Let's crack open an ice cold can of clarity. Perception is one thing. Reality is another. The ACC is more than the win and loss column for Duke and UNC in conference play... North Carolina fans and the big media types may not believe this because the two big NC programs have overshadowed all of the talent and greatness of the conference for the past 20 years. Yes, they are the most important members of our conference due to fan base size, mass appeal, and revenue but the conference is not down just because UNC is struggling to win in the ACC or because Duke has struggled out of conference.
After a swig of Sweetwater Clarity Beer, we see that the ACC is doing favorably out of conference this season. In fact, we are taking care of business out of conference. The ACC is second best in the country with an 81.4% winning percentage out of conference (91.0% against midmajors). The ACC is second best against the major conferences with a
The first table indicates the winning percentage this season of conferences head to head. The leftmost vertical column of conference names is the starting point. For example, the ACC has won 2/3 of their games against Big East teams but only 1/3 of their games against the Big 12. The second table is read the same way except it is merely the number of contests between the conferences. For example, the ACC has played the Big East twelve times but has only played the Big 12 three times.
The grandstanding by the Big East lately is because they've been winning "big" OOC games on national television not because they've performed consistently all season. The Big East and Big 12 are the only conferences with winning records against then-ranked opponents, yet the Big East has the second worst record against major conference opponents. The critical mass of the Big East allows the cream to rise from the crap. So no matter the year, there's bound to be 2-3 good teams because the Big East is 1/3 bigger than the next biggest power conference. Probability guarantees that the Big East will have more "elite" teams year to year.
The table indicates the overall out of conference wins/losses, power conference wins/losses, and midmajor wins/losses. The only people that have much to hang their hat on this year are the Big 12 fans. Their conference top-bottom has performed outstanding all season. In conference wins should be lauded and losses shouldn't be taken too seriously as the conference has shown that it's incredibly strong OOC.
This chart indicates out of conference records against then-ranked opponents. Those wins and losses may be against teams that have completely fallen off but that didn't shake me from using the numbers still. The numbers are still interesting because 1) they indicate national perception and hype 2) they show scheduling tendencies of the different conferences and 3) it includes midmajor powers like Butler, Gonzaga, UNLV, etc..
Edit: I wanted to add a few more bits of trivia. ACC yearly OOC winning percentage since full expansion 73.6%, 74.8%, 72.7%, 77.6%, & 81.4%. This year is the best out of conference performance since full expansion (keep in mind we haven't played post season yet). Also, going with my ACC-Big East comparison kick, average margin of victory in ACC games = 10.33 points/game. Average margin of victory in Big East games = 10.40 points/game. Amazingly close.
Edit 2: A commenter on ESPN pointed out that I messed up one of the results of an ACC-Big East game. He forgot the BC win over Providence but I mistakenly counted UVA over USF. Two wrongs don't make a right... Actual record is 7-5 ACC over Big East right now. ACC winners are Duke (x2), VT, FSU, BC, NCSU, & UNC. ACC losers are UVA, MD (x2), UNC, & Duke