2018 College Football Conferences Ranked
Ranking all the conferences before a snap has been taken.
2018 College Football Conferences: #5, Pac-12 Conference
The Pac-12 seems to be the weakest of the Power Five conferences going into the new 2018 college football season. There is not one of the top five conferences lacking in lousy teams at the bottom. Even the mighty SEC and ACC have that issue. Mind you, those “lousy” teams would probably be okay to better than okay playing Group of Five schedules, hence they are down there on the list.
The Pac-12’s problem relative to the rest of college football is that they are short on contenders. Washington could be one, as could USC. If Oregon finds its way back faster than expected, that’s a big bonus, and the Pac-12 needs Stanford to be good again as well. They could do just fine netting bowl bids when the dust settles, though the middle of the conference presents question marks.
2018 College Football Conferences: #4, Big Ten Conference
What got the Big Ten over the Pac-12 is that the top of this conference looks really, really, really good entering 2018. Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, Wisconsin, and even Penn State are a very tough top five. All of them are likely to be ranked teams over the course of the season, with the top two in contention for the College Football Playoff.
Then one witnesses a sharp dropoff from the leaders of the conference to the losers. There is some room for Big Ten middle ground, like Purdue, but the bottom is wrought with the likes of Illinois and Rutgers.
2018 College Football Conferences: #3, Atlantic Coast Conference
Sorry, John Swofford, your guys could have been number two, but the middle of the ACC isn’t as good as the middle of the conference ahead of yours. Let’s get this straight, however: the Atlantic Coast Conference has one of the two best teams in the country, the Clemson Tigers. They also have another 2018 College Football Playoff contender, the Miami Hurricanes.
Beyond that, what is there? Virginia Tech, good, North Carolina State, Florida State, and maybe Boston College, okay. Throw Louisville in there somewhere as well if their defense is passable. Other than that, there’s not much separating the middle and bottom of this conference. The ACC is not as top-heavy as the Big Ten, but it doesn’t have as huge of a dropoff, either.
2018 College Football Conferences: #2, Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 is the land of shootout offenses and lack of defenses. That always makes its brand of football exciting, if not problematic for the teams that get to bowl games against the stingiest defenses. This league got eight of its ten members into bowls last season, and they could get a similar number there in 2018.
Oklahoma and Oklahoma State could be the leaders of the pack; get your tickets for Bedlam now. TCU, West Virginia, Kansas State, Texas Tech, and Texas all look varying degrees of decent. Iowa State could continue to build on last year’s success. Finally, Baylor and Kansas can’t be much worse.
With the middle of this conference being what it is, the overall depth of the Big 12 coming into the 2018 season looks about as good as anyone’s.
2018 College Football Conferences: #1, Southeastern Conference
Is it not obvious that we would put the SEC at the top? Alabama and Georgia pull up the league, but you could have seven teams ranked at any given time. You might be able to say the middle of the Big 12 is comparable, but the SEC has more teams and still appear on that high level. The bottom also compares a little more favorably, making the SEC the best conference approaching the 2018 college football season.
Did we mention they have the defending champions, Alabama? The team that will be in it every year indefinitely?