Last week, I took a look at the number of undefeated teams left and how much lower the number was than in 2007 and 2008. There were just 17 undefeated teams left, and four of them lost over last weekend. That leaves just 13 unbeaten teams this season: Alabama, Auburn, Boise State, Cincinnati, Florida, Iowa, Kansas, LSU, Missouri, USF, TCU, Texas, and Wisconsin.
I could just do a table to sort those by conference, but why do that when a pie chart will do?
I can use Excel!
You got it, the SEC has the most undefeated teams left in the country. Sure, the number is going to have to go down by at least one this weekend since Florida and LSU play each other. Still, in this crazy season where unbeaten teams are dropping like flies, it's worth at least a gold star sticker to have the most undefeated teams left at this point in the season.
But wait! What's that I hear? It's a chorus of voices coming from the rest of the country shouting "SEC teams play bad schedules! SEC teams don't play anyone!" Don't worry, I've got you covered. I went through all the undefeated teams and looked at how many teams from Big Six conferences they've played. The results may surprise you if you're one of the ones shouting those mantras.
|Conference||Teams||Pct. BCS Opp.|
Among the four SEC teams' opponents, 63 percent of them came from BCS conferences. LSU leads the way for everyone by having four of its first five opponents be from the Big Six. Alabama and Auburn have had three of their five opponents be BCS opponents, and two of Florida's four have been as well. The only other conference where all of its undefeated teams have 50 percent or more of opponents be from BCS conferences is the Mountain West, where TCU has had two of its four from the Big Six.
The only team besides the four SEC teams and TCU that has had half or more of its opponents from a BCS conference is Iowa. The Big 12 unbeatens are particularly bad in this regard as Texas, Kansas, and Missouri have all played just one AQ conference opponent each, with Kansas having played only Duke and Missouri having played only the sinking ship known as Illinois. Boise State has of course played only Oregon, and that's the only Big Six conference team the Broncos will play all season.
It's of dubious value to be the best league during a down year for the sport, but when you combine this sort of data with the fact that the SEC has the best non-conference record so far, it makes the conference look pretty good. I'll leave it up to someone else to go fight the conference wars, but it's an encouraging sign since the SEC was down last year. Things are looking up, and this is just one of the reasons why.