2008 College Football Season Outlook Part Two: Conference Rankings

Justin HokansonSenior Writer IMay 23, 2008

This time around we are looking at where each of the big six conferences are ranked heading into the 2008 season as well as what teams are the contenders and what teams are the pretenders this season.

Teams are broken down into four categories—teams that can compete for a national championship, teams that will most likely be in a bowl game, teams that will be on the bubble of a bowl game, and then teams that will have an uphill battle to make a bowl game.

1. SEC

The SEC continues to set the standard as the best conference. Having the past two National champions doesn't hurt, as well as having seven teams win bowl games last year.

National Title Contenders: Georgia, Florida, Auburn, LSU

Going Bowling: Tennessee, Alabama, South Carolina, Mississippi State

On the Bubble: Arkansas, Ole Miss

Maybe Next Year: Vanderbilt, Kentucky

2. Big 12

The Big 12 looks strong this year with a couple of title contenders and some other teams on the rise. This conference could be stronger in a few years with several teams on the rise.

National Title Contenders: Oklahoma, Texas, Missouri

Going Bowling: Kansas, Texas Tech, Texas A&M

On the Bubble: Colorado, Nebraska, Kansas State, Oklahoma State   

Maybe Next Year: Baylor, Iowa State

3. Big 10

Ohio State obviously leads the way, but the Big 10 has several other solid teams including Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, and yes, still Michigan. They need a few more title contenders to compete with Ohio State to be considered a top conference.

National Title Contenders: Ohio State

Going Bowling: Wisconsin, Illinois, Penn State, Michigan State, Michigan

On the Bubble: Indiana, Purdue

Maybe Next Year: Northwestern, Iowa, Minnesota

4. Pac-10

USC once again leads the way in the Pac-10. Everyone is still waiting on some other teams to challenge the Trojans. Arizona State, UCLA, Oregon, and Cal are all teams that are looking to get over that hump and win the conference.

National Title Contenders: USC

Going Bowling: Arizona State, Oregon, California, UCLA

On the Bubble: Oregon State

Maybe Next Year: Stanford, Washington State, Arizona, Washington

5. ACC

Clemson and Virginia Tech lead the way, but this conference needs Florida State and Miami to get back to national prominence to make this conference one of the best.

National Title Contenders: Clemson

Going Bowling: Virginia Tech, Wake Forest, Boston College, Florida State

On the Bubble: Miami, Virginia, Maryland

Maybe Next Year: Duke, North Carolina, Georgia Tech, North Carolina State

6. Big East

West Virginia once again leads the way, but the Big East has some solid teams again in 2008. Can someone knock off the Mountaineers and win the conference? South Florida and Pittsburgh look to be the one's to do it.

National Title Contenders: West Virginia

Going Bowling: South Florida, Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Rutgers

On the Bubble: Louisville, Connecticut

Maybe Next Year: Syracuse