Conference Power Rankings: Post Non-Conference Edition

By Chip Patterson | College Writer
Bo Wallace and Ole Miss earned a huge win against Texas in September. (USATSI)
Bo Wallace and Ole Miss earned a huge win against Texas in September. (USATSI)

With five weeks in the books, conference play is taking over the college football schedule. Here's how each conference did in the early season non-conference play.

1. SEC

Record vs. Other Conferences: Pac-12 (1-1), Big 12 (2-1), Big Ten (1-0), ACC (2-2), American (2-2), MW (1-0), C-USA (5-0), MAC (5-0), Sun Belt (6-1), FCS (7-0)

Best Win: Ole Miss not just winning, but doing so convincingly against Texas in Austin. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Previously undefeated Arkansas had a win at Rutgers, but let is slip away. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The SEC West ranks No. 1 in Sagarin's computer, but the SEC East ranks No. 3 behind the Pac-12 North.

2. PAC-12

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (1-1), Big Ten (3-2), ACC (2-0), MW (10-0), C-USA (1-0), Independent (4-0), FCS (8-1)

Best Win: UCLA overcoming an 18-point deficit to win on the road against Nebraska. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Oregon State's loss to Eastern Washington to open the season. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The Pac-12 North, anchored by Oregon, Stanford and Washington, ranks ahead of the SEC East, but the Pac-12 South ranks No. 4 in Sagarin's computer rankings.

3. BIG 12

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (1-2), Big Ten (0-1), ACC (0-1), American (2-0), C-USA (4-1), MAC (2-0), Independent (1-1), FCS (7-2)

Best Win: Oklahoma's win against Notre Dame in South Bend was huge for the Sooners, but also gave the entire conference a bump. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Kansas State's loss to North Dakota State [RECAP] alone was not that embarrassing, but it did not look good paired with Iowa State's loss to Nothern Iowa [RECAP] on the same weekend.

Sagarin Ratings: The Big 12 falls No. 5 in the rankings, much closer to the SEC and Pac-12 than the Big Ten divisions.

4. BIG TEN

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (0-1), Pac-12 (2-3), Big 12 (1-0), ACC (2-0), American (3-2), MW (4-0), MAC (11-2), Independent (2-3), FCS (10-0)

Best Win: Michigan's best performance of the season came in a 41-30 win over Notre Dame, it was also the most impressive non-conference win. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Northern Illinois has handed the league a pair of losses, but UCF's 34-31 victory at Penn State raised more eyebrows. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The Big Ten Leaders Division ranks No. 6 with the Legends Division at No. 7. As noted above, both divisions are a considerable step back from the Big 12 at No. 5.

5. ACC

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (2-2), Pac-12 (0-2), Big 12 (1-0), Big Ten (0-2), American (3-0), MW (2-0), C-USA (7-1), MAC (1-0), Sun Belt (1-1), Independents (2-0), FCS (12-0)

Best Win: Clemson's season-opening win against Georgia on national television might be the biggeset win for the conference since expanding to 12 teams and two divisions in 2005. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: ULM has not been the giant-killer they were in 2012, but Wake Forest had every chance to win at home in a 21-19 loss to the Warhawks. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The ACC Atlantic ranks No. 8, with a very small margin separating the division, which is led by Clemson and Florida State, from the Big Ten Legends. The ACC Coastal ranks No. 9, a step behind but way ahead of the American.

6. AMERICAN ATHLETIC CONFERENCE

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (2-2), Big 12 (0-2), Big Ten (2-3), ACC (0-3), MW (0-1), C-USA (4-2), MAC (3-1), Sun Belt (1-0), Independents (0-2), FCS (5-3)

Best Win: South Carolina took UCF for real because they saw the impressive win against Penn State in State College earlier this season. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: UConn's 41-12 loss to Buffalo last week so embarrassing, it led to the dismissal of Paul Pasqualoni just one week after the Huskies pushed Michigan to the brink at home in front of a capacity crowd. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: There appears to be a step down from the ACC, but the American ranks No. 10 in Sagarin's computer rankings.

7. MOUNTAIN WEST

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (0-1), Pac-12 (0-10), Big Ten (0-4), ACC (0-2), American (1-0), C-USA (3-2), MAC (1-0), Sun Belt (0-1), Independents (2-0), FCS (9-1)

Best Win: Fresno State's never-ending victory over Rutgers is the only win for the conference against a BCS opponent. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: San Diego State's return to the MW (as opposed to joining the Big East) was supposed to strengthen the conference. Things looked different when they lost to Eastern Illinois to open the season. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The MW Mountain gets a boost, likely due to the tougher competition that Utah State, Boise State and others have faced in non-conference play, ahead of the MW West, which is at No. 13.

8. CONFERENCE USA

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (0-5), Pac-12 (0-1), Big 12 (1-4), ACC (1-7), American (2-4), MW (2-3), MAC (2-3), Sun Belt (0-4), Independents (3-2), FCS (5-1)

Best Win: ECU didn't just beat North Carolina at home. Quarterback Shane Carden and Co. completely dominanted the Tar Heels defense for 101 plays -- 2nd most in FBS play this year. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Louisiana Tech lost two fumbles inside the five-yard line and missed two field goals in a 13-10 loss that helped Kansas end a 22-game losing streak to FBS opponents. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The West ranks No. 14, with the East trailing at No. 15 by a small margin. According to the computers, there is very little separation between the bottom three conferences in FBS play.

9. MAC

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (0-5), Big 12 (0-2), Big Ten (2-11), ACC (0-1), American (1-3), MW (0-1), C-USA (3-2), Sun Belt (0-1), Independents (2-0), FCS (10-2)

Best Win: Northern Illinois' season-opening win against Iowa was impressive, but the win against Purdue was dominant. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: Western Michigan's 27-23 home loss to FCS Nicholls State. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: The computers have the MAC-West, led by Northern Illinois and Ball State, ranked at No. 16 and the MAC-East at No. 18, with the Sun Belt splitting the two divisions.

10. SUN BELT

Record vs. Other Conferences: SEC (1-6), Big 12 (0-4), ACC (1-1), American (0-1), MW (1-0), C-USA (4-0), MAC (1-0), Independents (1-0), FCS (6-4)

Best Win: Wyoming pushed Nebraska early and won three straight before running into Texas State last weekend. The Bobcats' 42-21 win was one of the best non-conference victories for the league this year. [RECAP]

Worst Loss: South Alabama has bounced back since then, but the season-opening loss to Southern Utah was not a good look. [RECAP]

Sagarin Ratings: Four losses to FCS teams aren't helping, the Sun Belt still ranks ahead of the MAC-East at No. 17.

 
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