until Texas vs Kansas

Tuesday, September 20


Slightly Exaggerated Conference

Note: This post has been edited from its original posting to the correct data.

This topic has spurred a lot of debate, so I thought I’d take a closer look and make a formal post about it. For all the ooh-ing and ahh-ing about the SEC, it’s not all it’s cracked up to be, so far. At least not in USA Today’s Sagarin Rankings. Sagarin has a complex computer formula to rate each team in the country, then uses those ratings to break things down by conference.

1 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 80.62

2 BIG TEN (A) = 80.39
3 PAC-10 (A) = 79.22
4 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 78.00
5 BIG 12 (A) = 77.17

As of today, his rankings have the SEC as only the 4th best conference. Will that change? I won’t be surprised if it does. Still, this should serve as a two part lesson.

(1) The SEC is getting over-hyped a little bit.
(2) Perception is everything.

And that last lesson is the important one. Humans are biased analysts. It doesn’t matter if the Big 12 winds up being down, or if the SEC winds up being not nearly as (objectively) strong as people think. All that matters is what people think. And right now, and until Texas loses, they think Texas is #2. It’s all that matters.

Your rankings have the big east as the second best conference in football. Other than Louisville, who will never be tested this year, what is buffering up that rating? Rutgers strong 2-1 start.
They aren't my rankings. It's the Sagarin computer rankings, which are one set used in the BCS. Follow the link in the post to see how he does it.
uh, hate to bust you guys' balls, but you're looking at the college BASKETBALL conference rankings. here's the football top-ten conferences:


1 ATLANTIC COAST (A) = 80.62 79.90 ( 2) 12
2 BIG TEN (A) = 80.39 80.77 ( 1) 11
3 PAC-10 (A) = 79.22 78.90 ( 3) 10
4 SOUTHEASTERN (A) = 78.00 78.07 ( 4) 12
5 BIG 12 (A) = 77.17 77.37 ( 5) 12
6 MOUNTAIN WEST (A) = 71.20 70.47 ( 7) 9
7 BIG EAST (A) = 69.97 71.57 ( 6) 8
8 CONFERENCE USA (A) = 64.05 63.86 ( 9) 12
9 I-A INDEPENDENTS (A) = 63.12 64.89 ( 8) 3
10 WESTERN ATHLETIC (A) = 62.53 62.88 ( 10) 9

LINK: http://www.usatoday.com/sports/sagarin/fbc05.htm
Now THAT is funny. Um, ignore part of what I said. But not all of it. The SEC is still down, though clearly, the Big 12 is, too. Thanks for pointing out the error, CW.
Hahaha, these are BASKETBALL rankings from April. Of course the SEC sucks in basketball. Big East ahead of the SEC should have given that away.
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