Power 5 conference power rankings

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Smart: Georgia still a 'work in progress' after beating Auburn (0:58)

Kirby Smart says Georgia's offense was clicking vs. Auburn, but the Bulldogs still have room for improvement moving forward. (0:58)

These rankings are all about rating teams against their conference brethren, but we are also ranking the conferences against each other.

Check out the chart below, and click on a conference to get full details on why we ranked teams how we did.

1. SEC | 2. Big Ten | 3. Big 12 | 4. Pac-12 | 5. ACC

1. SEC

Georgia and Alabama locked up spots in the SEC championship game last weekend, but there was still some jockeying for position to be done throughout the rest of the conference on Saturday.

LSU bounced back from its loss to Alabama last week and solidified its standing as the second best team in the West Division by going on the road and beating Arkansas with ease, keeping the hope of a New Years Six bowl alive.

Meanwhile, Kentucky, which for so long appeared to be a challenger to Georgia in the East Division, is reeling. A week after the Wildcats lost convincingly to Georgia at home, they appeared to let the defeat carry over into an even worse loss on the road at unranked Tennessee.

With Texas A&M clinching a bowl berth by beating Ole Miss at home, the SEC is poised to send as many as 11 of its 14 teams to postseason game. South Carolina should take care of business against Chattanooga next weekend to get eligible, and Tennessee is in good shape to beat either Missouri or Vanderbilt and reach six wins.

1. Alabama Crimson Tide (10-0)
Tua Tagovailoa threw just his second interception of the season, but his Heisman campaign and the Crimson Tide's march to the playoff rolls on after winning a lopsided game at home against Mississippi State.

2. Georgia Bulldogs (9-1)
The Bulldogs appear to be peaking at the right time, bouncing back from a loss at LSU to win three straight games against ranked opponents in Florida, Kentucky and Auburn.

3. LSU Tigers (8-2)
The Tigers actually got on the scoreboard this week and enough to be victorious over Arkansas, though fans would probably have preferred more than the 24 they put up.

4. Mississippi State Bulldogs (6-4)
The Bulldogs fought hard, forcing a rare Tua Tagovailoa interception and making a few chunk plays on offense, but Alabama was too much to overcome over four quarters.

5. Kentucky Wildcats (7-3)
Ouch. The Wildcats suffered what was easily their worst loss of the year, getting outclassed by Tennessee. They didn't respond to their Week 10 loss to Georgia the way really good teams do.

6. Texas A&M Aggies (6-4)
A sloppy afternoon ended positively for Jimbo Fisher's crew, as it came from behind to beat Ole Miss by 14. The offense still looks a bit disjointed but seemed to go back to productive Trayveon Williams at the right time.

7. Auburn Tigers (6-4)
It's a good thing athletic director Allen Greene announced that Gus Malzahn was coming back next year before this past weekend because Malzahn's offense once again looked lost during a loss at rival Georgia. The Tigers get to recover next weekend against Liberty, but it could be more of the same at Alabama to close out the regular season.

8. Missouri Tigers (6-4)
The Tigers are going bowling again after clinching its sixth win with a narrow triumph over Vanderbilt. An eight-win regular season -- which they haven't accomplished since 2014 -- is still in the cards for this team.

9. Florida Gators (7-3)
What, for a moment, looked like another bad loss flipped and the Gators had an impressive come-from-behind victory over South Carolina. The running game was brilliant and Feleipe Franks shook off some boos to turn in a serviceable effort. Can they build on this?

10. South Carolina Gamecocks (5-4)
The Gamecocks let a 17-point second-half lead slip away at Florida. In order to match their 2017 win total (nine), they'll have to win out -- including a victory at rival Clemson -- and win a bowl game.

11. Tennessee Volunteers (5-5)
The Vols now have two wins over ranked opponents this season. Not bad for first-year coach Jeremy Pruitt, who took over a squad that hadn't done that since 2016. Another win and the Vols go bowling.

12. Ole Miss Rebels (5-5)
The Rebels' defense let them down again, yielding 266 rushing yards to Texas A&M in a loss; a game in which the Rebels led early in the second half.

13. Vanderbilt Commodores (4-6)
The narrow loss to Mizzou means the Commodores will have to win out to become bowl-eligible. Vandy has home games against Ole Miss and Tennessee remaining.

14. Arkansas Razorbacks (2-8)
The Razorbacks showed some fight late against LSU, turning a 24-3 deficit into just a seven-point game in the final six minutes before ultimately falling short.

2. Big Ten

The Big Ten West may have settled its champion already -- Northwestern clinched a spot in Indianapolis by beating Iowa this week -- but that doesn't make it easy to figure out the pecking order or predict how each week's slate of game might shake out in a pack of inconsistent, growing teams. On the other side of the league, Michigan and Ohio State continued their parallel marches toward a top-10 showdown in the annual season finale.

1. Michigan Wolverines (9-1)
The Wolverines have held three straight opponents to a touchdown apiece, and now have one more box to check before a showdown in Columbus after taking care of business at Rutgers this weekend.

2. Ohio State Buckeyes (9-1)
Allowing the punter to dominate your highlight reel isn't ideal, but the Buckeyes took advantage of Michigan State's mistakes Saturday to keep their title hopes very much intact.

3. Northwestern Wildcats (7-3)
The Wildcats punched their ticket to the conference championship game with a win in Iowa this weekend that was fittingly a less-than-pretty defensive battle.

4. Penn State Nittany Lions (7-3)
Miles Sanders ran for 159 yards as the active Nittany Lions defensive front feasted on a Wisconsin offensive line that doesn't often get pushed around like they did in Happy Valley this week.

5. Wisconsin Badgers (6-4)
The one-dimensional Badgers (60 passing yards at Penn State) have only one win over a team with a winning record so far this season.

6. Michigan State Spartans (6-4)
The Spartans' defense is as strong and successful as the offense in East Lansing is lost. They haven't scored more than 24 points in a game since September and failed to reach the end zone against Ohio State.

7. Iowa Hawkeyes (6-4)
Iowa has dropped three straight, and while they've come by a total of 12 points, a team built like the Hawkeyes has to win close games to be successful.

8. Purdue Boilermakers (5-5)
The Boilermakers' growing offensive engine wouldn't turn over on a freezing cold day in Minnesota. They got waxed in the next chapter of an up-and-down season for second-year coach Jeff Brohm.

9. Nebraska Cornhuskers (3-7)
The Cornhuskers, winners of three out of their past four, are starting to click on offense with Adrian Martinez and Devine Ozigbo accounting for three touchdowns each against Illinois.

10. Indiana Hoosiers (5-5)
The Hoosiers snapped a four-game losing streak and kept their bowl hopes alive thanks to a late field goal that beat Maryland.

11. Minnesota Golden Gophers (5-5)
A week after firing the defensive coordinator, Minnesota bottled up Purdue and scored on a fumble return to join the ranks of West Division teams that are hard to predict.

12. Maryland Terrapins (5-5)
The Terps are stumbling in November for the second year in a row after letting a win slip away in Bloomington.

13. Illinois Fighting Illini (4-6)
The league's worst run defense allowed 316 yards and four touchdowns on the ground in the loss to Nebraska.

14. Rutgers Scarlet Knights (1-9)
Freshman Isaih Pacheco had a couple nice runs, but the Scarlet Knights never really had a chance against frontrunner Michigan.

3. Big 12

For once, the league went chalk.

The Big 12 teams favored to win on Saturday all did so. Oklahoma, West Virginia, Iowa State and Texas maintained their spots in the upper half of the league. The Sooners escaped a scare in Bedlam and Texas got some poetic justice, 10 years after the fact, in Lubbock. West Virginia won its third straight, Iowa State its fifth.

Two weeks left -- will there be any shakeups down the stretch?

1. Oklahoma Sooners (9-1)
Yes, the defense was -- again -- a concern. But the Sooners won Bedlam and remain in the driver's seat in the league, and Kyler Murray continued to build his case for the Heisman.

2. West Virginia Mountaineers (8-1)
The Mountaineers took care of business against TCU, keeping conference and playoff hopes intact. One more game to go before they can turn their attention to the showdown in Morgantown with the Sooners.

3. Iowa State Cyclones (6-3)
The Cyclones are 5-0 since Brock Purdy took over at QB. And it's the first time they've won five straight conference games in a single season. Fun times in Ames.

4. Texas Longhorns (7-3)
Sam Ehlinger and Lil' Jordan Humphrey are becoming quite the combo, connecting for a game-winning touchdown in Lubbock. Texas will finish the regular season with a winning record for the first time since 2013.

5. Texas Tech Red Raiders (5-5)
A furious rally to erase a 17-point deficit ultimately ended in a loss to the Longhorns. The Red Raiders will need to win their next two to guarantee a winning season, something they haven't had since 2015.

6. Baylor Bears (5-5)
After falling at Iowa State, the Bears now have two shots left to gain bowl eligibility. They'll have to beat either TCU or Texas Tech in the final two weeks.

7. Oklahoma State Cowboys (5-5)
Mike Gundy took a bold and admirable decision to go for two and the upset win over the Sooners late, but it didn't quite pay off. The Cowboys continue to struggle in Bedlam under Gundy (2-12).

8. TCU Horned Frogs (4-6)
After getting blown out by West Virginia, the Horned Frogs need two wins in their final two games to become bowl eligible. Only twice under Gary Patterson have the Frogs failed to reach six wins (2013 was the last time).

9. Kansas State Wildcats (4-6)
The Wildcats secured their 10th consecutive win over the rival Jayhawks and keep their bowl hopes alive. They'll have to win the last two to get there.

10. Kansas Jayhawks (3-7)
What was likely the Jayhawks' last good shot at a win in the David Beaty era slipped away as they fell to K-State. Two more games left, both against top-half of the league foes: Oklahoma and Texas.

4. Pac-12

The mustachioed man, Gardner Minshew, should be on his way to New York for the Heisman Trophy ceremony, while Washington State inches closer to the Rose Bowl. Wazzu is one of the best stories in college football, while the rest of the conference hasn't done much to create national relevancy.

1. Washington State Cougars (9-1)
WSU is still in the mix for a College Football Playoff spot. For Cougars fans hoping for a shot at Alabama, the rooting goes as follows: The Big 12 champion to have two losses; against Notre Dame (especially against USC, which beat WSU); for Northwestern in the Big Ten title game (against Michigan or Ohio State); against Georgia. It's unlikely the Cougs will get everything they need but there is definitely a path to the playoff.

2. Washington Huskies (7-3)
It has been an underwhelming season for the season for the Huskies but wins against Oregon State, Washington State and whoever comes out of the South equals a trip to the Rose Bowl.

3. Utah Utes (7-3)
Even without their starting quarterback and starting running back, the Utes got through Oregon and remain in striking distance for their first Pac-12 South title. Utes fans will be rooting against Arizona State the rest of the way, which would hold the tiebreaker should they end up in a two-way tie for first.

4. Stanford Cardinal (6-4)
All four of Stanford's losses this year have come against teams currently ranked in the AP Top 25 (the three teams ranked above them here and Notre Dame). With wins against Cal and UCLA to close out the regular season, it would go down as another solid season for coach David Shaw.

5. Arizona State Sun Devils (6-4)
The Sun Devils have won three straight to reach bowl eligibility and can really make it a memorable first season under coach Herm Edwards: The Rose Bowl remains reachable.

6. California Golden Bears (6-4)
In the past four weeks, Cal is 3-1, including wins against Washington and USC. The loss in that stretch came at Wazzu, where the Bears gave the Cougars nearly all they could handle. For years under Sonny Dykes, Cal's defense was among the worst in the country, but this squad hasn't given up more than 19 points in a game since mid-October.

7. Oregon Ducks (6-4)
Since reaching No. 12 in the AP poll after a 5-1 start, Oregon hasn't been the same team. The most important thing for the Ducks right now: Their recruiting class is ranked No. 3 nationally by ESPN. The future is bright.

8. Arizona Wildcats (5-5)
The Wildcats have won their past two but still need a win at WSU or home against ASU in the finale to reach six wins. Even under those circumstances, Arizona is still mathematically alive in the South with an identical 4-3 Pac-12 record to ASU.

9. USC Trojans (5-5)
The Trojans are on the brink of disaster -- and it's fair to say they're already there. With games against their two biggest rivals remaining -- UCLA and Notre Dame -- USC needs at least one win just to reach bowl eligibility. That should never be the case at USC. If they go 0-2 in those games -- while keeping in mind UCLA is 2-8 -- the pressure on Lynn Swann to get rid of Clay Helton could be too much to resist.

10. Colorado Buffaloes (5-5)
Things only got worse for the Buffaloes with a lopsided defeat to Wazzu, making it five straight losses after five straight wins to open the year. At this point, it's fair to wonder if coach Mike MacIntyre is coaching for his job.

11. UCLA Bruins (2-8)
The Bruins need to beat either USC or Stanford to avoid tying the program record for losses in the season (9), which came in 1940 when they went 1-9 as a member of the old Pacific Coast Conference.

12. Oregon State Beavers (2-8)
There's always next year.

5. ACC

Clemson remains the obvious No. 1 after an easy win at Boston College, while Syracuse gets its chance at a signature victory when the Orange square off with No. 3 Notre Dame in Yankee Stadium. At the other end of the spectrum, Louisville's disastrous season cost Bobby Petrino his job on Sunday.

1. Clemson Tigers (10-0)
They're back in the ACC championship game for the fourth straight year after the defense dominated Boston College. For all the preseason hype, the Tigers' defense has lived up to all of it.

2. Syracuse Orange (8-2)
Eric Dungey and the Syracuse offense keep chugging along, dominating Louisville and setting up a monster game at Yankee Stadium against Notre Dame this week.

3. Boston College Eagles (7-3)
Once Anthony Brown went out of the game with an injury, there was virtually no chance the Eagles could upend Clemson. Still, BC held the Tigers' offense in check for much of the game.

4. Pitt Panthers (6-4)
A win in either of their final two games -- against Wake and Miami -- would clinch the Coastal Division for Pitt, something that seemed utterly ridiculous just a month ago.

5. Georgia Tech Yellow Jackets (6-4)
Paul Johnson officially has his team bowl eligible, but with the way Tech is playing, those early-season games that got away loom even larger.

6. NC State Wolfpack (6-3)
It must be tough being an NC State fan. Losses like Thursday's are far too common but always heartbreaking.

7. Virginia Cavaliers (7-3)
An easy win over Liberty got the Hoos back on track, but they'll need some help if they're going to edge their way into a Coastal title.

8. Duke Blue Devils (7-3)
Daniel Jones might be looking at the NFL after this season if he keeps playing like he did Saturday. He became just the second ACC QB with 350 passing yards and 150 rushing yards in the ACC in the past decade. The other was Lamar Jackson.

9. Wake Forest Demon Deacons (5-5)
The come-from-behind win with backup QB Jamie Newman only underscored what a terrific job Warren Ruggiero and the Deacons' offensive staff have done this year.

10. Miami Hurricanes (5-5)
The wheels have officially come off at Miami, which has now lost four straight after getting thumped by Georgia Tech.

11. Virginia Tech Hokies (4-5)
Bud Foster's defense has allowed 49 points or more three times this year. It had only done that once in the previous 13 seasons.

12. Florida State Seminoles (4-6)
At least this blowout came against a top-three team. But there's now zero margin left if FSU wants to extend its bowl streak.

13. North Carolina Tar Heels (1-8)
Six straight losses have overshadowed some marginal steps forward, particularly on offense, for the Heels. The question is whether that's enough to save Larry Fedora's job.

14. Louisville Cardinals (2-8)
The defense has allowed 50 or more in four of its past five games. That will cause the head coach to lose his job, as it did for Bobby Petrino on Sunday.