Check out Phil Steele’s ranking of experienced Conferences for 2016 based on the average rank of their teams in his Experience Chart:
1. ACC 46.2
2. Mountain West 55.1
3. CUSA 56.0
4. MAC 57.25
5. American 67.5
6. SEC 70.7
7. Pac 12 71.3
8. Big 12 73.2
9. Big 10 73.3
10. Sun Belt 73.8
The gap between the ACC and the rest of the P5 is eye-popping. But not necessarily in a good way.
… The ACC had an average rank of 46.2 while the other four power five teams were in the 70’s. I took it a step further and did the group of five conferences. Their experience rankings were better by conference than the Power 5. I guess the reason for that is fewer players leave early for the draft so they have more seniors.
I suppose you can argue this both ways. The loaded programs lose more players early because they’re loaded, which means they have to regroup, while programs with less highly rated talent keep their players together longer. On the other hand, those loaded programs are more likely to have equally talented players who can step up and fill the openings, while the programs with more returning players are… well, still relying on players who weren’t seen as being as attractive to the NFL, talentwise.
It’s the old question: would you rather play with Alabama’s level of experience or Vanderbilt’s?