(01-09-2019 06:50 PM)Nerdlinger Wrote: Because the Massey composite only ranks teams rather than giving them a rating, the gaps between conferences are deceptive. If Conference A is in 5th place with a rating of 75 out of 100, and Conference B is in 6th place with a rating of 25 out of 100, comparing them just by rank misses a lot of information.

Comparing conferences isn't all that simple, and there are a lot of different data sets that illuminate different things. In general, there seem to be three distinct groups within the FBS. That's not a particularly controversial statement.

The five autonomous conferences are clearly in a class above all other conferences by pretty much any measure one might think to apply. In a second group are the AAC and MWC. These two are in most respects ahead of the MAC, USA and SBC, though not by as much as they are behind the A5. In any given year within each group, the statistical rankings will vary by a little.

For 2018, there is a numerical rating - Sagarin - which doesn't differ all that much from Massey. To take out some random variation from year to year, I have calculated a weighted average rating for the past five years, during which there was little realignment. I also calculated the OOC winning percentage against FBS competition only for the same five year period. The ratings for each conference:

Conf....5 yr.....2018...Win %

SEC.. 80.24....81.22...766

B12.. 76.87....77.51...621

ACC.. 76.65....75.26...592

PAC.. 76.09....75.07...648

B1G.. 76.07....76.75...681

AAC .. 65.24....64.43...428

MWC.. 62.80....64.54...381

MAC.. 59.10....59.92...273

USA.. 58.16....57.01...331

SBC.. 58.06....58.59...257

The OOC win % may be the least useful in comparing performance within each group because of disparities in strength of individual opponents and number of games. For example, the ACC data includes rivalry games against strong SEC opponents as well as five games a year against Notre Dame.

My takeaway from the data is that, by any measure, the SEC really is stronger than everybody else. You could throw a blanket over the rest of the P5 because they are all pretty equal. Other than that, if anyone is so inclined, you could probably cherry pick a number that makes your favorite conference look its best.