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The age-old question still rages: which college football conference is the best of them all?


With Nebraska located at the western edge of Big Ten country, I recognized a built-in bias, but thought it would be interesting to see how Husker fans look at this question on a cloudy Saturday afternoon in early October, before the Nebraska-Michigan game kicked off.

I asked 55 Nebraska fans at two tailgates on South 8th Street to rate the top three college football conferences in order. I assigned three points for first place, two for second and one for third.

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Husker fans were almost evenly split between the Southeastern Conference, which had seven teams in the Top 25 of this week’s Associated Press poll, including the top two (Alabama and Georgia). The Big Ten had five in the Top 25, but four of them (Iowa, Penn State, Ohio State, Michigan) were in the Top 10.

SEC teams have won four of the seven College Football Playoff championships thus far, and the SEC won this poll, also, by a narrow margin over the Big Ten, with the Big 12 edging the Atlantic Coast Conference for third place. So although SEC teams rarely play north of the Mason-Dixon Line, in this case they went on the road and pulled out a close win.

The results:

  • SEC, 140 points
  • Big Ten, 131 points
  • Big 12, 29 points
  • ACC, 26 points
  • Pac 12,  4 points