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Study: Power conference teams don't like playing each other very much

There will be a total of 226 non-conference games played by teams from the power five conferences (ACC, SEC, Big Ten, Big 12 and Pac-12) during the 2013 regular season. Those 62 teams will play each other in 25 of them. Add in credit for scheduling Notre Dame, and you get a grand sum of 26.1 percent of power-on-power games. That's 73.9 percent that, more or less, amounts to different levels of filler.

For purposes of this study, we did not include the American (formerly the Big East) for two reasons: 1) nothing against these programs in particular, but SMU, Memphis, UCF, etc., were not BCS programs when 2013 non-conference schedules were being hammered out and 2) beginning next season, the American will be grouped with the Mountain West, MAC, Conference USA and Sun Belt for College Football Playoff purposes. We decided to start a year early. 

Pac-12 commissioner Larry Scott boasted that his league was the most fearless scheduler, and the numbers back him up. The Pac-12 led the way with 12 of its non-conference 36 games (33 percent) against fellow power teams, followed by the Big Ten (27.1 percent), the SEC and ACC (25 percent), while the Big 12 runs fifth at 23.3 percent. The Big 12's 10 teams will play a total of six power teams outside conference play. 

The SEC and ACC, conferences that share three states and two borders, are the most common enemies at eight scheduled games, followed by the Big Ten vs. Pac-12 (five games) and then the Big 12 vs. SEC at three games. The Big 12 plays the ACC and Big Ten just once, and does not play the Pac-12 at all until bowl season. The SEC and Big Ten, two conferences that are frequent January opponents and no fans of each other year round, play just once as well in a series that was scheduled when Missouri was a Big 12 member.

The powers that be insist the upcoming College Football Playoff will place such an emphasis on strength of schedule that it will force major conference teams to schedule better. Let's hope so. 

ACC vs. SEC (8)
North Carolina at South Carolina
Virginia Tech vs. Alabama (at Atlanta)
Georgia at Clemson
Florida at Miami
Wake Forest at Vanderbilt
Florida State at Florida
Georgia at Georgia Tech
Clemson at South Carolina

Big Ten vs. Pac-12 (5)
Northwestern at California
UCLA at Nebraska
Washington vs. Illinois (at Chicago)
Ohio State at California
Wisconsin at Arizona State

Big 12 vs. SEC (3)
Oklahoma State vs. Mississippi State (at Houston)
TCU vs. LSU (at Arlington, Texas)
Ole Miss at Texas

ACC vs. Pac-12 (2)
Oregon at Virginia
Boston College at USC

ACC vs. Big Ten (2)
Syracuse vs. Penn State (at East Rutherford, N.J.)
Syracuse at Northwestern

SEC vs. Pac-12 (2)
Washington State at Auburn
Tennessee at Oregon

ACC vs. Big 12 (1)
Maryland vs. West Virginia (at Baltimore)

Big Ten vs. Big 12 (1)
Iowa at Iowa State

SEC vs. Big Ten (1)
Missouri at Indiana 

Author: Zach Barnett
Zach Barnett is a native of Denton, Texas and a graduate of the University of Texas. He joined FootballScoop in 2012 after two years at the National Football Foundation. His hobbies include watching college football, reading about college football and writing about college football.