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Bonanza of Numbers: Part II

[The Parity Index]
The Parity Index is a simple measure of how close each conference is to "utopian" competitive balance. Thus, if every team in a conference finished with a .500 conference record, the conference's parity index value would be zero (0).

Why is this important?

Well, through an examination of parity, several valuable insights may be made, including:
- What conferences are most prone to parity thus making each conference game all that more important;
- Perspective can be given to "upsets" by placing them in the context of the conference they occur in; and
- Insights may be made as to relationship between parity and the intangibles associated with each D-1A football conference.

And if you're interested, the 2004 Parity Index may be found here.

Parity Index - 2005
ConferenceParity Index
Western Athletic30.619
Big East28.571
PAC Ten28.504
Big Ten27.178
Big Twelve23.936
Mountain West23.570
Conference USA21.651
Atlantic Coast21.651
Sun Belt17.496

Atlantic Coast Conference
All season the ACC was characterized as the most competitive conference in the country. With nine of the conferences twelve teams within one victory or defeat from a .500 record, the ACC was clearly the most competitively balanced conference in the country in 2005.

The PAC-10 once again places amongst the worst three conferences in the country in terms of competitive balance. Unless you're interested in watching the daily line being validated, there is little reason to tune into any of these contests.

Sun Belt
Here's some simple math that adequately describes the Sun Belt's high parity value:

A Bunch of Shitty Teams + Very Few Dominating Road Variables = High Parity.

Big East
What a difference a year makes.

In 2004, the Big East was the second-most competitive conference in the country chiming in with a 21.822 parity value. This year, the Big East saw itself become one of the least competitively balanced conferences in the country.

Why did this happen? It's actually pretty simple: the addition of Louisville and Syracuse's sharp demise.

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