- Phil Steele, ESPN Insider
As we near the halfway point of the season, most of the nonconference action has been completed. That makes it a good time to analyze and rank the conferences on their performances to date.
The criteria I used: The overall nonconference record of each conference, with significant emphasis placed upon their record against BCS conferences. As well, I subtracted all of the conferences' wins against FCS competition but still kept their losses against FCS foes. This would penalize any conference that got a majority of their wins against a soft schedule.
A couple of other things I've factored in are the current number of teams ranked in the AP Top 25 with emphasis on total teams within the top 10, along with how many nonconference wins over ranked opponents a conference has. After adding together the different categories, I came up with the following rankings:
Phil Steele offers his midseason rankings for the top conferences. The Big 12 and Pac-12 have both done well early on, while the Big Ten is falling behind.