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4-Down Territory: Championship Games & A Look at Conference Strength & Analysis of Power Football

This is the final week before the College Football Playoff is determined and conventional wisdom tells us that three of the playoff slots are already set with Georgia, Michigan and TCU locked in. Whether that remains the case or not we’ll see.


But before we get into the specific games it is a good time to note some of the data points that illustrate the relative strengths of each conference. A lot of people like to talk about non-conference records, but a number of teams play FCS teams and that skews the record. To that end we’re strictly going to discuss the records against the other Power-5 teams (and we include Notre Dame in that group).


Let’s start by looking at each non-conference’s record against Power-5 teams. We’ll also look at what percentage of the total non-conference games were played against Power-5 teams.


Non-Conference Games vs Power 5 Teams

Record % of Non -Conference Games Vs Power-5 Teams

The SEC 10-5 26.7%

The Pac 12 6-6 30.6%

The Big 12 5-5 33.0%

The Big Ten 5-6 26.2%

The ACC 8-14 37.5%


Clearly the SEC outperformed the other conferences in those games. However, you can see that the ACC, Big 12 and Pac-12 were more aggressive in their non-conference scheduling than the Big 10 and the SEC.


But before you are too critical of the Big 10, keep in mind that Big 10 teams play 9 conference games. The Big 12, Pac 12 and Big Ten all play 9 conference games. That extra conference game is one more Power-5 game each year than teams in the ACC or the SEC play each year. So counting the conference games and the non-conference schedule, which conferences play the most Power-5 games each year?