Conference USA vs. The Big 12 (a response to rockchalk)

But, really, are UTEP and Houston really that different from

Iowa State and Baylor?

Obviously, we’ve played a tougher conference schedule, but I don’t think there is as big of a difference as everyone seems to believe.

Really, one-team-conferences (like the C-USA and Horizon) get a bad rap, IMO. Sure, it isn’t quite as good, but there are still plenty of decent teams.

This is in response to something rockchalk said in another thread and I typed up a response and realized that it might be worth another thread.  This isn't trying to call rockchalk out or anything, but I strongly disagree with this statement.  I think Colorado and Texas Tech would be 3rd and 4th in Conf-USA and I've done a little research on why I think the Big 12 is so much better.

Memphis has it easiest out of any major program in college basketball.  Yes, they still have to go out and win and they do get everyone's best shot, buuuuut let's look at something here.  The four best teams from last year all had plenty of NBA players because that is what it takes to make it that far.  Look at NBA players between the Big 12 and Conf - USA, Big 12 produces a lot more and I think there is a BIG gap between the two conferences....enough to say that 12-4 in the Big 12 is comparable to a 16-0 conf-usa run.

2008 NBA draft:
Memphis: 1. Derrick Rose  33. Joey Dorsey  40. Chris Douglas-Roberts 
Rest of Conf - USA - None drafted

Big 12 - 9 players drafted

2007 NBA draft:
Memphis: None drafted
Rest of Conf - USA - 25. Mike Almond - Rice

Big 12 - 4 players drafted

2006 NBA draft:
Memphis: 16. Rodney Carney  17. Shawne Williams
Rest of Conf - USA - none

Big 12 - 4 players drafted

2005 NBA draft
Memphis & Conf- USA - none
BIg 12  - 4 players drafted

2005 - 2008
Memphis - 5 players drafted
Rest of Conference USA - 1 player drafted - Total - 6 players drafted

Big 12 players drafted - 21 players drafted

I think the level of talent speaks for itself with all these numbers.  This is just NBA guys too.  Think about all the quality college players that never get drafted that the Big 12 has. 


How about another great tool, conference RPI right now:

  Ratings Percentage Index Non-Conference  
Conference RPI Rank W - L Win Pct Best Team
ACC 0.5924 1 135 - 27 0.8333 North Carolina
Big Ten 0.5828 2 105 - 26 0.8015 Michigan State
Big East 0.5786 3 151 - 44 0.7744 Connecticut
Big XII 0.5765 4 130 - 37 0.7784 Kansas
Pac 10 0.5706 5 90 - 29 0.7563 Washington
SEC 0.5571 6 124 - 44 0.7381 LSU
Mountain West 0.5509 7 78 - 37 0.6783 Utah
Atlantic 10 0.5309 8 112 - 77 0.5926 Xavier
Missouri Valley 0.5291 9 69 - 44 0.6106 Creighton
Conference USA 0.5254 10 90 - 65 0.5806 Memphis
Western Athletic 0.5123 11 69 - 49 0.5847 Utah State
Horizon League 0.5119 12 54 - 48 0.5294 Butler
MAAC 0.5085 13 61 - 58 0.5126 Siena
Colonial Athletic 0.5061 14 71 - 67 0.5145 Virginia Commonwealth
West Coast 0.4956 15 49 - 62 0.4414 Gonzaga

Conference USA is sandwiched between the Missouri Valley and Western Athletic conference.  Neither of those conferences has the quality of a program of Memphis, so think of the numbers if Memphis wasn't in the conference.

I think the conference Memphis plays in is a joke.  They used to be legitimate until the Big East took a bunch of their good teams.  UAB is the only one that I would put in there as being a quality team.  The only praise I'll give Memphis is that they do play a tough non-con schedule because they know their conference schedule will be a breeze.  Save last year, I think this hurts Memphis every year when they get in the tourney, this year will be another big indicator whether I'm right about that or not.

I'm open to the fact that I could be wrong.  Any sound arguments against it?

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