Big Ten, Big 12 Leapfrog SEC at Top in First College Football Rankings

Ohio State Wins National Championship
Brandon Wade/AP

The SEC remains the deepest conference in the first AP football poll released this weekend, but the Big Ten and Big 12 play stronger at the top after picking up respect, and recruits, after last year.

The SEC comes out on top if giving the conference 25 points for a first place team, 24 for a second place team etc. But when looking at the top two teams from each conference the SEC ranks as the third strongest:

Conf Pts (25-24-etc) Top 2 team rankings
SEC 92 Bama 3rd, Auburn 6th
Pac 12 70 Oregon 7th, USC 8th
Big 12 53 TCU 2nd, Baylor 4th
Big Ten 52 Ohio St. 1st, Mich St. 5th
ACC 40 Flo State 10th, Clemson 12th

Early last season it appeared the SEC would once again dominate and the Big Ten would be a laughing stock, particularly when Virginia Tech went into Ohio State for the upset. Most fans did not notice when things changed on September 20, when one of the worst teams in the Big Ten (Indiana) beat one of the best teams in the SEC (Missouri) on the road.

Nate Sudfeld, who we ranked ahead of Notre Dame football players and Indiana basketball players as the top athlete in Indiana at, threw for 252 yards to deliver the 31-27 shocker and from that point on the Big Ten went on a roll and the SEC struggled out of conference straight through Wisconsin’s upset of Auburn and Ohio State’s upset of Alabama.

While the SEC was much deeper than the Big 12, TCU’s manhandling of Mississippi behind the play of Kolby Listenbee (our top athlete in Texas), has helped result in respect that led the Big 12 to get the 2nd and 4th spot in the poll to basically match the Big Ten’s 1st and 5th as the top conference.

The Top 25 released Sunday is as follows:

Rnk Team Conference
1 Ohio State Big Ten
2 TCU Big 12
3 Alabama SEC
4 Baylor Big 12
5 Michigan State Big Ten
6 Auburn SEC
7 Oregon Pac 12
8 USC Pac 12
9 Georgia SEC
10 Florida State ACC
11 Notre Dame Ind
12 Clemson ACC
13 UCLA Pac 12
15 Arizona State Pac 12
16 Georgia Tech ACC
17 Ole Miss SEC
18 Arkansas SEC
19 Oklahoma Big 12
20 Wisconsin Big Ten
21 Stanford Pac 12
22 Arizona Pac 12
23 Boise State MWC
24 Missouri SEC
25 Tennessee SEC