New blog feature: The Conference Scorecard
We write a lot here about the national debate as to which BCS conferences are best and worst, so during college football season this fall, we'll have a weekly feature on the blog called The Conference Scorecard. There are 50 nonconference games between BCS league teams this fall, and each week, we'll review the results of those games and preview the next week's -- 32 of those 50 showdowns are in the month of September, when USF realistically won't play a significant opponent until the 26th at Florida State.
From a per-school standpoint, the Big East has the most nonconference games vs. BCS opponents, with 16 from its eight teams; the ACC plays 20, the Pac-10 plays 15, the Big Ten and SEC 14 each, the Big 12 just 11 and Notre Dame has 10.
By my count, there are seven such games that feature two teams ranked in the preseason AP Top 25 -- Alabama vs. Virginia Tech and Georgia vs. Oklahoma State on Sept. 5, Southern Cal vs. Ohio State on Sept. 12, Nebraska vs. Virginia Tech on Sept. 19, Southern Cal vs. Notre Dame on Oct. 17 and Florida vs. Florida State and Georgia vs. Georgia Tech on Nov. 28.
We'll also track the five non-BCS Division I-A conferences and their success against BCS teams -- they have 104 such games and 104 opportunities to show they can play with college football's elite leagues. Last year, those leagues went 24-80 against BCS competition in the regular season -- the Mountain West went a commendable 9-5, the Western Athletic went 5-12, the Mid-American went 6-22, then a dropoff to the Sun Belt (2-20) and Conference USA (2-21).
We'll bring this feature back right before the opening weekend, when there are eight nonconference clashes between BCS teams, highlighted by Alabama-Virginia Tech and Georgia-Oklahoma State.
To anyone else who stayed up late hoping to watch the shuttle launch, my sympathies ...