What is great about the bowl games is that we get a host of inter-conference matchups that shed some light on who indeed is the best conference, and with that in mind, here is a summary of the upcoming bowl games with a slant on all of the conferences and how they fared getting teams in the bowls and how they should fare and be measured in their performance.
For a starting point,view my prior blog entry on conference comparisons and strengths. Clearly the SEC has a clear advantage there this year, and it is less clear who is #2, but what does that mean to the bowl games?
First, lets take a look at how many teams each conference is sending to a bowl game with the teams in the conference in parenthesis and percentage of teams making it:
- SEC - 10 (12) - 83%
- Big-12 - 8 (12) - 67%
- Pac-10 - 7 (10) - 70%
- Big-Televen - 7 (11) - 64%
- ACC - 7 (12) - 58%
- Big-East - 6 (8) - 75%
- C-USA - 6 (12) - 50%
- Mountain-West - 5 (9) - 56%
- MAC - 5 (13) - 38%
- WAC - 4 (9) - 44%
- Sun-Belt - 2 (9) - 22%
- Independent - 1 (3) - 33%
So, given that these teams made it there, how should we expect each conference to do? Using the current predictions from my computer as I write this as well as the current Vegas spread, we get:
- SEC - 8-2 and 7-3 (differ on LSU/PSU)
- Big-12 - 4-4 and 3-5 (differ on Nebraska/Arizona)
- Pac-10 - 4-3 and 6-1 (differ on Utah/Cal and Nebraska/Arizona)
- Big-Televen - 1-6 and 2-5 (differ on LSU/PSU)
- ACC - 4-3 and 4-3
- Big-East - 4-3 and 4-3
- C-USA - 2-4 and 2-4
- Mountain-West - 2-3 and 1-4 (differ on Utah/Cal)
- MAC - 3-2 and 3-2
- WAC - 2-2 and 2-2
- Sun-Belt - 0-2 and 0-2
- Independent - 0-1 and 0-1
For example, anything less than 7-3 and I'd argue 8-2 should be a disappointment for the SEC. And if Conference USA could manage 3-3 they should be very proud. And interestingly, if the MAC doesn't have a winning record they should be disappointed.
The reason for this is that it is all about the matchups, not just how strong a conference is.
With that, enjoy the games!