Conference Scorecard: Big East, ACC duel
Greetings from Tallahassee, where USF gets a shot at No. 18 Florida State on Saturday, one of three games that have Big East schools playing at ACC opponents. The two leagues have generally been seen as the weakest BCS conferences, so there's a lot on the line here, as well as with Rutgers and Maryland and Pittsburgh at N.C. State.
Looking at the league standings when it comes to record against BCS nonconference opponents, the ACC and Big East are both 3-5 entering the weekend, which ties them for the worst mark among the six BCS leagues. The two leagues only meet one more time this season -- when USF hosts Miami -- so the season series will likely be decided Saturday.
Having said that, the ACC has four wins against ranked teams, and the Pac-10 with three is the only other conference with more than one. (The Big East is the only BCS league without a win against a ranked team, something USF can change Saturday).
There isn't much else going for inter-BCS games this weekend, but the two leagues with the best records go head-to-head when No. 21 Georgia plays host to Arizona State. The SEC is 5-2 against BCS opponents, while the Pac-10 is the only other league above .500 at 6-4 in such games. (The Big 12 is 4-4 and the Big Ten is 5-6). The only other inter-BCS nonconference clash has Purdue playing host to Notre Dame.
Before we get to the non-BCS leagues, here are your updated standings, looking at overall nonconference record and then nonconference record against other BCS-league schools:
SEC 19-2 5-2
Pac-10 19-7 6-4
Big 12 23-9 4-4
Big Ten 24-8 5-6
Big East 16-5 3-5
ACC 17-10 3-5
The Mountain West went 0-3 against BCS opponents last week, but they still have the best record among the BCS outsiders, with a 3-8 mark against BCS teams. The WAC is next at 2-7, just ahead of Conference USA at 2-9. The MAC and Sun Belt both got wins last week from Northern Illinois and Middle Tennessee State, improving to 3-17 and 2-13, respectively. The BCS outsiders are a combined 12-54, winning 18.2 percent of the time against BCS opponents.
Key games for the BCS busters this week? Nevada has a shot tonight at nearly-ranked Missouri, which is No. 26 in the AP. On Saturday, two ranked non-BCS teams can validate themselves again -- No. 15 TCU is at Clemson and No. 17 Houston hosts Texas Tech. Southern Miss (3-0), which took out Virginia last week, gets a shot at No. 20 Kansas and Fresno State will try to outscore No. 14 Cincinnati. The Big East could pick up a quality win if Louisville can get an upset at Utah -- the Cards are 12-point underdogs.