Sunday, November 22, 2009

The Big East -- Comparing BCS Records

Oh Providence...
A quiet story through the first week+ of the season was the cumulative conference records, especially among the power (BCS) conferences. Preseason stories for example, heralded the return to glory of the SEC, led of course by the resurgence of the Kentucky program even as those writers anticipated a less dominant Big East Conference. The won-loss records compiled by the BCS conferences suggest the Big East may not be ready to go gently into that good night. 2009's most dominant conference opened the 2010 season with a 40 game winning streak that exceeded the next lengthiest conference (the Big 12) by 11. Which conference was the "last to lose"? In truth it came down to the Big East and Big 12 again. And who went last was not clear, as both Providence and Kansas State (the two who lost "first" in their respective conferences) started their ill-fated games at 8:00 EST (Providence-Alabama, Kansas State-Mississippi). I suspect, given the time lag in the game schedule at the Puerto Rico Tip Off Classic, that the Big 12 lasted about 20-25 minutes longer than the Big East counterpart. The summary through Friday evening per Ken Pomeroy's Rating Site...

Big 123020.9380.8948116.287.770.90.475328.5
Big East4120.9530.6839110.396.870.80.439313.4
PAC 102270.7590.6515111.099.570.80.39411.5
Big Ten2380.7420.592296.688.768.40.29257.9

The table is sorted by Strength of Schedule (SOS). The season is still very young (about 15% of the total games this season have been played), with the conference SOS and Pomeroy Rating still volatile. I looked at the totals for Thursday and found the Big Ten had the highest SOS. Note the Big East is ranked 3rd in adjusted offense (110.3) and 4th in adjusted defense (96.8). Efficiency Difference (Eff. Diff) derives from subtracting the ajusted defensive rating from the adjusted offensive rating. More teams accounts for more wins? Maybe, but consider Big East teams are averaging a won-loss record of 2.6-0.13 per team, while the Big 12 averages 2.5-0.16 and the ACC averages 2.5-0.23 per team through Friday night.

Last Thursday was brutal for the Big Ten, as the conference went 1-3, their teams taking losses to North Carolina (Ohio State), Mississippi (Indiana) and UNC-Wilmington (Penn State).

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