So here's how all these numbers fit into the big picture from a conference perspective. Is there really anything to this? I think so. Straight off the spreadsheet in Part I here's the conference rankings and the average class ranking for the conference covering the last 5 classes heading into 2009.
1. SEC at 24.8- No surprise here. Only 3 of 12 SEC teams have a talent ranking > 30 and 4 of the 10 teams with "Elite" talent call the SEC home. That said the oversigning we talked about in Part II tends to happen more in the SEC than any other BCS Conference which inflates their rankings a tad. In the last 5 seasons the SEC has averaged 6 teams oversigning per year. In the last two seasons Ole Miss alone has signed 37 and 31 respectively. Think they'll have 68 Freshmen & Sophomores on the roster this fall? Review Part II to find out where they stash them.
2. ACC at 34.37- Numbers 2 through 4 are really a dead heat. But there's an obvious drop off from the SEC. Despite a little oversigning inflation the SEC really does have the most talent.
3. Big 12 at 34.42- Right there with the ACC. As a group had a rough go this year with a conference average of 40 for 2009 that dropped them from the #2 slot.
4. Pac 10 at 34.56- Hot on the trail of the ACC and Big 12. The PAC-10 overall numbers are slightly skewed by USC who falls out as the consensus #1 in the overall talent department. No one has kids like USC. No one.
5. Big 10 at 42.62- Boy that hurts. When you combine this with the fact that they stop playing two weeks before everyone else its no wonder they can't win a bowl game.
6. Big East at 53.98- Truly the stepchildren of the BCS Conferences the Big East has ZERO teams with an average ranking less than 30.
7. Mountain West, Conference USA, Sun Belt, WAC, MAC all >82. Ouch.
8. Independents at 82 as well. This is really skewed in that its Notre Dame, Army and Navy.
Part IV will take a closer look at how all these numbers factor in to the overall success of a program. Its a three part equation consisting of talent, coaching and program health.