August 11, 2008 Conference Power Index: ACC

The Conference Power Index (CPI) is a compilation of each conference's rank (six points for first place, five points for second place, etc.) in the following categories: AP poll rankings, BCS record, other bowls record, nonconference RPI and NFL draft picks. AP poll and BCS record were weighted doubly. This study examined two five-year periods: 1) The 1998 season through the 2003 NFL draft; 2) The '03 season through the '08 NFL draft.


No longer Florida State and the seven dwarfs

Five years ago, the traditionally basketball-oriented conference -- which finished sixth in our conference power index from 1998-2003 -- made a dramatic move to bolster its football stature, annexing Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College from the Big East. Many supporters believed the newly expanded league would soon challenge for the title of nation's strongest. That has not happened, due in large part to the decline of traditional powers Miami and Florida State.

The league has strengthened itself, however, jumping from sixth to third in our power index. While the conference's elite teams have struggled to compete nationally (losing nine of 10 BCS games), there's no denying the league's increased talent level (it jumped from fifth to third in NFL draft picks per team) and depth (the conference went a national-best 19-12 in other bowl games). Thanks in part to Virginia Tech, BC and Miami, the ACC is no longer Florida State and the seven dwarfs.

CPI Rank 2003-2008 1998-2003
3rd 6th
CPI Categories Data Conference Rank Data Conference Rank
AP Poll .345 3rd .333 4th
BCS Record 0-5 6th 1-4 6th
Other Bowls Record 19-12 1st 12-12 t-3rd
Nonconference RPI .5178 4th .5255 3rd
NFL Draft Picks 15.7 3rd 12.22 5th
Additional Categories Of Interest (Not included in CPI formula)
AP All-Americans 21 3rd 14 5th
Avg. Attendance 53,328 5th 47,972 5th
Avg. Coaches Salary $1,417,450 3rd $988,143 3rd
CPI Notes:
  • AP poll: Percent of conferences' teams ranked in the final AP poll.
  • Nonconference RPI: Conferences' performance in nonconference games weighted by strength of opponents. (Compiled by Jerry Palm of
  • NFL Draft Picks: Average number of NFL draft picks per school.
  • AP All-Americans: First team selections only.
  • Avg. Coaches Salary: Based on head coaches' reported salaries for 2002 and 2007 seasons. (Salary information for certain private schools was not available.)

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