Deepest conference in 2015? The SEC has a better case than any conference
SEC haters are always quick to jump on the conference when it shows any sign of weakness.
Some pundits have pointed out that the league has no undefeated teams. Others harp on the Big Ten having two more teams in the College Football Rankings than the SEC. There’s also those who remind you that the league has gone two years without a national championship (nevermind the seven straight before that, right?).
However, one of the biggest knocks against college football’s best conference this season is that it isn’t deep. I’m here to disprove that.
PERCENTAGE OF TEAMS THAT ARE .500 OR BETTER
First of all, you’ll notice when I compare the SEC to other Power 5 conferences, I’ll often put things into the context of “percentage of teams within the conference.” That’s only because each league has a different number of teams, so using totals wouldn’t be fair.
The SEC has the highest percentage of teams that have an overall record .500 or better (78.6 percent). The only three teams currently below that mark are Kentucky (4-6), Vanderbilt (4-6) and South Carolina (3-7).
|CONFERENCE||PCT OF TEAMS .500 OR BETTER||TEAMS/TOTAL TEAMS|
|4. Big 12||60%||6/10|
|5. Big Ten||57.1%||8/14|
WINNING PERCENTAGE vs. TEAMS CURRENTLY RANKED IN AP POLL
This one was an eye-opener considering how poorly some of the other conferences have done in this area. I know the AP Poll holds less significance than the CFP rankings at the moment, but I’m using the AP Poll since it’s been around since the start of the season.
The SEC is a respectable 10-23 against teams currently ranked among the AP Top 25. Amazingly, the Big Ten, ACC and Big 12 are a combined 13-91 (.125) against the top competition.
And before the critics out there say, “Those all came from the top three teams in the conference,” not so fast my friend. Six SEC teams have picked up a win in this department. That includes South Carolina — the SEC team that has the worst overall record at 3-7 — dealing North Carolina its only loss of the season. The Tar Heels are one of only two ACC teams that has a shot at reaching the playoff.
|CONFERENCE||WIN PCT vs. AP RANKED TEAMS||W-L|
|3. Big Ten||.146||6-35|
|5. Big 12||.100||3-27|
PERCENTAGE OF TEAMS THAT ARE BOWL-ELIGIBLE
Nine of the 14 teams in the SEC have already guaranteed themselves a postseason game. Although that’s slightly behind the Pac-12 at the moment, the SEC has four more teams that can clinch: Auburn (5-5), Missouri (5-5), Kentucky (4-6) and Vanderbilt (4-6). Only South Carolina (3-7) has been eliminated from postseason play.
Meanwhile, the Pac-12 only has two more teams that can do the same: Arizona State (5-5) and Washington (4-6).
|CONFERENCE||PCT OF TEAMS BOWL-ELIGIBLE||TEAMS/TOTAL TEAMS|
|4. Big 12||50%||7/14|
|5. Big Ten||50%||7/14|
OVERALL WINNING PERCENTAGE
Finally, let’s zoom out and look at overall success. Top to bottom, the SEC has the best overall winning percentage (.619) of any of the Power 5 teams. The ACC comes in last with a mark of .557.
|CONFERENCE||OVERALL WIN PCT||W-L|
|2. Big Ten||.603||85-56|
|3. Big 12||.582||57-41|