Saturday, July 11, 2015

10-Year Anniversary: Dominance Points in the ACC and Big 10

We have finished our survey of Dominance Points for the extinct and mid-major conferences. We now turn our attention to a pair of conferences that condescending SEC elitists might classify as mid-majors, the ACC and Big 10. And yet, which two conferences have produced the past two national champions (in de face!)?

The ACC teams are listed below by Dominance Points. The 12 teams that formed the core of the conference are listed first, even Maryland, The Betrayer. The three Big East schools they added (for whatever reason) are listed separately.
With three consecutive conference crowns, Florida State has been the most dominant ACC team since 2005. While the Seminoles are not anywhere close to their 90’s dominance of the conference, they have gone 23-1 against league foes since 2012. Both divisions have been dominated by a pair of teams. In the Atlantic, Clemson and Florida State have combined for seven of the ten division titles since 2005 (Boston College and Wake Forest account for the other three). Meanwhile, in the Coastal, Georgia Tech and Virginia Tech have won nine of ten divisional crowns. Those four teams have combined to win nine of the first ten ACC Championship Games, with the other victor coming via Wake Forest in true Cinderella fashion in 2006. Despite a resurgence over the past two seasons, that included a division title in 2013, Duke was so poor in the early part of the decade they still rank last in Dominance Points.

The Big 10 teams are sorted below by Dominance Points. The 11 teams that formed the core of the conference are listed first. Newcomers, Nebraska, Maryland, and Rutgers are listed separately.
The top of the Big 10 heap is not a dramatic revelation. Prior to the conference expanding and splitting into divisions in 2011, Ohio State won at least a share of the first six Big 10 titles in the period we are examining. Since the league expanded, Wisconsin has the most Big 10 Championship Game appearances with three (although they won in 2012 thanks to sanctions in Columbus and State College) while Ohio State and Michigan State are tied with two. Nebraska has the other appearance. For those easily distracted by the new East/West division set up, during the first three years of divisional play (the Leaders and Legends fiasco), Ohio State and Wisconsin were actually in the same division. Whether that was the Leaders or Legends division is a question that should never be asked. Maryland and Rutgers acquitted themselves reasonably well during their respective preliminary forays into Midwestern football. For Rutgers, after slumming with gridiron peasants like Connecticut, South Florida, and Temple for the past quarter century or so, the guaranteed yearly battles with Ohio State, Michigan, Michigan State, and Penn State likely have fans partying like its 1869.

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