a terrible blight on our fine country
I decided to put this together really quickly because I was bored at work. I used the most recent of two human polls (AP and Coaches) and two computer rankings (KenPom and Sagarin). Both types have their flaws (everyone probably knows about KenPom's love for Wisconsin at this point), so hopefully some sort of average makes sense.
It's a really simple ranking algorithm. The conference gets 25 points for a team in 1st place in whichever poll/model, 24 for 2nd, etc. So theoretically, a single team could earn its conference a total of 100 points. I only look at the top 25 teams, so this isn't incredibly accurate, but it's hopefully a nice little back-of-the-envelope calculation.
The Big 10 is pretty strong right now. I think everybody knew that.
There is a big drop-off between the B10/BE and the rest of the conferences. Their total point value is greater than the rest of the conferences combined.
The top teams in the SEC are looking better overall than the top teams in the ACC, which is interesting to me. This is especially unusual since Duke is so good (providing the ACC with 97 of its 112 points) and Kentucky surprisingly bad (only 17 of 139) right now.
[edited to fix Big Ten # and chart]
Another crazy weekend that really impacted the bowl games, and in particular, Georgia Tech.
Your recap of bowl affiliations by conference:
Big Ten – 8 affiliations
Rose, Heart of Dallas, Outback, Gator, Capital One, Buffalo Wild Wings, Meineke Car Care and Little Ceasars
ACC – 8 affiliations
Orange, Sun, Music City, Chick Fil A, Russell Athletic, Independence, Military and Belk
B12 – 7 affiliations
Fiesta, Cotton, Pinstripe, Buffalo Wild Wings, Alamo, Meineke Car Care and Holiday
Big East – 6 affiliations
BBVA Compass, Liberty*, Pin Stripe, Russell Athletic, Belk and Beef O’Brady’s
Conference USA – 6 affiliations
Heart of Dallas, Liberty*, Armed Forces, Hawaii, New Orleans and Beef O’Brady’s
MAC – 3 affiliations
Go Daddy, Little Caesars and Famous Idaho Potato
Mountain West – 5 affiliations
Armed Forces, Hawaii*, Las Vegas, Poinsettia and New Mexico
PAC 12 – 7 affiliations
Rose, Sun, Kraft Fight Hunger, Alamo, Holiday, Las Vegas and New Mexico
SEC – 10 affiliations
Sugar, BBVA Compass, Cotton, Outback, Gator, Capital One, Music City, Liberty*, Chik Fil A and Independence
Sun Belt – 2 affiliations
Go Daddy and New Orleans
WAC – 2 affiliations
Hawaii* and Famous Idaho Potato
At Large Bids – 5
BCS Championship, Fiesta, Sugar and Orange
Other Bids (Independent) – 3
Poinsettia (takes BYU eligible), Kraft Fight Hunger (takes Navy if eligible) and Military (takes Army if eligible)
* Liberty takes either CUSA or SEC team and Hawaii takes Mountain West or WAC team
In total, 35 bowl games meaning 70 slots that have to be filled by eligible teams. Let us see how each conference fairs in terms of eligible teams. This is likely the last entry for this season since I expect that after next weekend we will know all of the eligible teams AND where they will be going. However, one new addition.
Did someone say cha...
It was requested that I add a chart to make it easier to see the eligible teams by conference. Hopefully the following chart will do the job:
Your conference-by-conference breakdown:
Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Nebraska, Northwestern, Purdue and Wisconsin
As a conference, the Big Ten really wanted both Purdue and Michigan State to win for greater visibility during the bowl season. And they did just that each becoming bowl eligible with identical 6-6 records. With OSU and Penn State out of the bowl picture, it will mean tougher opponents for the remaining teams with the conference only fielding 7 of the 8 teams it needed to fill its obligations.
Clemson, Duke, Florida State, Georgia Tech, NC State and Virginia Tech
Virginia Tech reach a bowl game for the 20thstraight season with its victory of Virginia. Wake Forest, on the other hand, could not beat Vanderbilt and will remain home. Georgia Tech, by virtue of their lose to Georgia, now needs to win the ACC Championship game to guarantee themselves a bowl game. Otherwise, their 6-7 record will leave them hoping there will be an insufficient number of eligible teams requiring the NCAA to use its eligibility rules for such circumstances. The ACC currently has 6 teams eligible out of a required 8, but Georgia Tech’s status is up in the air.
Baylor, Iowa State, Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, TCU, Texas Tech and West Virginia
It is still hard to believe we are this late into the season and still talking about West Virginia’s eligibility given how they started the year. Yet, at long last, the Mountaineers will be in a bowl game after defeating Iowa State. High scoring Baylor outlasted Texas Tech to also reach bowl eligibility. The Big 12 will finish with 9 eligible teams while only requiring 7 to fill its obligations.
Cincinnati, Louisville, Rutgers and Syracuse
On the Cusp:
Pittsburgh (South Florida)
It is remarkable that, even though they are 7-5, Syracuse is actually in the BCS bowl conversation. Though they will not be selected, as the rule is based on where they wind up in the BCS rankings with Rutgers and Louisville, it still demonstrates the turnaround for their season. Pittsburgh defeated Rutgers given them a much easier road to bowl eligibility this week against South Florida. Assuming they win, the Big East will have 5 teams out of a required 6 obligations.
UCF, East Carolina, Rice, SMU and Tulsa
Marshall lost in double overtime to East Carolina to fall out of bowl contention. SMU and Rice, on the other hand, both won their final games and are now eligible for a bowl. Conference USA finishes with 5 eligible teams while requiring 6 for their affiliations.
BYU, Notre Dame and Navy
Notre Dame will be going to the BCS Championship. No other changes for the Independents. They finish with 3 bowl teams while having 3 affiliations.
Ball State, Bowling Green, Central Michigan, Kent State, Ohio, Northern Illinois and Toledo.
As expected, Central Michigan defeated UMass and is now bowl eligible. The MAC finishes with 7 eligible teams while only having 3 bowl affiliations.
Air Force, Fresno State, San Diego State, Boise State, Nevada
The MWC was already complete with 5 eligible teams to fill its 5 affiliations.
Arizona, Arizona State, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC and Washington
The PAC-12 has eight eligible teams for seven affiliations.
Alabama, Georgia, Florida, LSU, Mississippi, Mississippi State, South Carolina, Texas A&M and Vanderbilt
Missouri lost to Texas A&M meaning they will be staying home this bowl season while Ole Miss defeated Mississippi State to reach bowl eligibility. The SEC will have 9 eligible teams coming one short of its 10 obligations.
Arkansas State, Louisiana-Lafayette, Louisiana-Monroe, Middle Tennessee State and
Troy lost their last game meaning the Sun Belt is done with 5 eligible teams. They are affiliated with only 2 bowl games.
Utah State, Louisiana Tech, San Jose State
When it comes to bowl eligibility, the WAC is already set with 3 teams. They are affiliated with 2 bowl games.
Of the 70 slots available, 71 teams have already qualified, which includes Pittsburgh who should become eligible this week. The impact of Pittsburgh winning will likely affect one of the WAC or Sun Belt bowl eligible teams.
With these numbers including Georgia Tech, it does appear that they will have to win their game against Florida State in the ACC Championship to maintain their eligibility. Ah the craziness of the ACC!
Last week, I predicted that the following schools would become bowl eligible after the past weekend:
Perfect score, though several other teams also became eligible (SMU, West Virginia, Mississippi). It means that there will be enough school eligible to fill all the bowl games, which organizers of some low-rated games are thankful for.
Info on how I score the CPR rankings is available here.
When I was a young boy my mother sat me down and said, "Son, one day you will grow up to write a moderately valued diary on a sports blog with a small but passionate user base."
I was a child of the 80's, so the term 'blog' was completely foreign to me. I dismissed this idea as a residual effect of too much acid and 'Earth, Wind, and Fire'. My mom was involved heavily in the 'counter-culture' movement of her era.
Twenty-some years later, as I sit here pondering whether my mom was clarevoyant or had just stumbled into some really good acid, I ask for your help. I want to write the best damned moderately valued diary that I can. I need to live up to my mother's expectations. Being that this is only my third week doing this, I am very open to suggestions. If you guys have any, let me know, as I will try to incorporate them as best I can.
Not much movement towards the front and the rear of the line, as both the top 3 and bottom 4 conferences remain the same. The middle saw big drops by the PAC 12 (5-4) and CUSA (5-3, with wins over only WAC and FBS teams). It also saw two conferences make decent gains as the ACC (6-2) and the MWC (5-2) both climbed multiple spots.
The BIG 12 continues to dominate the OOC schedule, going 9-1 this week to accumulate a 23-3 record. This record is even more impressive if you take into account the fact that they have played the fewest FBS cupcakes (6) of any BCS conference and have the most wins (also 6) against other BCS schools.
The SEC is trying to keep pace, but going 4-2 this week ensured that the BIG 12 gained ground on all other conferences. The two horse race for the innagural Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award (CHTMA) has officially turned into a one point five horse race.
The Cy-Hawk Trophy Memorial Award, given to the Top Conference in the FCS.
CPR - Week 3
|Conf.||Wk 1||Wk 2||Wk 3||Season||CPR||+ / -|
The Bakers Dozen
Propelled by strong wins over Auburn, Ohio State, and Kansas; the ACC jumped 3 spots and nestled into number 6 in our CPR rankings. FSU showed flashes against Oklahoma, but came up short. The soon to be NKOTB both lost this week, as Iowa defeated Pitt and USC made short work of Syracuse.
The BIG 10 remained stagnant for the second week in a row, as a strong win by Illinois was offset by losses to two alleged conference contenders in OSU and MSU. Other teams, such as Penn State and Iowa sputtered but came through. The BIG 10 is starting to look like a microcosm of the NCAA conference picture as a whole; with a couple of solid players at the top, an extremely large middle class, and teams like Minnesota and Indiana fighting for food stamps.
The BIG 12 still looks tough, even after they packed up a little bit of snow and pushed it down the mountain, creating a snowball effect that will change the landscape of college football as we know it. As noted at the top, their 23-2 record is as impressive as it looks from the outside. The BIG 12 will have to fail miserably during the bowl season if any other conference intends on capturing the coveted CHTMA this season.
WVU continues to will the Big East to mediocrity. Without the 'eers, the Big East would have had nothing to hang their straw hats on. UCONN lost a close game to Iowa State and Pitt "Sparty nooooooo'd" away a win to Iowa. Many toothless babies were conceived in the cornfields of Iowa on Saturday. Yes, I am aware that all babies are born toothless. Except, of course, for Michigan babies, which are all born with a mouth full of teeth and grow up to be Michigan Men.
CUSA didn't really give themselves a chance to shine this week, as their only marquee game pitted Tulsa against Okie State. The rest of their OOC schedule consisted of teams that the average college football fan has probably never heard of.
The first two weeks must have been sweet for the MAC. They were 13-10, posting a few noteworthy wins along with some respectable efforts against big named schools (shoutout to Toledo!). Apparently, at some point this week, student athletes throughout the midwest woke up and realized that they played in the MAC. Consequently, the MAC posted a 1-8 record this week, with only Ohio (NTO) saving face.
The Mountain West climbed an impressive 3 spots in this weeks CPR, due to a 5-2 record which brought them to 12-6 on the season. They are currently the only non-qualifier that is ahead of a BCS conference, surpassing the Big East, ACC, and PAC 12. Their five wins all came against other FBS schools, including one against Washington State and the PAC 12.
I'm waiting to have one of those head asploding moments when some clueless ESPN drone suggests that the PAC 12 can rival the SEC for the best conference in the nation. I know it will happen. The PAC 12 has had the worst season among BCS conferences. Their 19-10 record is padded by 7 wins against FCS schools and 5 more against the worst conference (WAC) in the FBS. They are 4-6 against other BCS schools.
Here's a philisophical head scratcher... Can the SEC form a team SO TALENTED that another SEC team cannot beat them? Trick question, because when the SEC plays with itself, everyone wins. Right, Gary? As it turns out, NCAA rules state that there HAS to be a team that loses. Condolences to Tennessee and the state of Mississippi, as your teams were all losers this week. Speaking of losers, Auburn... lol.
God it gets boring breaking down the crappy conferences.
The WAC finished 0-4 against FBS opponents, cementing their place in the basement of the FBS and reminding me that I was supposed to be cleaning the basement while my wife is away getting groceries, and am instead creating a drawn out review of the week that was in college football.
Notre Dame finally played well enough to overcome themselves. If they stop turning the ball over, Lou Holtz may actually be proven right a few times this year. The service acadamies split their games against Northwestern (W) and SC (L). BYU got pounded by Utah, 54-10. BYU officials are checking into whether taking it that hard constitutes punishment for breaking the school's "no sex" policy.
Progress! The FCS got another win this week, as the Sycamores of Indiana State were triumphant over the Western Kentucky Hilltoppers. It wasn't even close, either, as Indiana State compiled a 44-16 win. This brings their three week record to 3-71. For those keeping score at home, that win percentage is 4% higher than the 2008 Detroit Lions.
I know this was discussed ad nauseum a few months ago, but I wanted to revisit it. Sometimes, when faced with something we don't like and given no options to resolve, we actually warm up to an idea. Whether it be complacency or a shift in opinion, I'm starting to think the Leaders and Legends conference names aren't as bad as we initially thought. Am I wrong?
As an example, my wife and I named our son Hudson. I got the feeling that a lot of people didn't like that name as it wasn't really common and sounded kind of funny the first 20 or so times we said it. Almost two years later, everybody loves the name and doesn't see him as anything but Hudson.
In retrospect, some names are beyond salvagability. Beaner's Coffee was a stupid idea when it was created. It was still a stupid idea when it was finally changed.
So, am I suffering from some weird sort of Stockholm Syndrome (or Chicago Syndrome, as it may be) for feeling like these names are growing on me? Or did we all just overreact a bit when the conference names were released?
I'll pose one last question - What if the Big 10 had ALWAYS had the Legends and Leaders divisions? Would you have accepted them as tradition, or thought of them as an embarrasing representation of the conference?
With everything going on with USC, Ohio State and this Pryor saga, we all can agree that the landscape of college football has changed. The game is not what it used to, and in my epinion, it has been long overdue that video games change along with it. The changes have already begun, as has been previously posted on here (can't find the thread but link to article here), in NCAA '12. You can change divisions, and even create 16-team superconferences if you'd like, and which I look forward to doing.
However, the games have neglected one big dark side to college football-- recruiting violations. I have been thinking how they could utilize a "cash shake" option in recruiting. There could be a definite risk involved, with NCAA sanctions and the like. You could choose to play dirty, or run a clean program (yay Michigan).
Have a special hook-up with a dealership? Tell your players they can get cars, or cash. But run the risk of having an NCAA investigation.
What other changed would you like to see them implement? How could they improve your lazy evenings on the couch? Share.
MGoBlog readers, feast your eyes on an uncommonly good college football column:
Mr. H is one of few sportswriters who has bothered to take a close look at the W-L records for the various conferences. He can see that the Big 10's 4-3 performance is arguably the best (and that it isn't even close).
How often have we heard about (say) the ACC's bowl record without any accompanying analysis? Ah...