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Big East Team of the Decade

First, I want to wish you and your families a very happy and safe 4th of July weekend!

For the next two weeks, I will be taking a look at the conference teams of the decade for 2000-2009. Factored into my analysis will be conference win %, conference and division titles, bowl games and bowl wins. I will also include BCS bowl wins, final AP rankings and number of national championships for the major conferences. There have been several teams who have changed conferences during that time and I will include them in the analysis for any season(s) they were affiliated with that certain conference. I will also be doing a breakdown of how the conference did in bowl games during the decade and I will emphasis the overall win/loss record, the number of BCS bowl wins, and the records against Non-BCS and ranked bowl teams.

While some conferences may have no-brainers as the top team, other conferences were very competitive over the past decade. Here is the schedule for the upcoming week with the conferences I will be analyzing on each date.

Monday Sun Belt 
Tuesday MAC 
Wednesday WAC 
Thursday CUSA 
Yesterday MWC 
Today Big East 
Monday, July 5th Pac-10 
Tuesday, July 6th ACC 
Wednesday, July 7th Big 12 
Thursday, July 8th Big 10 
Friday, July 9th SEC

The Big East was not easy for me to research. At the start of the decade it was Miami Fl, Virginia Tech, Pitt, Syracuse, Boston College, West Virginia, Temple and Rutgers. Temple was kicked out of the league in favor of Connecticut. Miami and Virginia Tech bolted the league for the ACC after the 2004 season and Boston College won the title in 2004 (7 team league) and left for the ACC in 2005. Then they added in USF, Cincinnati and Louisville in 2005.

Here are my overall rankings for Big East Team of the Decade.

Big East Rankings 2000-2009

 

Rk Team Wins Losses Win % Titles # of Bowls Bowl Wins AP Top 25 AP Top 10 BCS Bowl Wins Natl Champ
1 West Virginia 47 22 68.10% 4 9 5 6 3 2 0
2 Miami, Fl 27 1 96.40% 4 4 3 4 4 3 1
3 Cincinnati 23 12 65.70% 2 4 2 3 1 0 0
4 Pittsburgh 41 28 59.40% 1 7 3 3 0 0 0
5 Virginia Tech 17 11 60.70% 0 4 2 3 1 0 0
6 Boston College 17 17 50% 1 5 5 2 0 0 0

Clearly this was a two horse race and while the numbers point to Miami, Fl which opened up the decade at 27-1 with 3 outright and 1 shared title in 4 years, they left the league for the ACC. Their 27 total wins in the Big East were STILL 3rd best in the decade!

I have been leaning towards teams that have left the conference recently with Marshall (MAC) and Louisville (CUSA) as teams of the decade but here I will go with West Virginia. They tied Miami for 4 titles and their 47 wins are 6 more than Pitt. They also went to 9 bowl games winning 5 and had 2 BCS Bowl wins and 3 AP Top 10 finishes. Had the Hurricanes stayed in the league for just one or two more years they would have proabably gotten the nod.

In 3rd Place, Cincinnati jumps Pittsburgh thanks to their back-to-back Big East titles the last two years and two crucial wins over Pitt with the league title on the line. The Panthers had a solid decade with 41 wins but missed several opportunities to finish higher in this list.

Former Big East member Virginia Tech and Boston College round out my list of teams of the decade as they were the only other remaining teams with at least a 50% win % in league play.

Here are the overall bowl records for Big East teams during the course of the decade. Keep in mind for Miami, Virginia Tech, Boston College, Cincinnati, etc these bowl records are only from their seasons when they were in Big East.

Big East Bowl Records ’00-’09

 

Team Overall vs BCS vs Non-BCS vs Ranked BCS Bowls Rec as Ranked
Miami, Fl 3-1 3-1 0-0 3-1 3-1 3-1
West Virginia 5-4 5-4 0-0 2-2 2-0 3-3
Pittsburgh 3-4 3-3 0-1 0-2 0-1 2-2
Cincinnati 2-2 0-2 2-0 0-2 0-2 1-2
Virginia Tech 2-2 1-2 1-0 1-1 0-0 2-1
Boston College 5-0 3-0 2-0 1-0 0-0 1-0
USF 3-2 0-2 3-0 0-0 0-0 0-1
Louisville 1-1 1-1 0-0 1-1 1-0 1-1
Connecticut 3-1 1-1 2-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Temple 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0 0-0
Rutgers 4-1 2-1 2-0 0-0 0-0 1-0
Syracuse 1-1 1-1 0-0 0-0 0-0 1-0
Overall 32-19 20-18 12-1 8-9 6-4 15-11

 

The Big East was 32-19 (62.7%) in Bowl games during the decade thanks in large part to their 12-1 record vs Non-BCS schools. The conference did win 6 of their 10 BCS games and Boston College went a perfect 5-0 overall in bowl games when they were part of the Big East (’00-’04).

I will be back on Monday with a look at the team of the decade in the Pac-10 and just like the WAC it should come as no surprise who is #1.

Also please check PhilSteele.com everyday to get my FCS Top 25 Countdown, which continues with #18 South Dakota St. Thru July 20th, I will post both magazine pages on a new team ranked in the Top 25 and you can get an early look on how I breakdown your favorite FCS team. Remember those magazine pages are available for only 24 hours for you to download as the next team will be posted the following day.

Have a great holiday weekend!

Only 61 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!

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  • MarshallSucks

    WVU didn't tie with Miami for 4 league titles. We only tied Miami for one title in the Big East, and that was the 2003 season. In 2004, WVU tied with BC, Syracuse and Pitt. In 2005, WVU won the conference outright by going undefeated.

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    The statement was that West Virginia tied Miami with four overall titles in the last decade. Miami won or shared the league title in 2000, 2001, 2002 and shared with WV in 2003. West Virginia meanwhile, shared with Miami in '03, shared with BC, Pitt, and Syracuse in '04 and won outright titles in '05 and '06. I did not mean that they actually tied with Miami for the league title in all those years. I apologize if you took it that way. Phil

  • http://www.philsteele.com Phil Steele

    The statement was that West Virginia tied Miami with four overall titles in the last decade. Miami won or shared the league title in 2000, 2001, 2002 and shared with WV in 2003. West Virginia meanwhile, shared with Miami in '03, shared with BC, Pitt, and Syracuse in '04 and won outright titles in '05 and '06. I did not mean that they actually tied with Miami for the league title in all those years. I apologize if you took it that way. Phil