is #2 ahead of the Big-12 especially given the Big-12 is ahead in both the high and low ratings.  But the Pac-10 has strength in the middle and only has the single outlier in WSU at the bottom.  It is also interesting that the 6 BCS conference are well ahead of the rest, although the Big-Televen is hovering in no mans land well behind the top-5 conferences.

Another way of looking at it is to just rank each conference in all their non-conference games.  Doing that results in:

Rank
Team
Rating
Record
Schedule
Rank
Team
Rating
Record
Schedule
1
SEC
75.166
42-6
60.517
2
Big-12
72.706
35-13
61.851
3
Big-East
72.083
32-8
62.803
4
ACC
70.792
30-18
63.330
5
Pac-10
70.671
21-9
65.282
6
Big-Televen
69.545
32-12
61.706
7
Mountain-West
67.907
21-15
65.077
8
Independent
66.698
18-15
66.227
9
WAC
65.112
19-20
65.990
10
MAC
61.739
16-36
66.424
11
C-USA
61.709
19-29
66.591
12
Sun-Belt
58.915
8-28
69.183
13
I-AA
53.491
5-89
71.532

This also has the SEC with a clear lead, but this shows us several very interesting observations.

The SEC has a clear gap to #2 Big-12 and does so with a very good 42-6 record out of conference, but does it again the weakest opposition of any conference.  This supports the perception that the SEC schedules a bunch of cream-puffs out of conference.

The second weakest schedule goes to the Big-Televen just edging out the Big-12.  So these conferences also do a good job of scheduling patsies.  The strongest schedule amongst the BCS conferences by a wide margin goes to the Pac-10, so they would seem to schedule the fewest patsies.

This method does have the Big-12 at #2 and the Pac-10 drops to #5 though.  The Big-Televen does remain #6 as the weakest BCS conference though.  It's kind of ironic then that the Big-Televen gets 2 BCS bowl berths then!