College Football Picks: Power Ratings With SU & ATS Record for All Conferences

Chris Andrews

Thursday, October 22, 2015 12:34 AM GMT

Thursday, Oct. 22, 2015 12:34 AM GMT

In this article we look at how each conference stacks by power ratings and win/loss records both straight up and ATS so you can enjoy more success when placing your college football picks.

Now that most college football teams are done with their out-of-conference schedules, it is time to take a look at the strength of each conference.

First, let’s break down the power ratings.

 

Conference

Avg

Median

High

Low

SEC

83.1

84.0

96.5

72

Pac-12

81.6

82.75

96

66.5

Big 12

79.2

81.0

96

52

Big Ten

76.6

75.5

94

62

ACC

76.2

77.5

89

64

AAC

68.5

68.8

80

54.5

MWC

65.1

65.0

84

55

MAC

64.1

66.0

76.5

48.5

Conf USA

61.0

59.5

79

42

Sun Belt

57.6

57.0

74

47.5

 

No big surprises. I think most handicappers assumed, correctly, the SEC would be the highest rated conference overall.

The Pac-12 seems to be closing the gap almost every year, however the bottom of the conference (Colorado and Oregon State this season) drags them down.

The Big 12 is very top-heavy with Baylor, TCU and Oklahoma among the best teams in the country. Their averages skew lower with Iowa State, who is a poor sister in football and Kansas, who would have to improve by leaps and bounds to get to the ‘poor sister’ level.

The Big Ten has a few teams near the very top and a whole mess of mediocrity and garbage below that. Defending national champion Ohio State pushes their average up considerably.

The ACC is more evenly distributed as you can see by their median that is higher than the Big Ten even though they have a lower average. Both numbers bear their own significance. They still have a couple legitimate national championship contenders in Florida State and Clemson.

The AAC has Houston, who has been a good team throughout much of college football’s history along with Temple and Memphis, who have traditionally been bottom dwellers. This year that honor goes to Tulane.

The Mountain West Conference (MWC) wanted to be considered at the level of the Power 5, but have dropped this year. Only Boise State and Utah State would be competitive at a higher level.

The MAC has some very good teams on the top tier. Bowling Green, Toledo Western Michigan and Northern Illinois would not embarrass themselves in most leagues. The lower echelon of the conference would not fare nearly so well. I’m talking to you Miami-Ohio and Eastern Michigan.

Conference USA has one of my favorite underdogs, Western Kentucky, along with decent programs in Marshall and Louisiana Tech. Southern Mississippi has made a nice comeback from years in the pits and Middle Tennessee has now put together a competitive team.

Newcomers to the FBS, Appalachian State and Georgia Southern lead the Sun Belt. They caught up to the competition quickly, now it’s up to the rest of the conference to do the same.

Now lets see how each conference has done playing out-of-conference strictly against Power Five conference teams. (I counted BYU and Notre Dame among the Power Five, by the way.)

 

Conference

Straight up

ATS

SEC

5-2

4-3

Pac-12

5-6

4-7

Big 12

4-4

4-4

Big Ten

10-9

8-11

ACC

4-9

6-6-1

AAC

5-16

14-7

MWC

2-21

12-11

MAC

4-20

15-9

Conf USA

2-19

7-14

Sun Belt

0-17

6-11

Notre Dame

4-1

3-2

BYU

1-2

2-1

 

Now this part of my study held some real surprises.

First, the SEC only played seven out-of-conference games? They should be ashamed of themselves.

The MWC might have dropped off but not as drastically as the handicappers assumed they did. They were only 2-21 straight up but a reasonable 12-11 ATS. By the way, both the conference’s wins were by Boise State.

The MAC wasn’t very good straight up, (2 wins each by Bowling Green and Toledo) but was a profitable conference to back with the points at 15-9.

The AAC had only 5 straight up wins (2 by Memphis) but were 14-7 ATS, 66.7%. I’d sign up for that in a heartbeat.

Conference USA and the Sun Belt, well, there's no nice way to put it, they stink against the college football odds. Both straight up and ATS.

Stick this study in your back pocket. There will be a few more circumstances when it comes in handy for your college football picks this season. Then of course, it will be very useful during the bowl games. If nothing else, it will be a good tool to use when you do your season ending evaluations.

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