How did you spend your summer? Stewart Mandel of SI.com decided to settle the "Who's conference is the best?" debate, sitting down with two interns and crunching numbers.
Each of the six Bowl Championship Series conferences was ranked against the others using five categories: BCS bowl record, percentage of teams in the final Associated Press poll, nonconference performance (as measured by the RPI formula used for basketball), record in other bowl games and NFL draft picks per teams. Data from the 10 years of the BCS was used for the study, and it was divided into two five-year chunks to help examine how the pecking order had changed after the Atlantic Coast Conference's raid on the Big East.
Six points were awarded for first place, five points for second and so on. The BCS and top 25 categories weighted doubly.
The winner for the past five years? The Southeastern Conference, which amassed 40 out of a possible 42 points. The Pacific 10 was second, with the almighty Big Ten finishing fourth, trailing the ACC. The Big 12 was fifth and Big East sixth.