NCAA Football Conference Power Rankings

Photo Credit: Tulsa World (featured image), CBS Sports (conference logos), CBS Sports (team logos)

10. sunbelt Sun Belt Conference
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • N/A
  • Analysis: Only four of the 11 teams in the Sun Belt Conference have winning records, and none of those four teams are ranked. Only two of those four have fewer than four losses, the Appalachian State Mountaineers and the Troy Trojans, and both of those teams have three.
9. cusa Conference USA
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • N/A
  • Analysis: Only four of the 13 teams in Conference USA have winning records, and none of those four teams are ranked. Only two of those four have fewer than four losses, and both of those teams, the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers and the Old Dominion Monarchs, have three.
8. mac Mid-American Conference
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • wmich #15 Western Michigan Broncos (13-0) 
  • Analysis: Aside of the Western Michigan Broncos, only three of the other 11 teams in the Mid-American Conference have winning records, and only one of those teams has fewer than five losses with three, and that team is the Toledo Rockets.
7. mwc Mountain West Conference
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • N/A
  • Analysis: The fact that no teams from the Mountain West Conference are ranked is deceiving, as six of the conference’s 12 teams have winning records, with three of those six, the Boise State Broncos, the San Diego State Aztecs, and the Air Force Falcons, having fewer than four losses.
6. aac American Athletic Conference 
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • temp #24 Temple Owls (10-3)
    • navy #25 Navy Midshipmen (9-4)
  • Analysis: The American Athletic Conference has depth beyond just the teams that are ranked, as it is also home to teams like the South Florida Bulls, the Tulsa Golden Hurricane, the Memphis Tigers, and the Houston Cougars, all of which finished the season with less than five losses and were competitive throughout the season.
5. big12 Big 12 Conference 
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • okla #7 Oklahoma Sooners (10-2)
    • okst #12 Oklahoma State Cowboys (9-3)
    • wvu #16 West Virginia Mountaineers (10-2)
  • Analysis: Despite having three teams ranked inside the top 16, the Big 12 Conference is not particularly strong due to the fact that only one of the seven unranked teams in the conference earned more than six wins and a winning record this season, and that team is the Kansas State Wildcats.
4. sec Southeastern Conference 
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • bama #1 Alabama Crimson Tide (13-0)
    • aub #14 Auburn Tigers (8-4)
    • fla #17 Florida Gators (8-4)
    • lsu #20 Louisiana State Tigers (7-4)
    • TENN #21 Tennessee Volunteers (8-4)
  • Analysis: Only three of the 14 teams in the Southeastern Conference have losing records, but only one team of the 11 teams without losing records has fewer than four losses. All but two of the 14 Southeastern Conference teams earned bowl bids this season, which goes to show just how deep this conference is.
3. pac12 Pacific 12 Conference 
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • wash #4 Washington Huskies (12-1)
    • usc #9 Southern California Trojans (9-3)
    • colo #10 Colorado Buffaloes (10-3)
    • stan #18 Stanford Cardinal (9-3)
    • utah #19 Utah Utes (8-4)
  • Analysis: The Pacific 12 Conference is the only NCAA football conference that has five of its teams ranked inside the top 19. However, lack of depth keeps this conference being higher on this list, as only one of the seven unranked teams in the Pacific 12 Conference has a winning record, and that team is the Washington State Cougars.
2. acc Atlantic Coast Conference 
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • clem #2 Clemson Tigers (12-1)
    • fsu #11 Florida State Seminoles (9-3)
    • lou #13 Louisville Cardinals (9-3)
    • vatech #22 Virginia Tech Hokies (9-4)
    • pitt #23 Pittsburgh Panthers (8-4)
  • Analysis: The Atlantic Coast Conference is loaded at the top with three teams ranked inside the top 13 and five ranked inside the top 23. There are also three unranked four-loss teams in the North Carolina Tar Heels, the Miami (Florida) Hurricanes, and the Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets in this conference, which makes the Atlantic Coast Conference not only loaded at the top, but deep.
1. big10 Big Ten Conference
  • Teams Ranked in the Top 25 in the College Football Playoff Rankings:
    • ohiost #3 Ohio State Buckeyes (11-1)
    • psu #5 Pennsylvania State Nittany Lions (11-2)
    • mich #6 Michigan Wolverines (10-2)
    • wisc #8 Wisconsin Badgers (10-3)
  • Analysis: The Big Ten Conference is the only NCAA football conference that has four of its teams ranked inside the top 17, and all four of those teams are ranked inside the top 8 and were alive in the CFP hunt until the final week of the season. Competitive unranked teams like the Iowa Hawkeyes, the Nebraska Cornhuskers, and the Minnesota Golden Gophers help the Big Ten Conference’s case as the best NCAA football conference.

 

-Asher Fair

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