|Spring Blog • March 16, 2015|
Which Conference Played The Toughest Schedule – Part 1
The Regular Season
Today is the second part of a series taking a look at which conference is the toughest. I gave you a couple of components that go into my toughest conference rankings including power ratings and also bowl records that emphasize bowl wins over ranked teams.
I thought I would give you the overall non-conference records for each conference. Keep in mind, there is not an exact science for picking the toughest conference. You cannot rely strictly on how many bowl wins a conference racks up during the postseason, or on its overall record in non-conference play. Let’s face it, some leagues’ non-conference slates are much tougher than others. Conferences can play non-conference games vs FCS or BCS opponents and if you go strictly on overall records, the wins and losses count the same.
In today’s blog I have the overall non-conference record for each conference, their record vs Power 5 conferences and also their overall record when you take out the conference’s wins vs FCS schools but naturally include the losses since they should be considered “poor losses.” While Notre Dame is clearly a Power-5 teams they are not included as one in this chart.
2014 Non-Conference Regular Season Records (Conf by Conf)
2014 Non-Conference Regular Season Records (Totals)
|OVERALL||Vs Power-5||Minus FCS Wins|
2014 Non-Conference Regular Season Records (Ranks)
|Overall||Vs Power-5||Rank w/out|
|Rank||Rank||FCS wins||ALL 3 RANKS|
The SEC was again the % leader vs non-conference foes going 45-7 (86.5%) topping even LY’s #1 finish of 47-9 (83.9%). However, the Pac-12 had the better % when it came to games against Power-5 teams (6-2, 75%) also topping LY’s #1 finish (6-3, 67%). The disparity in the number of games played when comparing the SEC and Pac-12 is because the SEC has 2 more teams and play 4 non-conference foes each while the Pac-12 plays their 9 game conference schedule and plays just 3 non-conference. If you compare the 2 conferences without the FCS and the Sun Belt games the SEC was 23-7 (77%), while the Pac-12 was 22-6 (79%).
A couple of other interesting notes is that the Pac-12 after going just 13-16 vs the Mountain West from 2008-2012 have gone 22-2 vs them the last 2 seasons. Also when looking at how the conferences did versus Power-5 teams you’ll see that CUSA was 0-21 (but La Tech did beat Illinois in the bowl) while the Sun Belt was 1-17 with the win coming in week #1 when ULM knocked of Wake Forest.
Stay tuned for the overall ranking of which conference played the toughest schedule.