[Editor’s note: This article was written and submitted by TSL Subscriber hoosnowahokie.]
Everyone’s high on the mighty SEC (or they were before Dec. 29th) and how they play such a tough slate against themselves. Well, how do they (and others) fare outside the conference? I did a little research into this year and came up with some numbers.
I’m sure there is some website that you can give you the same information, but I had fun doing it myself (and it didn’t take much time; thanks Sports-Reference.com) so if anything is wrong, let me know.
Overall Records against OOC opponents:
SEC 48-7 .873
Pac 12 31-6 .838
ACC 42-14 .750
Big 10 42-14 .750
Big 12 22-8 .733
Against the Power 5:
Pac 12 6-2 .750
ACC 8-5 .615
SEC 5-6 .455
Big 12 4-6 .400
Big 10 5-9 .357
Against All others (Includes ND since they are an IND):
SEC 43-1 .977
Big 12 18-2 .900
Big 10 37-5 .881
Pac 12 25-4 .862
ACC 34-9 .791
You might think, well the SEC is looking good, tops against OOC.
I invite you to look at their record against the Power 5 conferences. They managed a 5-6 record, going 1-4 against the lowly ACC. THE ACC! Speaking of, the ACC finished 2nd against the Power 5, behind the Pac-12 who did not play any SEC teams, only 1 ACC team and beat up on the last place B1G.
But back to the SEC. Digging deeper into who the SEC actually played out of conference, you’ll find every single team played an FCS opponent and won. The ACC and SEC are the only two conferences where every team plays an FCS opponent. Mississippi St, Ole Miss and Texas A&M didn’t schedule a Power 5 team for their non-conference schedule to gobble up some extra wins. Only one team played more than one Power 5 team, and that was Georgia who went 1-1 against the ACC (Clemson and GT).
If you want to dissect it a little further, the SEC East was responsible for all of the SEC’s OOC losses. The SEC West did not lose to anyone but themselves. However, they had four games against Power 5 teams: Wisconsin (10-3), WVU (7-5), Kansas St. (9-3), and Texas Tech (4-8). Those wins came from LSU, Alabama, Auburn and Arkansas. Those are pretty decent OOC wins at the end of the day, but there just weren’t that many scheduled. I do find it impressive that THE SEC West went 24-0 against their non-Power 5 foes. That shows to me that they show up to whatever game they are playing, regardless of opponent. I don’t buy the argument in Power 5 games that the SEC believes a team is ‘beneath them,’ and this shows that. They beat teams that they are physically better than and are supposed to beat.
Comparatively, the ACC went 8-5 against Power 5. They beat someone from every conference, and had at least two games against each conference. 4-1 against the SEC was their best mark, with wins against Georgia, South Carolina, Florida and Kentucky (not the best). The lone loss was to Georgia. The only teams not to play a Power 5 were NC State and Wake. UNC did play Notre Dame (pseudo-Power 5) however, so they don’t count in my books, but do if you go purely by the confines of Power 5 vs Non Power 5. If you add in Notre Dame to the OOC Power 5 mix, you end up with a 10-7 (.588) record for the ACC, who would remain in 2nd place. The Big 10 would be even worse OOC, going 6-11 (.353) after having gone 1-2 against Notre Dame.
*Fun Note: For any wondering, VT had the only win for the ACC against the B1G this year 😀
On to Bowls!
The Pac-12 have dominated, going 5-1 against Power 5 conferences (so far) in Bowls. The B1G has shown up by going 5-4 to somewhat redeem their conference’s season. It also helps that OSU got a little win in NOLA last week with a 3rd string QB. The SEC is on par with their regular season at 6-4, but have lost out on a chance at the National Championship. It is the first time in nine years they don’t have a chance at the National Championship (Funny enough, it’s the frst year of a playoff too). The ACC and Big 12 have stunk it up: 2-6, 2-5 respectively against the Power 5.
*Fun Note: The SEC East went 5-0 in bowl games, totaling up five of the seven wins and four of the six Power 5 wins for the conference. The other two wins from the West were from the two worst teams there.
Now, combine the regular season and bowl games (so far). The Pac-12 is running away with it at 11-3 against Power 5 conference opponents. They still have a game left, and I think they’ll improve to 12-3. The SEC will finish second with an 11-10 mark, followed by the ACC at 10-11. That’s right. The terrible, no good, very bad football conference known as the ACC finished 1 game behind the SEC against opponents that “matter”. The B1G is not too far behind at 10-13, but I think they slip to 10-14. However, they still tower over the Big 12. The Big 12 was BAD in OOC games against the Power 5. A 6-11 (.353) total was helped along by a miserable performance in the bowls. Their non-Power 5 schedule was also the worst by far out of any conference in college football this year, and they still lost two of those games.
Here are the final combined overall records and against Power 5 records for each conference:
Pac-12 37-8 .822
SEC 55-12 .821
Big 10 47-19 .712
ACC 46-21 .687
Big 12 24-13 .649
Against Power 5 Combined Records
Pac 12 11-3 (.786)
SEC 11-10 (.524)
ACC 10-11 (.476)
Big 10 10-13 (.435)
Big 12 6-11 (.353)
What to take away? The Pac-12, in terms of win percentage, blew everyone out of the water. They are currently 11-3 on the season against everyone else, with one game left. I predict the Ducks will take the National championship and push the Pac-12 to 12-3 (.800) for the season. A loss by the Ducks would knock them down to 11-4 (.733). Even with the loss, that would put the Pac-12 almost 21 percentage points ahead of the second place SEC for the year. That gap is astronomical when you think about all the love the SEC gets for football dominance. Maybe Fox Sports knew what they were doing by signing that large contract with the Pac-12 for the years to come.
*Extra Note: The Pac-12 and Big 12 played nine game conference schedules, therefore they only fewer OOC games than other leagues. That’s why I used winning percentage as a mark for the standings.