The Sun Belt résumé is a difficult one: Appalachian State is a solid team, and has beaten MAC teams in bowl games, and, after a few years down, Troy returned to the level last fall, going 10 - 3.
Conference USA is fading fast. It lost 7 teams in 2013 and 2014, and, although it bulked up with another 9, a level of prestige was lost in the replacement.
Mac managed a banner season one year ago in terms of the national coverage it managed to score as a result of the undefeated regular season that Western Michigan and P.J. Fleck put together, but he has since departed for Minnesota's top job.
We are past the peak dominance that Boise State enjoyed, which resulted in the Mountain West being put in the conversation from the second that the Broncos joined back in 2011, but it still has a lot to be proud of.
Football bets, like soccer bets, are available at a number of great online bookmakers, and Mountain West will give punters a run for their money!
Mike Aresco, the commissioner for AAC, is on a campaign in order to create a Power 6, and his message is that his conference deserves due consideration among the very best in the game is one that is built on solid fact. The league just hasn't quite managed to get over the hump just yet.
There is small debate that, among the Power 5 conferences, the Big 12 is the weakest one. It has had a tough time getting its teams into the College Football Playoff, but this may change when it brings back its conference championship game in December.
Pac-12 had a very pleasant year-end for 2016, despite the fact that Washington's Peach Bowl lost out to Alabama. The conference was mostly overlooked for the best part of the year, but it still managed to land 2 teams, the Trojans and the Huskies, in the top 5 of the final AP Poll.
Florida State and Clemson's rise into the ranks of the persistent contenders over the past few seasons has done great work for the ACC profile, and the fact that they also had last year's Heisman's winner didn't hurt either. Plus, this conference is about to start enjoying an extra level of exposure with the launch of the ACC Network in 2019.
No matter which way this list was being made, the SEC would no doubt have come in first on most of them. It certainly has a compelling case, based mostly on the fact that it contains the team that has become the gold standard in terms of college football recently, Alabama.
This list boiled down to 2 conferences in competition for the position of number 1, and the Big Ten's new mammoth TV deal is what allowed it to push in front of the SEC. That is not to disregard the arguments for the SEC, but, with this amount of strong core teams, it would truly be shocking if even one of the 2016 ranked Big Ten teams are not contenders once more this year.