Conference rankings: Big 12 rising

The Big 12, Pac-12 and WAC are up, while the Big Ten and Mountain West fall

Updated: October 10, 2012, 11:46 AM ET
By Phil Steele | Special to ESPN Insider
Missouri fansAP Photo/L.G. PattersonSo far, the loss of Missouri has been a net gain for the Big 12.

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:


To read more from Phil Steele on why Texas will win big over West Virginia, plus get the rest of his bold predictions for Week 6 (including his picks for LSU-Florida and Georgia-South Carolina), you must be an ESPN Insider.

Phil Steele

ESPN Insider