Big 12 fans have heard for years now that the conference’s major problem is depth. It’s Texas and Oklahoma, then everybody else.
Makes sense, seeing as the Longhorns and Sooners have won eight of 10 conference championships last decade.
Does it stand up to scrutiny, though? What about the other conferences? Let’s take a look.
First, allow me to explain the paramters of this exercise, which relied on data provided by College Football Trivia. I limited the conferences under consideration to “major” conferences, i.e. the six BCS leagues.
To achieve an apples-to-apples comparison, I only considered out-of-conference games against other teams from other auto-bid leagues (Pac-10 vs. Big 12, Big East vs. Big Ten, etc.). That includes both regular season and bowl games.
Lastly, in addition to running the numbers for the entirety of each conference, I computed the records excluding the two best teams as measured by overall winning percentage in every conference. Doing so negates the impact of the big dogs on the league, giving a better picture of each conference’s “backbone.”
(Note: The shuffling of teams in the ACC and Big East during the early part of the decade presents a problem for this kind of analysis. I decided to exclude Temple, Miami, Boston College and Virginia Tech from the Big East statistics, because they’re pretty much irrelevant to the strength of each conference today. Furthermore, I eliminated Miami, BC and Va. Tech from the ACC data for the time period during which they were members of the Big East. As such, the only numbers that count for these three schools come from the time that they were members of the ACC.)
|Conference||Win %||Adj. Win %||Opp. Win %|
- ACC: Virginia Tech, Boston College
- Big East: West Virginia, Cincinnati
- Big Ten: Ohio State, Wisconsin
- Big 12: Oklahoma, Texas
- Pac-10: USC, Oregon
- SEC: Florida, LSU
-I included the combined winning percentage of opponents for each conference in the table, offering some additional information regarding strength of schedule.