Tuesday, August 14, 2007

Did Big East Get the Best of SEC in 2006?

If there is one thing the 12-game season has taught college football fans, it's that the big boys have an unending appetite for a cupcake. You know, a lower-level opponent that is happy to travel to play Goliath and accept a fat paycheck in return. The end result is something like 42-7 or 52-3. Afterward, Goliath's coach and players talk in glowing terms about how much they respect Directional State while chalking up another victory toward becoming bowl-eligible.

Wendell Barnhouse of the Fort Worth Star-Telegram takes a detailed look at what goes into scheduling, including I-AA teams openly shopping their availability. Teams strike a deal with a I-A opponent and then try to better the game guarantee by talking with another I-A school.

The competition for cupcakes has become so intense that some teams are finding it impossible to fill their schedule. Hawaii has long benefited from an NCAA rule that allows (because of travel considerations) it to schedule an extra game and for any of its state-side opponents to schedule an extra game. Scheduling competition is so great that even a trip to Hawaii isn't good enough these days.

The Warriors could find only one Division I-A team (Washington) willing to journey to Honolulu. Hawaii had to schedule two I-AA teams and still wound up with only 12 games.

Which BCS league plays the most games against other BCS opponents? It's the Big East, which played 18 games last season. The Big East also had the best record (11-7) and was perfect in the postseason (5-0).

The SEC, which has a sparkling 24-1 record against non-BCS teams and was 8-0 against I-AA teams in 2006, was only 9-6 against BCS teams. In the postseason, SEC teams finished 6-3.

As for overrated conferences, try the Big Ten, which is a wretched 11-17 in the postseason since 2003.

Bottom line: Score one for the Big East and score one for playing other BCS opponents in nonleague games. It pays off in the postseason.


Jai Eugene said...

Let’s review the Big East’s stellar 2006/2007 5 and 0 bowl record:

_ UL beats Wake Forest in the most unattractive BCS bowl games to date. The worst Orange Bowl for as long anyone can remember. When Orange Bowl officials found out who they got for their premier game, a collective, “awww, shiiiaaatttt…” leaked from the board room.

- The cute Rutgers story of the year put them in the Texas Bowl against Big 12 (7-6) powerhouse, Kansas State. Rutgers, the Big East runner-up, wins 37 - 10. Aww. It’s their 1st ever bowl win in 137 seasons played. How cute.

- WVU, the big east #3, sneaks into the Gator Bowl and “destroys” GT 38-35. Ironically, that’s the same score they “destroyed” UGA with. “Destroy” is taught in WV public schools as a term to describe winning by any margin. WVU fans will not say that South Florida “destroyed” the mountaineers 24-19 in Morgantown, but, whatever.

- Now here’s where the big games start. Big East #4, South Florida, faces the juggernaut East Carolina from C-USA. This was a game for the ages with South Florida winning the Papa John’s Bowl 24-7. Papa John’s gave both conferences $100,000 worth of liquid garlic butter and those mini end tables used to keep the pizza box from being brushed into the cheese.

- Cincinnati (8-5), Big East #5, played the scrappy Western Michigan Broncos in Toronto in the International Bowl. I actually watched this whole game. I don’t know why, other than I must have been sick and the batteries on the remote must have been dead. Ironically, this was a good game. Kinda like how you can go to a high school football game and see a good game. Cincinnati came out to a 24-0 lead and eventually won the contest 27-24. Now that’s football.

So, the Big East’s 2006/7 bowl opponents were Wake Forest, GT, Kansas State, East Carolina, and Western Michigan. Wake Forest is the only team in the bunch to finish ranked in the top 30 with an 18 in the AP poll and 17 in the Coaches poll.

Why say all of that? I don’t know, really. Big East fans will never agree that their conference is inferior, so not only do I waste time watching Cincinnati in the International Bowl, but I wasted time reasearching Big East Bowl games to author a reply post on loserwithsocks.

You know how they have classifications in high school football? A, AA, AAA, AAAA, AAAAA? The Big East is AA. Every year a AA team will beat a AAAA or AAAAA team in football. They cheer and get all happy and say they can compete, but everyone knows they don’t have the depth or the ability to compete with the big boys every week. One game here and there? Sure, but WVU or UL isn’t escaping the SEC schedule with less than 3 losses during their best year.

Anonymous said...

Get a life.

Biby Cletus said...

hi there, i stumbled across your blog while randomly searching the blogosphere, nice one you have here, i also find the design to my liking. do keep up the good work.

warm regards from the other side of planet earth. i'll be back for more.

Deep Regards

Biby Cletus

Stan said...

Hey jai,
How did Tennessee end their year? . WVU's victory of GT was without Steve Slayton. You have heard of him haven't you? WVU might lose 3 games in the SEC but it sure as hell wouldn't be to Tennessee.
Good luck with the Fulmer Cup this year