BCS busters: Who are college football's best?
After running numbers on the Western Athletic Conference the other night, I decided to see how all five non-BCS conferences have fared against teams from the six BCS leagues over the past four seasons.
Again, we're looking each school's record against BCS-league opponents, to see which teams and which leagues have held their own the best against the highest level of competition in college football. I'll start by telling you there are only three non-BCS schools that have totaled more than five wins against BCS teams in the past four seasons -- try to guess who those are, with the hint that only two have winning records. (Answers after the jump in a few paragraphs).
As a whole, non-BCS schools are 77-392 against BCS opponents since 2005, meaning they win just 19.6 percent of the time. One non-BCS league is much more successful than the other four -- the Mountain West Conference is 30-35 since '05, good for a .462 winning percentage. (The ACC's non-conference record against BCS opponents, for comparison's sake, is 49-55; the Big East's is 38-39).
No other league comes close -- the Western Athletic is 13-62 (.173), the Mid-American Conference is 17-120 (.124), Conference USA is 11-91 (.108) and the Sun Belt is 6-84 (.067).
And if you want a more immediate timeframe, consider the last two seasons: the MWC is 19-16 (again, for a close comparison, the Big East is 19-18, the ACC 30-30); the WAC is 7-30, the MAC is 11-60, the Sun Belt is 5-43 -- actually better than C-USA, which is 4-47. We've written about C-USA's struggles with BCS opponents before -- take away East Carolina and the rest of the league is 1-41 against BCS teams in the past two seasons.
So what individual non-BCS teams have piled up the most wins against BCS opponents? The top two are both from the Mountain West -- TCU is 7-2 and Utah is 7-3. The only other non-BCS program with a winning record against BCS teams since '05 is New Mexico at 3-2.
Next best? East Carolina is 6-10, with five wins against ACC teams. Give the Pirates credit, too, because nobody else has scheduled more games against BCS teams (FAU has the same 16 games, but with a 1-15 record.) BYU is 5-7, Fresno State is 4-8, and then there are six teams with three wins against BCS opponents: New Mexico (3-2), Wyoming (3-3), Boise State (3-4), Toledo (3-5), Western Michigan (3-8) and Hawaii (3-10). Everyone else is averaging one BCS win every two seasons ... or worse.
Now the other side: Of those 77 wins for non-BCS teams, which BCS league has lost the most? The Pac-10 has lost 20, then the Big 12 (16), ACC (13), Big Ten (11), SEC (8) and Big East (8).
There are 23 BCS schools that haven't lost a non-BCS game in the past four seasons (including USF). Which school has lost the most? Arizona, UCLA, Iowa State and N.C. State have lost four each, and Stanford, Washington, Virginia and Mississippi State have each lost three.
One last note: Which non-BCS teams are the weakest in terms of scheduling the fewest games against BCS teams? Five schools have played four or fewer games -- a dubious honor for UTEP (0-3), UNLV (2-2), New Mexico State (0-4), Utah State (0-4) and Tulsa (0-4).
OK, enough for now. What else is a college writer to blog about in July?