What Channel Is The Washington Huskies Football Game On College Football – If You Thought SEC Was the Toughest NCAA Conference, Think Again

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College Football – If You Thought SEC Was the Toughest NCAA Conference, Think Again

There’s so much buzz and hype about the Southeastern Conference — better known as the SEC — you’d think there weren’t any other NCAA football conferences that could compare.

Even Jeff Sagarin in his Sagarin Ratings lists the SEC as the top conference with a central grade (ie Sagarin’s math talk) of 79.89 with the Pacific 10-better known as the Pac 10 at 79.19. On a scale of 100 the difference is 70/100ths of 1 or close enough to not make a difference in my mind.

Ranked 11th among Division 1A conferences in Conference USA at 58.88. Then three 1AA conferences are ranked higher than the last 1A conference—the Sun Belt—at 58.26.

Sagarin ranks all 242 individual 1A and 1AA teams and then aggregates them across conferences to arrive at those numbers.

I read other factors in his mathematical formula for which conference is the hardest (best) conference.

Knowing that the SEC is legion for scheduling Division 1AA teams in its non-conference schedule, I suspect that the SEC’s strength of schedule (the quality of its opponents) may not be as strong. Turns out I’m right.

The “tough” SEC played exactly 10 Division 1AA opponents this season, more than any other conference in the country. By comparison, the Big 12 played 10 games, the ACC and Big Ten played 7 games, the Big East played 6 games and the Pac 10 played only 2 games.

When I add the strength of schedule for the 12 SEC teams, I get an average strength of schedule of 30 compared to an average strength of schedule of 14 for the Pac 10. Who will play the tougher schedule between the top two dogs? It’s easily the Pac 10.

In case you’re wondering, the team that played the toughest schedule in the first 12 weeks of the 2007 college football season is the Washington Huskies, which is why they’re ranked No. 1 out of 242 Divisions 1A and 1AA schools.

For the record, Nebraska is No. 2, Stanford is No. 3, California is No. 4 and Colorado is No. 5, so 3 of the top 5 teams in the standings are from the Pac 10.

Please don’t give me this garbage about the SEC playing the toughest schedule. Other facts and statistics testify.

Another interesting fact of note is this: Since the NCAA established the separation of Division 1A and 1AA in 1978, only 5 Division 1A schools have not played a Division 1AA school: Washington, Southern California, UCLA, Michigan State and Notre Dame. Again, 3 of the 5 teams are from the Pac 10.

The SEC already has 7 of its 12 teams with 7 or more wins and meet NCCA standards, and now you know one of the reasons.

That’s why Hawai’i went 10-0, beating two 1AA schools, adding to its impressive winning record and finishing 153rd-toughest against the other 119 Division 1A schools.

Sometimes a 1AA school can beat a 1A school (like Appalachian State beating Michigan 34-32 at home), not because they’re necessarily better, but because the 1A school didn’t take them seriously.

Copyright © 2007 Ed Bagley

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