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Is the SEC being unfairly judged ?


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Is the SEC really having a down year ? Is there a valid reason why the computer rankings collectively have the SEC ranked no higher than 4th/5th among conference rankings? A closer look at the performance conference may reveal how the computers are ranking Auburn so low, but it doesn’t explain why other conferences aren’t subject to the same standards. (Most pollsters generally define a “quality opponent” as one that wins 7 or more games in a season.)

It’s been stated that it’s not just Auburn’s non-conference schedule that is diluting SOS, but rather it is the performance of the entire conference against all of its non-conference opponents. For example, UT’s loss to Notre Dame (an awful team) has a compounding effect in the computer formulas since it impacts SOS across all opponents, not just the non-conference schedule. Here’s what I mean:

The SEC collectively played a total of 31 Non-Conference opponents with 11 losses.

Of these, only 8 were teams that won 7 or more games this season.

The SEC went 3-5 against these 8 “quality” opponents. So, yes, that qualifies as a down year for the SEC, but what about the Pac-10 and Big 12?

SEC non-conference losses included UT’s loss to ND, Arky’s loss to Texas, UK’s losses to Louisville and Ohio, Ole Missy’s losses to Memphis and Wyoming, MSU’s losses to Maine and UAB, USC’s loss to Clemson, and Vandy’s losses to Navy and Rutgers.

Granted, nobody here is surprised about the Vandy and UK performances, and rival games like USC/Clemson and Ark/UT are understandable. But the SEC suffered a significant letdown by Mississippi State, UT, and especially Ole Miss, in games they should’ve easily won…… most notably against opponents like Maine, Memphis, and Wyoming.

As a comparison, the Pac-10 has a total of 30 non-conference opponents and, assuming Cal handles Southern Miss this week, will have a 15-15 record against non-cons. Of the total non-cons played by the Pac-10, only 7 were teams that had 7 or more wins. The Pac-10 went 2-5 against those teams. The two wins were ASU’s win over UTEP and USC’s win over Va Tech)

The Mighty Big 12 played a total of 36 non-conference opponents going 28-8 against those non-con teams. But here’s the kicker: Only three of those teams won 7 or more games – Utah, Pitt, and Bowling Green. The Big 12 collectively went 2-1 against those teams. (OU beat BG,…. and Neb beat Pitt)

Percent of Non-Conference opponents with 7 wins or more, summarized by Conference:

SEC = 26%

Pac-10 = 23%

Big 12 = 8 %

Overall Non-Conference winning percent, summarized by Conference:

SEC = 65%

Pac-10 = 50%

Big 12 = 77%

So, IMO the computers and polls don’t reward you for beating quality non-conference opponents, just beating any non-conference opponents in general. Playing the Citadel didn’t hurt Auburn near as much as the losses experienced by a few of our SEC brethren.

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I forgot about Iowa, and I didn't realize NMS had seven. They were included in the overall stats, but not the "seven win" stats.

So, the corrected figures are:

Pac-10 goes 5-8 for a corrected summary of:

Percent of Non-Conference opponents with 7 wins or more, summarized by Conference:

SEC = 26%

Pac-10 = 62%

Big 12 = 8 %

The question still remains how OU can be ranked #1 by the computer schedules?

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