The SEC remains a strong No. 1 with ESPN Stats & Info's conference rankings, but both the Pac-12 and Big 12 gained ground on it this past weekend.
While the SEC lost nearly a point, the Pac-12 gained 1.9 points and the Big 12 gained 4.5 points. Still, the No. 2 Pac-12 is 11.9 points behind the SEC. The Big 12 trails the Pac-12 by 5.2 points.
Of course, a lot can change during the bowl season.
From ESPN Stats & Information:
It appears the Pac-12 and Big 12 will be on the outside looking in on the national title debate despite ranking second and third respectively in ESPN’s Conference Power Rankings. Both conferences have depth, but their biggest issue is that there is no “elite” team at the top.
Keep an eye on the bowl matchups announced next Sunday to see how conference strength plays into bowl selections. In the last three seasons, the SEC has the best record in bowl games among the five major conferences (17-11) while the Big Ten has the worst record (9-16).
The Big 12 is 8.1 points ahead of the No. 4 Big Ten, which will be matched with the Pac-12 in the Rose Bowl.