College Basketball Conference Power Rankings: February Edition

Jesse Kramer@Jesse_KramerCorrespondent IFebruary 3, 2010

This will rank how good the conferences are based on the teams in the conference. This will have every conference, including the Great West and Independents. The top three teams in each conference will be the teams in first, second, and third place.

I want to note that I give more.

To see how the conferences have changed, click here to see the New Year's edition.

Rank. Conference, New Year Edition Rank (Top Three Teams)

1. Big East, 1 (Villanova, Syracuse, West Virginia)

The Big East is still the best conference in college basketball. The schools that were good last year remain good, and some of the schools that have struggled in past years are improving. Villanova and Syracuse are both in the top 5. West Virginia and Georgetown are also in the top 10. Depaul and Rutgers are both awful, but Seton Hall, St. John's, and South Florida are improving tremendously. Top to bottom, this is by far the best conference.

2. Big 12, 2 (Kansas, Texas, Missouri)

The Big 12 is still just a hair behind the Big East. The Big 12 has two of the top teams in the country with Kansas and Texas. Missouri has played very well in conference, but did not pick up any huge OOC wins. Kansas State and Oklahoma State have both played well, and Texas A&M and Baylor have been good, but streaky. The bottom half of the conference has really struggled, and Oklahoma has been very disappointing.

3. SEC, 4 (Kentucky, Vanderbilt, Tennessee)

After a down year last season, the SEC has come back as one of the top conferences. John Calipari has taken Kentucky back to the top. Vanderbilt is having a great year. Tennessee is also playing great, despite losing some of their best players. The state of Mississippi has been playing well, with Mississippi Sate playing good basketball, even though they started the season slow, and Ole Miss in the top 20. Florida has been streaky, but they have beaten some good teams. Even South Carolina upset No. 1 Kentucky. However, the bottom half of the conference is weaker with Auburn, Georgia, and LSU.

4. Big 10, 6 (Michigan State, Purdue, Wisconsin)

Michigan State is back to where people thought they would end up at the start of the year. The Spartans have dominated the Big 10. Purdue has also played very well, losing no non-conference games. Wisconsin has wins over Duke and Maryland in non-conference. What puts the Big 10 above the ACC is Ohio State. The Buckeyes have been playing great since the return of Evan Turner.

5. ACC, 3 (Duke, Maryland, Virginia)

The ACC's problem is that Duke is their only dominating team, and maybe one could make an argument for Georgia Tech. Florida State and Maryland have played well in conference. Wake Forest and Clemson have been streaky.

6. Atlantic 10, 5 (Xavier, Temple, Charlotte)

The Atlantic 10 has six teams that could all make a case for being selected into the NCAA Tournament (Xavier, Temple, Charlotte, Richmond, Dayton). The rest of the conference is not too good, but they are still the best non-BCS conference.

7. Mountain West, 7 (BYU, New Mexico, UNLV)

The Mountain West is close to the Atlantic 10, but there are not as many teams that are as good as the teams in the Atlantic 10. Brigham Young and New Mexico are both great, and UNLV is close to being at the same level. Aside from those three, the conference is still a little weak.

8. C-USA, 13 (UAB, Tulsa, UTEP)

C-USA is just a little behind the Mountain West because they don't have teams as dominant as Brigham Young and New Mexico. UAB and Tulsa are both close to that level, but they are not there yet. C-USA also has Marshall and Memphis, who are around the same level as San Diego State. Both Marshall and Memphis did well in non-conference, but have struggled in conference play.

9. CAA, 10 (George Mason, Northeastern, Old Dominion)

The CAA has so many of the top mid-majors. George Mason is red hot, Old Dominion has also been playing well and has a win over Georgetown, and Northeastern is one of the hottest mid-majors. VCU and William & Mary have struggled in CAA play, but they both have big OOC wins.

10. Pac-10, 8 (California, Arizona, Arizona State)

The Pac-10 is without a doubt the worst BCS conference. There is a chance that the Pac-10 could only get one team into the tournament. Cal has to be given a break since many of their struggles came when Theo Robertson was out with an injury. When he has been playing, Cal has done well. Arizona and Arizona State have been good in conference play, but poor non-conference play hurts them a lot.

11. MVC, 9 (Northern Iowa, Wichita State, Illinois State)

The MVC has dropped due to Illinois State and Missouri State getting cold. It was at the top of the mid-majors when all of those teams were doing great. Now, only Northern Iowa and Wichita State are the great mid-majors in that conference.

12. WCC, 11 (Gonzaga, St. Mary's, Portland)

The WCC is looking like a two-bid league this year with Gonzaga and St. Mary's. Portland was off to a hot start at the start of the year, but they went cold. Portland is still in third place in the WCC, but they have no chance at the NCAA Tournament. Aside from St. Mary's, Gonzaga, and possibly Portland, the WCC is weak.

13. Horizon, 12 (Butler, Wright State, Detroit)

Butler is back in the top 25 this week. The only team beside Butler that played well OOC was Green Bay. The Phoenix have struggled in the Horizon.

14. MAAC, 14 (Siena, Iona, Fairfield)

The MAAC had a chance to be a two-bid league this year, with Siena, Rider, and Niagara. Rider and Niagara faltered early, but Siena has the longest active win streak in college basketball, and Iona and Fairfield have been playing very well. Although Iona and Fairfield are not as good as Rider and Niagara were supposed to be, they are still good enough to save the MAAC from dropping.

15. WAC, 15 (New Mexico State, Louisiana Tech, Utah State)

Both Louisiana Tech and Utah State are solid, but the rest of the conference is too weak.

16. Ivy League, 19 (Cornell, Princeton, Harvard)

Cornell is possibly the best mid-major this year. Having a dominant team in a mid-major conference is enough to put you near the top of the mid-major conferences. Cornell's three losses have come to Seton Hall, Syracuse, and Kansas. Harvard has also played well, although they are not as dominant as Cornell. Cornell is now ranked in the ESPN Top 25.

17. MAC, 16 (Kent State, Central Michigan, Akron)

The MAC has a bunch of OK teams, but no dominant teams. Their balance keeps them as a solid mid-major conference. There are some other OK teams throughout the Big Sky, which puts them in the top 20.

18. Southern, 17 (Charleston, Western Carolina, Wofford)

Charleston, Western Carolina, and Wofford are all good mid-majors. The SoCon does not have a team like the Stephen Curry Davidson teams. Western Carolina was looking like they could even make it into the top 25 after the first few months, but conference road struggles have hurt them and the SoCon.

19. OVC, 22 (Murray State, Morehead State, Austin Peay)

Murray State is very good this year, and Morehead State is getting there. Having two teams as good as them puts them in the top 20.

20. Big Sky, 18 (Weber State, Northern Colorado, Montana)

Weber State and Northern Colorado are both fairly good.

21. Sun Belt, 20 (Arkansas State, Middle Tennessee, Florida Atlantic)

The Sun Belt has struggled as a conference because the teams that played well in non-conference games have struggled in the Sun Belt. The teams that lost a lot of games have been winning a lot in conference. Most of the Sun Belt is full of OK teams, but there are no very good teams.

22. Summit, 23 (Oakland, IUPUI, Oral Roberts)

Both Oakland and IUPUI are having good years at 16-8. The rest of the Summit is weak.

23. Big West, 21 (Pacific, UC Santa Barbara, Cal Poly)

The Big West has had problems similar to the Sun Belt. The teams that won a lot of OOC games are losing in conference, and the teams that struggled early on are winning in the Big West.

24. Southland, 24 (Sam Houston State, Texas A&M-CC, Stephen F Austin)

The Southland played a poor non-conference schedule and led the conference to having a low RPI. Although most of the teams are .500 or above, they do not have any signature wins.

25. Atlantic Sun, 26 (Jacksonville, Lipscomb, Campbell)

The Atlantic Sun does not have any dominant teams. Almost all of the teams are at least close to .500. The balance in the Atlantic Sun has led to some of the better teams losing, causing the conference to move down a little.

26. America East, 25 (Stony Brook, Maine, Vermont)

The America East was supposed to be a good mid-major conference at the start of the year. When Binghamton had their starters kicked out of school, and Boston and Vermont started losing games early on, the conference struggled. Although Boston and Vermont are picking things up, they have not made up for their early struggles.

27. Northeast, 31 (Robert Morris, Quinnipiac, Monmouth)

Robert Morris and Quinnipiac are both solid. Although Bryant, one of the worst teams in the nation, is in the NEC, there is enough balance, plus Quinnipiac and Robert Morris, that the Northeast barely passes the Big South.

28. Big South, 27 (Coastal Carolina, Radford, Winthrop)

The Big South has Coastal Carolina, who is 19-4. Even though Coastal Carolina has a good record, they do not have enough key wins to deserve that good a record. Aside from Coastal Carolina, only Radford and Winthrop are above .500—they are both 11-10. The conference as a whole has too many very bad teams to be highly valued.

29. Patriot League, 29 (Lehigh, Lafayette, Navy)

The Patriot League is down from last year. Last year, American and Holy Cross were both very good. This year, American and Holy Cross are not as good, and nobody has stepped up to take their place.

30. MEAC, 28 (Morgan State, Delaware State, Bethune-Cookman)

Morgan State is a top mid-major, but the rest of the conference is struggling.

31. Great West, 30 (South Dakota, Houston Baptist, NJIT)

In its first year of existence, the Great West has managed to not be the worst group of teams. There is only one team above .500, but a lot of these teams scheduled up, leading to a lot of losses. Compared to the conferences below them, they still are better.

32. Independents, 32 (Seattle, Savannah State, Winston-Salem)

The Independents have better records than the Great West teams, but they did not schedule up as much and have a worse RPI.

33. SWAC, 33 (Jackson State, Texas Southern, Prairie View A&M)

The SWAC was absolutely horrible this year in non-conference play. The only reason that some teams have dominated the conference is because half of the teams might not even deserve to be part of D-I. Just to show how the bad SWAC is, Jackson State has dominated the conference, and they are still under .500.


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