Conference Comparison: Week Four
By Garrett Strunk
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The Big 12 continues to stake claim to the best non-conference record amongst FBS conferences.
No matter your opinion of the ACC as a football conference, you had to have been entertained this past Saturday night if you are college football fan. The opening act began with Miami taking on Georgia Tech in Atlanta, as Miami came back from the dead to win the game in overtime. That thriller was followed by a battle of top 10 teams, as Clemson made the trip to Tallahassee to take on Florida State. If you like high scoring games, then you went to bed a happy person.
In the SEC, “old man” football was in full effect between LSU and Auburn. Auburn kept it surprisingly close against the No. 2 team in the country with their 12-10 loss. Speaking of old men, this Arkansas defense must be full of senior citizens, as it is giving up an average of 504 yards per in its last three games.
Notre Dame is now 4-0 for the first time in 10 years, completing their conquest of the Big Ten with a physical win over Michigan. The Irish get a bye week to prepare for their contest with Miami at Soldier Field in Chicago. The last time these teams met, Notre Dame walked all over the Hurricanes in the 2010 Sun Bowl. It would be a nice feather in the ACC's cap if they were to be able to pull that one off, but I'll stop there, I'm getting a week ahead of myself now.
And here we are again with the conference score card for Week Four:
ACC B1G B12 BEC PAC SEC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 0-0 4-0 1-0 5-2
Overall 1-1 0-3 2-3 0-1 1-1 7-0 13-0 24-9
Big Ten ACC B12 BEC PAC SEC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 0-0 0-0 2-0 0-0 0-0 3-3 2-0 7-3
Overall 1-1 0-1 3-0 1-3 1-1 19-7 6-0 33-13
B12 ACC B1G BEC PAC SEC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 2-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 1-1 0-0 3-1
Overall 3-0 1-0 0-0 0-1 1-0 11-2 9-0 25-3
Big East ACC B1G B12 PAC SEC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 0-0 0-2 0-0 0-0 1-0 1-2 1-0 3-4
Overall 3-2 0-3 0-0 0-1 2-0 4-2 7-1 16-9
PAC-12 ACC B1G B12 BEC SEC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Overall 1-0 3-1 1-0 1-0 0-2 10-5 7-1 23-9
SEC ACC B1G B12 BEC PAC FBS FCS Total
Week 4 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-1 0-0 4-0 1-0 5-1
Overall 1-1 1-1 0-1 0-2 2-0 17-2 7-0 28-7
* “FBS” denotes the teams in the non-AQ conferences and Independents.
* “FCS” denotes all teams in the FCS division or lower.
This week's winner was hard to decide, but I have to give the slight edge to the Big 12. No conference really stood out this week, but wins over Virginia, Maryland and La-Monroe trump what everyone else did. The Big 12 has gotten a lot of favorable matchups. Few games have looked even on paper, and even fewer games have had the other team favored to win. Their bloated win-loss record is a direct result of smart, or maybe even lucky, scheduling.
The Big East made it easy on me in picking this week's loser. South Florida and UConn both lost to MAC teams. Syracuse has played some tough competition up to date, with their three losses coming to teams with a combined record of 11-1. They've played them close, but moral victories don't count toward eligibility.
Out-of-conference games are going to be scarce from here on out. You can see from the score card the Pac-12 is just about done with their non-conferences games, with none played this week. Stanford and USC will play Notre Dame later in the season, but that's about it. With a few exceptions, the B1G is also finished with their out-of-conference games.
So you may be wondering how are we going to grade the conferences with few out-of-conference games happening each week? We'll just have to use a different measuring stick. The key here is for the best teams in each conference to remain in the national championship or BCS bowl berth hunt, and to avoid inter-conference top 25 upsets. I'll also review some of these earlier out-of-conference wins to see if they look better or worse as the season drags on.