Conference Power Rankings (Sept. 12)

UCLA's 36-30 win over Nebraska was one reason the Pac-12 jumped to No. 2 in the Power Rankings. (US Presswire)

The Conference Power Rankings return to reset the landscape heading into Week 3. Per usual, not a ton has changed in the pecking order of college football. However, there are some interesting observations from the second week.

Most notably, the Pac-12 displayed some depth that was not seen in the opening weekend. Better performances from Arizona, Arizona State, as well as an impressive UCLA win over Nebraska make the conference much deeper and more dangerous for frontrunners Oregon and USC. Oregon State also showed stout defense in their debut, holding Wisconsin running back Montee Ball to just 61 and holding him from the end zone for the first time in 21 games.

The Big Ten also slipped, but not to the point of being passed by the ACC (yet). Conference USA makes their way to the basement, though that is far from permanent. The league is just getting punished for an embarrassing second week of non-conference play.

Conference Power Rankings

Top 25 Teams: 6
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 1-2
Non-conference record (Total): 15-4
Best Week 2 Win: LSU's 41-3 win over Washington
Worst Week 2 Loss: Arkansas' 34-31 overtime loss to Louisiana-Monroe
Looking Ahead: The three-headed SEC West may be down to two, but LSU and Alabama are still doing their share to keep the conference on top. After a week of "old man football," Missouri will speed up with a big non-conference visit from Arizona State in Week 3.
SEC Power Rankings

Top 25 Teams: 5
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-0
Non-conference record (Total): 17-6
Best Week 2 Win: UCLA's 36-30 win over Nebraska
Worst Week 2 Loss: Colorado's 30-28 home loss to Sacramento State
Looking Ahead: The Pac-12 would have a more impressive ranking against the Top 25 if you included the teams they knocked out in Week 2.  UCLA, Arizona, and Oregon State all knocked ranked Big Ten teams from the AP Top 25, moving the conference up a spot.  Arizona State can add to the fun if they can pull off the upset in Columbia.
Pac-12 Power Rankings

Big 12
Top 25 Teams: 5
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-1
Non-conference record (Total): 15-2
Best Week 2 Win: Kansas State's 52-13 blowout of Miami
Worst Week 2 Loss: Oklahoma State's 59-38 loss to Arizona
Looking Ahead: Oklahoma State dropping from the rankings and Kansas' loss to Rice contributed to the Pac-12's leap frog, but the Big 12 is right behind them at this point in the season.  Behind the top three there is a lot of space before Big Ten/ACC/Big East, then another drop for everyone else. 
Big 12 Power Rankings

Big Ten
Top 25 Teams: 3
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-3
Non-conference record (Total): 16-8
Best Week 2 Win: Northwestern's 23-13 win over Vanderbilt
Worst Week 2 Loss: Wisconsin's 10-7 loss at Oregon State
Looking Ahead: The B1G did not exactly deliver on their in a high-profile week that saw two ranked teams go down and the conference as a whole go 5-7 against nonconference opponents.  The Spartans will be in the spotlight this weekend once again, hosting a visit from No. 20 Notre Dame. 
Big Ten Power Rankings

Top 25 Teams: 3
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-3
Non-conference record (Total): 15-3
Best Week 1 Win: Virginia's 17-16 win over Penn State
Worst Week 1 Loss: Miami's 52-13 loss at Kansas State
Looking Ahead: The ACC has fared pretty well in non-conference play, losing only to teams in currently ranked in the Top 25.  It is still too early to place them above the struggling Big Ten, but that is not impossible considering the performance of both leagues. 
ACC Power Rankings

Big East
Top 25 Teams: 1
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-1
Non-conference record (Total): 16-8
Best Week 1 Win: South Florida's 32-31 comeback victory vs. Nevada
Worst Week 1 Loss: Temple's 36-27 loss to Maryland
Looking Ahead: The Big East went 0-2 against ACC foes in Week 2, but have some more favorable matchups in Week 3.  Louisville hosting North Carolina and Connecticut taking on Maryland should give the conference at least one win against their East Coast competition.
Big East Power Rankings

Sun Belt
Top 25 Teams: 0
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-3
Non-conference record (Total): 9-6
Best Week 2 Win: Louisiana-Monroe's 34-31 overtime upset of Arkansas
Worst Week 2 Loss: Western Kentucky's 35-0 loss at Alabama
Looking Ahead: Yes, the Sun Belt got a boost to No. 7 mostly because of Louisiana-Monroe's impressive victory at Arkansas.  But FIU had a nice bounce back victory over Akron and Arkansas State edged out Memphis.  The Sun Belt takes some beatdowns from the juggernauts, but they have held their own against competitive opponents through two weeks.

Mountain West
Top 25 Teams: 0
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-6
Non-conference record (Total): 6-12
Best Week 2 Win: San Diego State's 42-7 win over Army
Worst Week 2 Loss: Colorado State's 22-7 loss to North Dakota State
Looking Ahead: It was a tough week for the Mountain West, going 1-6 in non-conference competition.  Even more heartbreaking for MW fans, four of those losses were by a touchdown or less.  Fresno State and UNLV will get their chance to reverse that trend in Week 3, hosting Pac-12 foes in winnable games.

Top 25 Teams: 0
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-6
Non-conference record (Total): 11-13
Best Week 2 Win: Ohio's 51-24 win over New Mexico State
Worst Week 2 Loss: Akron's 41-38 overtime loss to FIU
Looking Ahead: Eastern Michigan and Western Michigan have a chance to knock off Big Ten foes in Week 3, while Northern Illinois faces a formidable challenge against Army in West Point.  We should learn a lot more about the MAC teams this week.

Top 25 Teams: 0
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-1
Non-conference record (Total): 8-5
Best Week 2 Win: Utah State's 27-20 overtime victory against Utah
Worst Week 2 Loss: New Mexico State's 51-24 loss to Ohio
Looking Ahead: Louisiana Tech and Utah State continue to carry the banner for their soon-to-be former conference, delivering victories in non-conference battles with their contemporaries.  Utah State will have another chance to top an AQ opponent this weekend against Wisconsin.

Top 25 Teams: 0
Non-conference record (vs. current Top 25): 0-5
Non-conference record (Total): 5-15
Best Week 2 Win: Rice outlasting Kansas 25-24
Worst Week 2 Loss: UTEP's 28-10 loss at Ole Miss
Looking Ahead: Houston is off to an 0-2 start, UTEP gave Oklahoma a run but fell to Ole Miss, and East Carolina looked extremely overmatched against South Carolina.  When Rice's 25-24 upset of lowly Kansas is the BCS AQ victory to boast, you have problems.

Got beef? Let us know in the comment section below or hit us up on Twitter @EyeOnCFB! or Facebook.

Keep up with the latest college football news from around the country. From the opening kick of the year all the way through the offseason, has you covered with thisdaily newsletter. View apreview.

Get College Football updates on Facebook

CBS Sports Writer

Chip Patterson has spent his young career covering college sports from the Old North State. He's been writing and talking about football and basketball for CBS Sports since 2010. You may have heard him... Full Bio

Show Comments Hide Comments
Our Latest Stories