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There is a never-ending debate about which Football Bowl Subdivision conference is superior to the others. As a contribution to the argument, I present the rankings of the ten FBS conferences according to my creation, the Harvey System. This system ranks the ten FBS conferences in an objective fashion. Teams earn points for their conferences based on victories versus other FBS teams. Victories on the road are worth more than those at home or at neutral sites. Wins against other conferences’ champions, divisional or overall, are worth additional points.
These are the scores of the ten FBS conferences after September 2018:
Big Ten: .669
The Big Ten holds a 3-1 record against both the ACC and Big 12. It has only played two FCS opponents and defeated both.
2. Southeastern: .605
The SEC has a winning record against eight of the other FBS conferences. The only exception is the American Athletic which no SEC team has played yet. Eleven of the SEC’s wins came at the expense of FCS opponents.
3. Atlantic Coast: .500
The ACC is 1-3 versus the Big 10 and 1-2 against the SEC. Twelve of the ACC’s wins occurred over FCS members. The ACC is ranked ahead of the Big 12 due to the ACC’s victory in the sole meeting between the two conferences.
4. Big Twelve: .500
The Big 12 won all ten games versus the Group of 5 conferences. However, the conference has losing records against the Big 10 (1-3), SEC (1-2) and ACC (0-1). Kansas’ loss to Nichols State gave the conference a loss in seven contests against FCS teams.
- Pacific Twelve: .478
The PAC 12 lost both games against the Big 12 and its sole matchup with the SEC. The PAC 12 won nine of its games versus FCS members.
- American Athletic .385
The AAC has held its own in games against some Power Five conferences, 2-0 versus the Pacific 12, 2-2 versus the Big Ten and 3-3 versus the ACC. The AAC has lost two of its ten games versus FCS teams.
- Mountain West .314
The MWC managed to win three of its nine games against the PacifIc 12. The MWC lost all three matches with the Big 10. The MWC lost one of its nine contests versus FCS opponents.
- Sun Belt .281
The SBC did not lose any of its eight contests against FCS teams. However, the SBC lost both games versus the ACC and all six against the SEC.
- Mid-American .216
The MAC won all nine games against FCS opponents. It won only three of its eleven matchups with its neighbors in the Big Ten. It lost both games versus the SEC and all five versus the ACC.
- Conference USA .194. CUSA had an 8-2 record versus FCS opponents in September. CUSA lost all three games versus the AAC and both against the Big Ten.