SINCC: Conference Power Rankings

Submitted by 1464 on December 30th, 2010 at 9:37 AM

I'll be creating a diary for this after the bowl season to compare which conferences did what.  I'm always intrigued by the OOC schedule because it is the only 'true' comparison for the conferences.  The bowl season is a small sample size, but it is good because these teams are perceived to be evenly matched, more or less.  Here are the rankings so far this year.

  1. Big Ten (2-0) - 1.000
  2. Sun Belt (2-0) - 1.000
  3. Mountain West (3-1) - .750
  4. ACC (2-1) - .666
  5. Big East (1-1) - .500
  6. Big 12 (1-2) - .333
  7. MAC (1-2) - .333
  8. WAC (1-2) - .333
  9. CUSA (1-3) - .250
  10. Pac 10 (0-1) - .000
  11. Independent (0-1) - .000

This is not indicitive of the strength of a conference, as much as it is their performance against expectation.  I called a 6-2 Big Ten when the bowl schedule was released, and was called a hopeless optimist.  So far, so good...



December 30th, 2010 at 9:51 AM ^

It could be, but I don't know that it will be.  Wiscy is a pretty good bet, regardless of being an underdog.  Obviously, I like Michigan.  MSU is a sacraficial goat.  Northwestern is playing without Persa, but as I've always thought, the Big 12 is a very overrated conference.  They could pull a surprise.  That leaves PSU @ Florida.  Meyer is gone, so they'll want to send him out, but PSU may also win that game.  Florida isn't the team we beat a few years back.  I see Saturday being a 3-2 day for us.  Well, a 1-0 day for us, and a 2-2 day for the rest of our conference...


December 30th, 2010 at 10:17 AM ^

I see Wiscy as winning and Sparty as being sacrified on a Crimson Tide altar as being the most probable outcomes.  PSU and Michigan have good chances to win.  Northwestern will struggle without Persa.  As much as I hate to say it, I also see tOSU as beating an Arkansas team that is only nominally better than Mississippi State. 

What I love about the current standings is that the Big Ten has two wins and the SEC is winless. 


December 30th, 2010 at 9:44 AM ^

I picked Illinois and Iowa to lose their bowl games. I'm now revising my outlook on the B1G 2010 bowl record to your initial prediction: 6-2. MSU & Northwestern being the losses. 


December 30th, 2010 at 10:09 AM ^

Michigan opponents in Bowl Games to date: 2-0

Stanford opponents in Bowl Games to date: 0-1

Nothing more than conversation fodder but interesting to track none the less.

FYI:  Michigan has 8 opponents in bowls.

Stanford has 4 opponents in bowls (although USC and ASU had enough wins to qualify).

Notre Dame is a common opponent.


December 30th, 2010 at 10:46 AM ^

have enought wins.  Two of their wins were against 1-AA teams.  They kind of got hosed cause San Jose St backed out their game this year late and ASU had to scramble to find a replacement but could only get a 1-AA squad.  They petitioned the ncaa to let them go to a bowl but the ncaa turned them down.


December 30th, 2010 at 10:18 AM ^

What if the Big Ten go 8-0 (msu seems impossible, but this is hypothetical) during the bowl season and is clearly the best conference this year? What if Michigan crushes MSU and looks really good on both sides of the ball doing it?

Is it possible that the perfect sh*t storm that has been RR's tenure at Michigan culminated with the best year in the Big Ten conference from top to bottom in recent memory?

I'm really starting to think that in most years this team would have gone 8-4 / 9-3 but poor RR got screwed again by the conference just being a straight-up powerhouse.

(BCS ranking - source

tOSU (6) - Definitely a top ten team, probably top 5 after the beet Arkansas

Wiscy (5) - Best Wiscy team I've seen in maybe ever, they should also be top 5 after dismantling TCU

msu (9)- Most complete msu team in my memory at least, top 15 team after respectable loss to Alabama. If they some how beat a complacent 'bama team, they'll be top 10 as well

PSU (NR)- Eh. But still a tough out in a white out, would have been much higher with a QB (although McGloin looked like Favre against us)

Iowa (38)- Top 15 talent that sh*t the bed due to now apparent inner turmoil

Illinois (NR)- Solid year, impressive bowl performance, probably top 30 at the end of the year

Add in UConn (26) who we assumed was terrible but now have to at least be considered "eh" and ND (30) who is "eh" to "eh+", that's a heck of a schedule we had to face.

So according to the BCS final (pre-bowl) standings, we lost to the:

#5, #6, #9, #38, and one NR (rankings only go to 42) teams in the country and we beat the #26 & #30 teams (Illinois will probably jump in after their bowl win) for our only "good wins".

Not a "Michigan" year, but arguably a very reasonable outcome given the incredible youth on the D (which in turn led to incredible youth on ST). Anyway, water under the bridge now and we'll know in a few days what the future holds...


December 30th, 2010 at 10:24 AM ^

this was long..

I dont really care how good the other teams we lose to are.....

I only care that we beat everyone. A loss is a loss, regardless of how good the other team is.. it dictates that we are not what we strive to be, and that is the best.

We got blown out by Wiscy and OSU, and MSU was a couple early flukes away from being close... 


December 30th, 2010 at 10:28 AM ^

Yeah, sorry about that, that's what happens when I'm the ony one in the office...

I'm with you on winning is all that matters...but that wasn't going to be the case this year "even if Lombardi was the DC".

I do think it's interesting how tough our schedule turned out to be. I thought it looked pretty reasonable at the beginning of the year and turned out to be the toughest in the Big Ten by the end (according to sagarin).


December 30th, 2010 at 10:36 AM ^

By all means, in the normal course of things, this was not a good year. However, considering that we expected to struggle this year and are still in a transition phase, I think it is fair to look at how good our competition was, and measure our expectation based upon that. I don't think anybody went into this season believing we were capable of being the best. But being the best better be the goal for next year, and from that point on we all expect Michigan to reload every year like Ohio State does.

Not a Blue Fan

December 30th, 2010 at 12:22 PM ^

I'm not sure you can really argue that Michigan is a "reload" kind of team. That is to say, they're an elite team, but they haven't  a string of seasons (in recent memory) like OSU has had over the past decade. Ohio State has 6 straight years with 10+ wins (and 10+ wins in 9 of the last 10 seasons). In the heyday of the Bo years they did it (8 such seasons in 10 years, '71-'80). That's the closest thing. The point being that Michigan really hasn't been a team that you just assume is going to win the conference and whatnot. They compete and they're elite, but how many teams, in recent memory, can you say "just reload"? USC, Ohio State, maybe LSU or Texas (this season notwithstanding). Some teams put together 3-5 year runs of being truly elite, monstrously talented teams. Very few have ever been dominant or supremely talented over an entire decade.

So I'm just being pedantic while watching SMU-Army, but I think "reload" is an overused word. In a set theoretical sense, the teams that reload are not bijectible with the teams that are elite; the former is a proper subset of the latter. Michigan is an elite team and could be a "reload" type of team in the future. I don't think, however, that they have been that kind of team for about 30 years.


December 30th, 2010 at 12:47 PM ^

tOSU hasn't been a reload team until the last few years. That has a lot to do with Michigan and the rest of the Big Ten being down (until this year) over the past several years. See out of conference (particularly Bowls) for evidence of this. I'd enjoy the ride while it lasts, history says you're in for a bumpy road sometime in the near future...

Having the state of Ohio as your primary recruiting ground makes it much more likely that you'll never completely impload, but this recent success won't last for ever. If I was a betting man, I'd say either '11 or '12 will be that bump in the road year.

If Pryor does in fact go pro this year (I know, he'd never go back on his word), bet on '11 being a tough year. Braxton won't be ready. And he probably won't be ready in '12 either. '13 and '14, I'll duck and cover...

Not a Blue Fan

December 30th, 2010 at 1:08 PM ^

Well, but isn't that the point? Teams don't "reload" for long periods of time. It's just too damn hard. Sooner or later it's going to stop (and it will stop at OSU sooner or later - this is essentially the golden age here). That's all I was saying: very, very few teams do it and to claim that Michigan just needs to get back to prior form is a bit misleading. Also, the bowl argument is a little spurious, considering that OSU has only lost to top 5 teams in major bowls (and still has a winning record in bowls over that span, anyway).


December 30th, 2010 at 2:38 PM ^

But I think it's semantics. When I said "reload," I meant that I expect for M to compete for a division title almost every November, and for every senior class to win the Big Ten. I also expect us to be in the national title race in November every 5 years or so. Assuming the "reload" is a temporary situation at Ohio State, Texas, LSU, Florida, USC etc, I think it's fair to say that these are similar to the expectations those schools have. In short, I expect 7-5 to be anomalies in the future and for M to compete once again with the elite. But I'm okay with it this year.

Out of curiosity, what are your expectations for OSU in a long term sense? From your comments above it seems like you don't expect to be able to reload indefinitely, but are the expectations I have for M any lower than what you have for OSU in the future?


December 30th, 2010 at 2:55 PM ^

If you're saying it's hard for any team to reload, agreed. I'm not saying tOSU hasn't been a really good team over the last decade, but to imply they've done anything more than dominate the Big Ten but be kind of "eh" outside of it would be a stretch.

You've still owned our azzes so I can't throw stones (yet).


December 30th, 2010 at 12:27 PM ^

I have been thinking about this too.  I think it is relevant to DB's decision and might be a small part of why DB is waiting and what he will factor in. 

It is completely reasonable to expect losses against the #5, #6, and #9 teams given the state of the program this year.  We went 3-2 against other similar teams (UConn, Illinois, ND, Penn State, Iowa) and 4-0 against the rest. 

Sure, we'd obviously like to do better, but with our secondary issues (Warren leaving early, Woolfolk's injury, some key didn't-make-its like Cissoko/Turner/Dorsey), a banged up Mike Martin, and a shank-tastic kicking game it's really not as bad as it could have been. 


December 30th, 2010 at 11:54 AM ^

Eh, I wasn't trying to call dibs.  I like your chart, I actually created a power ranking system for OOC stuff.  I know that nobody really posts threads with similar content to previous threads here, but I'm sure for this, there can be an exemption.  I'm sure we have different ways to show the info.  Here's what I do:

  1.  Find out each conferences' OOC win percentage.  That percentage is used as a weight for factoring the quality of win or loss.
  2. For every game, I assign a weight to both the win of the winning conference and a loss to the losing conference.  To get the weight for a win the equation is (1 x losing conferences win percentage).  To get the weight for a loss, the equation is (-1 x winning conferences LOSS percentage).  This assures that a loss to a MAC school, whose win percentage is only around 0.200, is worth -800, while a win is only worth 200.
  3. I add up all the points for each conference and divide by the number of games they have played.  A score of .250 being the average, you get a good representation of the conference strengths.


December 30th, 2010 at 10:39 AM ^

That way you can keep it updated, everyone's comments on conference performance can be consolidated. Include a note that your fuller analysis will come after bowl season ends
<br>Iowa won, so now I don't know what to think. After Zettel, I would like PSU to lose very badly.


December 30th, 2010 at 10:40 AM ^

Last night during the Baylor game the commentators were debating whether Tressel will play the 5 players who are suspended to start the season. Their reasons were as follows:

1. Send a message to the team that he will not stand for similar actions... COUGH yea right COUCH!

2. Hopes that the NCAA sees this and in return lessens the suspension to something like 3 games, in time for Big 10 play.

I can't start a thread but would like input or some others opinions on this. BY NO MEANS TRYING TO STEAL YOUR THREAD.