The seasons surely change and the college carousel always turns, but has enough happened through five weeks of college football to trigger a change atop the BCS conference power landscape?
Here are the top-six BCS conferences through five weeks:
6. Big East
Lately it hasn't been a question of which conference is at the bottom among the big-boys, but instead 'by how much?'. Yes, I'm talking about you Big East. Sure you have two top-25 teams in Rutgers and Louisville, but a 19-10 non-conference record thus far is worst among the BCS brethren (65.52 Win%). Factor in zero teams in the top-30 in scoring offense -- although four defensively -- and it's business as usual out east.
Speaking of east, the Atlantic Coast was still there last time I checked. And you know what that means; more sub-par BCS football. The ACC does have a national title contender in Florida State, but that's where it all falls apart. A non-conference winning percentage of 68.42% (28-12) and only two teams in the top-25 tell much of the story. The Seminoles and Clemson Tigers are high-quality teams, but the disappointment of North Carolina, Virginia Tech, and Georgia Tech have really dropped this group a notch. The ACC does have four of the top scoring offenses (three defensively) in the nation, but the wins haven't followed.
The hate party on the B1G started early in week two, and rightfully so -- at least for a little while. Their early family trip to the west coast turned disastrous (as it often has in years past) but the conference has rebounded slightly since then. Sure, Penn State is supposed to be in shambles and Ohio State is a ghost team, but things aren't that bad -- are they? Despite how it may seem, the Big-Ten is actually 34-13 against non-conference foes (good enough for a win percentage of 72.34%). Three top-25 teams are respectable along with four top-30 defenses, but only two top-30 offenses in the conference have hurt their cause. The Big-Ten just isn't flashy enough.
Surprisingly, the boys out west actually have a lower winning percentage against non-conference foes than that of the Big-10. That doesn't move them below their week-two beat down of the ugly ducks from the Midwest, but it does limit their placement on lists such as this. A mark of 21-11 out of conference equates to a 71.88% winning percentage, which is very respectable next to a 50% rate of teams in the top-25 (six if you left your calculator at home). The PAC-12 is also home to two of the country's top-30 scoring offenses and three from the same list defensively. Like the Big-10 they're not putting up huge numbers on their journey (ignore Oregon for a moment) but what they do have sets them a spot above -- wins head-to-head.
If it wasn't for the structure of the top-ten this rung of the ladder may have been reserved for the SEC. It's hard, however, to justify such a move with more consecutive national titles by the SEC than most humans have fingers on one hand (six, once again, if you're using a solar calculator in a dark room). The quarterback play has been off the charts so far in the Big-12 with five of the top seven Quarterback Ratings (QBR) coming from within the conference. More impressive, however, have been the wins. Twenty-six victories to only three losses out of conferences. Wow, indeed. They boast seven of the top-30 offenses in the country and five of the top defenses (who knew?), and hold five top-25 teams. How do you top that?
...by looking at the top-ten, of course. Five teams from the SEC rest among the nation's top ten of the Associated Press poll. Collectively, the conference has built up a 30-7 non-conference record to this point and have six teams in the top-25. Statistically they've held their own as well (obviously), with six of the top-25 defenses in the nation to go with five on the offensive side. Some may believe that defenses win championships, but another criteria seems to be looming: Play for the SEC.
Sound Off: Do you agree with the rankings? Has the Big-12 done enough to dethrone the SEC?
Justin Mikels is a staff writer for Operation Sports. Follow him on Twitter: @long_snapper