Bowl records: How the conferences stack up
Lots of debate this summer about which BCS conferences are best and worst, and there are all kinds of criteria to weigh in forming an educated opinion on the matter.
Overall bowl records, for instance, can be misleading because they can be fattened with wins against non-BCS opponents -- the Big East and ACC, generally regarded as the two weakest BCS leagues, are 6-0 and 5-2, respectively, in bowls against non-BCS schools since 2005.
So for this analysis, I focused on each BCS league's bowl record against other BCS schools since 2005, then each league's record in the highest platform -- the elite four or five BCS bowls.
First, bowl records vs. BCS opponents. Some leagues have many more such games than others -- the Big East and Pac-10 have had 14 and 16 in the past four seasons, while the other leagues have had at least 27. I've also included the record for non-BCS schools in bowls against BCS opponents.
League 2008 2007 2006 2005 Overall
Pac-10 4-0 3-1 3-1 2-2 12-4
SEC 5-1 5-2 5-3 3-3 18-9
Big 12 4-3 5-3 3-4 4-2 16-12
Big East 2-2 1-2 3-0 1-3 7-7
ACC 2-6 2-5 2-4 4-2 10-17
Big Ten 1-6 2-5 2-5 3-4 8-20
non-BCS 1-7 2-6 3-5 2-3 8-21
-- Just to break down the non-BCS leagues and their bowl records against BCS opponents since 2005: the Mountain West is an impressive 5-3, the Western Athletic is 3-5, the MAC is 0-4 and Conference USA is 0-7, with Navy chipping in an 0-2 mark.
-- Over the past three seasons, the ACC and Big Ten have been the two worst BCS leagues against other BCS competition in each season.
Now, the second part: How each league has fared in the elite BCS bowls -- the Rose, Sugar, Fiesta, Orange and national championship games. Here are the records since 2005 -- the SEC is 5-2 (with three national championships), the Pac-10 and Big East are both 3-1, the Big 12 is 3-3 (with a national title), the ACC is 1-3 and the Big Ten is 2-6. Non-BCS teams are 2-1 in BCS bowls, with the wins from Utah (2008) and Boise State (2006); Notre Dame is 0-2. The Big Ten deserves credit for getting the most teams into BCS bowls, but again, the ACC and Big Ten (which is 0-6 in the past three seasons) have the worst records since 2005.
Just more food for thought. I'll have more Monday on how two weekends in September will go a long way toward shaping the Big East's reputation nationally in 2009 ...