NCAA Football

Power Ranking The Top College Football Conferences Heading Into Week 9

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Power Ranking The Top College Football Conferences

Power Ranking The Top College Football Conferences
Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

For many years, the college football landscape has seen one conference at the top of the heap and all the others fighting for second place. This year, we can at least have the conversation about which conference deserves the top spot.

Before this season, all you could talk about was who you would call the second-best conference. Now we have more parity than ever in the sport. The Pac-12 and the ACC both have teams that earned big wins outside of their conference. They have explosive offenses and good defenses, with some defenses even being as good as the vaunted SEC.

And it’s not only the teams that are more evenly spread out than ever -- the superstars are too. Heisman Trophy candidates like Marcus Mariota and Jameis Winston join reigning trophy holder and current candidate Johnny Manziel. That is the kind of parity that is driving what is shaping up as one of the better college football seasons in recent memory. Now, if we just had a way of letting more than two teams compete for the championship. Oh yeah, that comes next year.

That playoff format would be perfect this year with so many good teams that don’t have a chance of playing each other. In the past, the SEC championship was the defacto national championship game; this year, there are so many contenders in all the conferences that the races to win them will be more exciting than ever.

The top conferences are as competitive as they have been in recent memory, and this is how they stack up against each other heading into Week 9 of the college football season.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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6. AAC

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The AAC exists just because the current system calls for six automatic qualifying conferences. Louisville lost to UCF, and neither would be contenders in any other conference.

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5. Big Ten

Big Ten
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Big Ten might have the team with the longest consecutive winning streak, but that's about all they have in their favor. The rest of the conference isn't very good, and we won't really know if Ohio State is for real until they take on someone really good in January.

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4. Big 12

Big 12
Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

The Big 12 is solid, but lacks a real contender. They have a few good teams, especially Baylor, but with no signature team or player, it's hard to put them higher on this list.

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3. ACC

Jamie Rhodes-USA TODAY Sports

The ACC has the most exciting player in all of college football (Sorry, Johnny) who plays on a legitimate title contender. What they don't have is good depth -- you'd have a hard time finding a quality team three or four spots down the standings.

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2. Pac-12

Scott Olmos-USA TODAY Sports

The Pac-12 has been a pleasant surprise this year. They are good from top to bottom, and have a legitimate national title contender in Oregon.

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1. SEC

John David Mercer-USA TODAY Sports

The SEC is the best conference in college football until someone knocks them off. Not only have they won the last seven national championships, but they currently have the most teams (six) in both the BCS rankings and the AP Poll, including the No. 1 overall team in Alabama.