College football fans like to think that their conference is the best in the league, but there can only be one division that truly reigns supreme. This week, the Badger Herald breaks down the top five conferences in college football and determines who really is the best in the land.
5: Big 12
The Big 12 began the season 7-3 with losses coming from Texas, West Virginia and Baylor. Following Texas and West Virginia’s losses they were both dropped from the top 25, leaving only Oklahoma and Oklahoma State.
With Oklahoma and Oklahoma State emerging as the only real college playoff contenders, the Big 12 is dealing with a serious lack of depth. They will hold their first ever conference title game this season, which they hope will help them get a team into the College Football Playoff after being left out two of the last three seasons.
Current season stats for the Big 12
4: Pac 12
The Pac 12 has started off hot, with its teams winning 12 of the 13 games they’ve played. The record is a bit misleading though because many of its teams played easy week one matchups. Conference front-runner USC looked anything but impressive in there opener against Western Michigan and it remains to be seen if Washington can repeat the success it had last year or if it will resort back too its old losing ways.
Aside from these two teams the Pac 12, doesn’t really have another title contender, although teams like Stanford and Washington State may be poised for breakout years.
Current stats for the Pac 12
ACC teams had a 10-4 record opening weekend. The conference took a big hit though, with Florida State not only losing in its opener to Alabama but also losing its Heisman candidate Deondre Francois to a season ending knee injury. Reigning national champion Clemson lost Deshaun Watson to the NFL but the perennial powerhouse seams to have retooled as they looked very convincing in their 56-3 rout of Kent State.
Depth though is what the ACC lacks with Louisville beating Purdue in unconvincing fashion and Virginia Tech still largely unproven. It remains to be seen whether Lamar Jackson, as incredible as he is, can carry Louisville with their many holes defensively.
Current stats for the ACC
SEC teams had an opening weekend record of 12-2 with the most impressive being Alabama’s dismantling of previously third-ranked Florida State. Aside from the undisputed top team in the country there is no clear front runner to contend for a title.
With six teams in the top 25 though someone will almost surely step up to challenge the Crimson Tide. The most storied conference in college football may not be as strong as it usually is but it would be a mistake to underestimate the proven track record of the SEC.
1: Big Ten
The Big Ten began the season with a record of 11-3. With four top 10 teams who are all legitimate title contenders the Big Ten is far and away the strongest conference in the country.
Ohio State has emerged as the early favorite but Penn State, Wisconsin and Michigan have all shown that they aren’t far behind with convincing week one performances.
The winner of the Big Ten is a virtual lock to make the College Football Playoff and even getting a second team in isn’t out of the question considering the strength of the conference this year.