An Associated Press study of data from the AP Poll from 2009-2014 found no evidence of SEC conference bias, the AP announced Tuesday.
The AP looked at how ranked teams rise and fall in the poll after winning and losing conference games this season and compared it to the same data from the last five seasons.
The goal was to see if SEC teams are gaining more and being punished less than when teams from the other Power 5 conferences -- the ACC, Big 12, Big Ten and Pac-12 -- play conference games.
The data found that from 2009-2013, the SEC placed lowest out of the Power 5 conferences in average rise after winning a conference game, and in 2014 (through Oct. 18) the SEC placed second, with the Big 12 in first.
When it came to average fall in poll spots after a conference loss, the SEC had the second-lowest average drop after a conference loss from 2009-2013 and tied for the highest average drop with the Pac-12 in 2014.
The most recent AP Poll for Week 9 had four SEC teams in its Top 5: No. 1 Mississippi State, No. 3 Ole Miss, No. 4 Alabama and No. 5 Auburn. No. 2 was Florida State of the ACC. The Coaches Poll had the Big Ten's Michigan State at No. 5 and Auburn at No. 6.
- Molly Geary