College Football’s Conference Power Rankings (Week #3)

1 of 2

It was good to see so many readers getting interested in my rankings, and, judging by some of the comments, you weren’t too happy with where I ranked some of the power conferences.  Healthy debate is good for the soul!

In case you missed last weeks article, here is a link (  Each week after the games of the past weekend have been played, I will rank each of the 11 conferences in the FBS subdivision.  As always, I invite your comments and thoughts, but please keep them clean and civil!

After three weeks of college football, many of the top teams have already been beaten, and a number of teams that weren’t ranked or ranked far down in the polls have risen to a level of prominence.  It just goes to show that college football is one of the dynamic and interesting sports!

Sep 1, 2012; Chestnut Hill, Massachusetts, USA; The Boston College Eagles fans wave during kickoff during the first quarter against the Miami Hurricanes at Alumni Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Greg M. Cooper-US PRESSWIRE

OK, here are my week #3 conference power rankings [last week’s rankings will be in (), ↑ = trending upward, ↓ = trending downward, — = no movement]:

#11 – WAC [Western Athletic Conference] (11, –):

Once again this week, the WAC brings up the rear.  I will admit, the leaders of the conference, LA Tech and Texas-SA remain undefeated, and other conference members San Jose State and Utah State have been doing well, too.  Utah State, after coming off an emotional victory over in-state rival Utah, lost in heart-breaking fashion on a last second field goal miss at Wisconsin.  The biggest victories over the weekend belong to LA Tech who upended Rice and San Jose State who beat Colorado State.  So far, no conference games have been played.  The overall record of the 7 member teams is 11-8.  Only Texas -SA and LA Tech remain undefeated.  To date I would argue that best win for any conference member is the Utah State victory over Utah last week (27-20).

#10 – Conference USA (9, ↓):

This conference is on shaky ground.  They are on the precipice of dropping further…so be careful!!  Anyway, the conference maintains 12 members, 6 teams in the East and 6 teams in the West.  After 3 weeks of play, 5 of the 12 teams do not have an overall win, ugh!  East Carolina lead the Eastern division with a 1-0 mark while Tulsa leads the West with an identical 1-0 mark.

Some highlight games from this past weekend include East Carolina beating division rival Southern Mississippi while UCF beat FIU.  Marshall gave MAC-power Ohio all it could handle before falling by a field goal.  The 12 conference members have a combined record of 10-23.  Their are no unbeaten teams remaining in the conference.  The best win by a conference member would be Rice’s win 2 weeks ago at Kansas.

#9 – Sun Belt (10, ↑):

Once again a Sun Belt member has beaten an automatic qualifier (AQ) team.  Western Kentucky won a back-and-forth thriller over Kentucky.  UL-Monroe, the team that upset Arkansas only a week ago came up short in OT this past week at Auburn.  Middle Tennessee State knocked off Conference USA member Memphis and Troy gave Mississippi State all it could handle before succumbing to them.  While the conference doesn’t sport any one dominant team, it does have a number of teams that can be very sneaky if the power teams have not prepared for them.  Beware of this conference come bowl season!  Currently Middle Tennessee State and UL-Lafayette lead the conference with a 1-0 mark.  Overall, the 10 member teams have a combined 13-16 record.  No teams remain unbeaten.  The best win by a conference member is the UL-Monroe victory at Arkansas. While this league isn’t going to scare anyone, at least they are taking advantage of their opportunities!

#8 – MWC [Mountain West Conference] (8, –):

Normally you would say that if a non-AQ conference like the MWC was a combined 3-2 against the Pac-12, that would be good.  It would be unless you examine who those wins were against.  Perhaps the best MWC conference victory so far has to be Nevada’s defeat of California at Cal who was opening a renovated stadium.  This past weekend, Fresno State absolutely crushed Pac-12 doormat, Colorado while Colorado State managed to defeat the Buffaloes in week 1.

The conference is headlined by Boise State who struggled for a half with Miami (OH) before closing the door.  Other members that have been playing well include Nevada, Air Force, and Fresno State.  To date, no conference games have been played and no teams remain undefeated.  The overall record for the 10 members is 11-16.

#7 – MAC [Mid-American Conference] (7, –):

The MAC conference is led by Ohio University.  They remain the conference’s lone unbeaten team, and they had to work awfully hard against Marshall to remain so.  As long as Ohio keeps winning, a place in the top-25 polls should not be far off.  A last second field goal propelled Ball State to a thrilling win at Indiana University.

The MAC is split into two divisions, the East, made up of 7 teams, and the West division made up of 6 teams.  Ohio seems to be the class of the Eastern division while Ball State, Toledo, and Northern Illinois are vying for Western supremacy.  It could be argued that Ohio’s win at Penn State would be the conference’s best win so far.  No MAC-East team has won a conference game, but Ball State and Toledo have each won a game in the MAC-West.  The combined records of the member teams is 16-20.

#6 – Big East (6, ↑):

The Big East, for the most part, does not leave anyone drooling with excitement, but, the games can be really entertaining.  For example, the ESPN Thursday night game (Rutgers at South Florida) did come down to the fourth quarter.  Other games, like Louisville’s hard fought win over North Carolina, came down to final few minutes.  Pitt was left for dead after terrible losses to FCS Youngstown State and fellow Big East member Cincinnati, but they had a pulse and came back to life to defeat at top-15 ranked VA Tech squad.

The conference only has one ranked team, Louisville (#20/#18), but they have a number of teams that have been trending upwards besides Louisville.  Those teams include Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Connecticut.  The conference maintains three unbeaten teams, Rutgers, Cincinnati, and Louisville.  The best conference win would arguably be Pitt’s win over VA Tech this past weekend or Louisville’s win over North Carolina.  Rutgers and Cincinnati currently lead the conference with each team having 1-0 mark within the league.  The combined record of the 8 members is 13-7.