College Football Rankings 2011: Ranking the BCS Conferences by the Coaches Poll

Amy DaughtersFeatured ColumnistAugust 5, 2011

College Football Rankings 2011: Ranking the BCS Conferences by the Coaches Poll

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    The initial release of USA Today’s Coaches Poll not only sets the base line for the weekly rankings as the season goes on, it also provides us with an absolute plethora of accessory information.

    Everything from predicted order of divisional and conference finish to Heisman odds can be at least partially inferred from the rankings which makes the idea of conference power ranking seem a fairly obvious by-product of the first polls.

    And so, the following slideshow power ranks the BCS conferences by number of member appearances in the Coaches Poll and also provides average rankings and percentage of teams ranked for each.

    Of the 25 slots available in the poll 22 are filled by BCS conference members, two are occupied by Mountain West teams (Boise State at No. 7 and TCU at No. 15) and one is owned by independent Notre Dame at No. 18.

6. Big East

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    Teams Ranked:  Zero

    Average Team Ranking: 0.0

    Percentage of Teams Ranked: Zero

    Not much to say here, no member of the Big East made the cut with West Virginia finishing just out of the Top 25 at No. 27.

    USF and Pitt also received mentions (No. 38 and No. 47 respectively) while the other five member teams receive no mention at all.

    It’s interesting to note that the Mountain West conference (with Boise State and TCU ranked) completely eclipses the Big East in the preseason poll.

5. ACC

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    Teams Ranked:  2

    Average Team Ranking: 9

    Percentage of Teams Ranked: 16.6 percent

    The Atlantic Coast Conference has two member teams among the Top 25, Florida State at No. 5 and Virginia Tech at No. 13.

    Also receiving votes from the ACC are Miami FL at No. 29, North Carolina at No. 36, Clemson at No. 40, NC State at No. 44 and Georgia Tech at No. 49.

4. Pac-12

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    Teams Ranked:  2

    Average Team Ranking: 4.5

    Percentage of Teams Ranked:  16.6 percent

    The newly expanded Pac-12 is tied with the ACC in terms of number of teams ranked and percentage of teams ranked but has the edge in average team ranking.

    Representing the Pac-12 are Oregon at No. 3 and Stanford at No. 6 (both from the North division, the South is not represented at all).

    Other Pac-12 programs receiving votes are Arizona State at No. 26, Utah at No. 28, Arizona at No. 32, Oregon State at No. 46 and Washington at No. 48.

3. Big Ten

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    Teams Ranked:  5

    Average Team Ranking: 15.8

    Percentage of Teams Ranked: 41.6 percent

    Coming in at No. 3 is the newly bigger Big Ten with five member teams among the best 25 in the country, a number bumped up marginally by Nebraska’s transfer from the Big 12.

    Big Ten representatives include No. 10 Wisconsin, No. 11 Nebraska, No 16. Ohio State, No. 17 Michigan State and No. 25 Penn State (three are from the Leaders division and two from the Legends division).

    Other Big Ten members receiving votes were No. 30 Iowa, No. 31 Northwestern and No. 34 Michigan.

2. Big 12

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    Teams Ranked:  5

    Average Team Ranking: 12.6

    Percentage of Teams Ranked: 50 percent

    The newly shrunken Big 12 is tied with the Big 10 in terms of number of ranked teams but edges them out in the categories of average ranking and percentage of members ranked.

    The Big 12 pack is led by Oklahoma at No. 1 and the Sooners are followed by neighborly Oklahoma State at No. 8, Texas A&M at No. 9, Missouri at No. 21 and Texas at No. 24.

    No other Big 12 programs received any mention in the voting which indicates a fairly big gap between the perceived top and bottom of the conference.

1. SEC

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    Teams Ranked:  8

    Average Team Ranking: 14.5

    Percentage of Teams Ranked: 60.6 percent

    In what shouldn’t be a surprise to anyone the SEC comes in at No. 1 in the conference power ranking race.

    Eight teams are ranked in the Top 25: No. 2 Alabama, No. 4 LSU, No. 12 South Carolina, No. 14 Arkansas, No. 19 Auburn, No. 20 Mississippi State, No. 22 Georgia and No. 23 Florida.

    The only other SEC program garnering points in the ranking is Tennessee who comes in at No. 40.

    No matter how you slice it, the USA Today poll is overwhelming stacked in favor of the SEC and even more specifically the SEC West which has five of its six members mentioned.