Which is the best conference in college football?

There has been a lot of discussion lately about whether the Big 12, with all their high-powered offenses, has taken over the SEC as the best conference in college football.
Being from SEC land, my first instinct was to say, absolutely not. Then I thought, well maybe I should back that up with some research. Usually columnists don’t let facts get in the way of their opinions, but I thought it was the right thing to do.

So, I started by looking at just the Big 12 and SEC, but then I thought I would look at all the conferences to see if there were any
surprises, which there were. What I did was look at the non-conference games, since that is the only way you can look at how conferences perform against each other. Teams will beat each other up in conference, but all that shows is how deep the conference may be.

I separated the non-conference records into five categories – overall, against BCS schools, against non-BCS schools, against FCS teams and against ranked non-conference opponents.