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Conference Bowl Rankings Past Decade

Today I conclude my series of conference teams of the decade with a look at how each individual conference fared in the past decade in bowl games. To come up with a ranking system I included their overall bowl record, records against BCS conf teams, non-BCS conf teams, records against ranked opponents, the ranked teams’ records, and most importantly their BCS bowl record.

Here are the overall records for each conference and how I would rank each conference’s performance in the past 10 years in bowl games. Keep in mind this not my overall ranking on which conference is the toughest in the country but just one factor that goes into my ranking along with non-conf record, record against BCS foes, number of players drafted and number of top 10 finishes just to name a few.

Conference Bowl Rankings 2000-2009


Rank Conf Overall vs BCS vs Non-BCS vs Ranked BCS Bowls Rec as Ranked
1 SEC 48-31 43-29 5-2 32-17 12-3 28-18
2 MWC 24-14 11-7 13-7 6-3 2-1 11-4
3 Pac-10 31-26 25-18 6-8 16-14 9-3 18-11
4 Big East 32-19 20-18 12-1 8-9 6-4 15-11
5 Big 12 38-39 32-34 6-5 18-25 6-9 19-20
6 Big 10 28-41 26-40 2-1 19-27 6-11 16-23
7 ACC 35-36 28-32 7-4 10-17 1-9 13-18
8 WAC 15-20 7-9 8-11 4-4 2-1 4-6
9 CUSA 21-31 1-10 20-21 6-6 0-0 2-2
10 MAC 11-20 1-9 10-11 0-1 0-0 3-1
11 Sun Belt 5-8 0-0 5-8 0-0 0-0 0-0

The SEC was clearly the top performing conference in bowl games in the last ten years. Their overall 48 bowl wins were 10 more than any other conference and their win % was just behind the MWC and Big East. What really separated the conference from the others was their performance in BCS bowls and games against ranked teams. Their 32 wins over ranked teams was 13 more than the Big 10 and their outstanding 12-3 record in BCS games was clearly the best. The conference also went a perfect 5-0 in national title games!

Coming in at #2 is the MWC, which is very surprising but much deserved. Despite having less overall wins than several of the BCS conferences in many categories, their winning percentages were higher in nearly every category. Thier 63.2% win % was #1 as was their 61.1% vs BCS conf teams. The conference also fared well vs ranked teams and in BCS bowls and what put them over #3 was their 6-5 record (including 2-0 LY) against the Pac-10.

The Pac-10 also had a great decade in bowl games including a 9-3 mark in BCS bowls thanks in large part to USC’s 6-1 record. The conference would have been ranked higher if not for their sub-.500 record against non-BCS schools. The Big East comes in at #4 here with an overall 62.7% win % which was best among BCS conferences. While the conference did well in BCS games at 6-4, they did fatten up on the little guys with a 12-1 mark against non-BCS conferences. While it should be noted that they took care of business when they had too, the conference was just 20-18 against the other BCS conferences.

The Big 12 racked up 38 wins (2nd most) and were right around the .500 mark in several categories. The conference was 32-34 vs BCS teams, 6-5 vs non-BCS teams and their ranked teams were 19-20. The Big 10 is #6 on my list and it is shocking to see how poorly the conference did overall with just a 40.6% win %. The conference was just 19-27 vs ranked teams and 6-11 in BCS games. To the conference’s credit they did play the least amount of non-BCS teams with only three games and the Big 10 got a big boost last year with 4 wins over Top 15 teams in bowl games.

The ACC like the Big 10 did not have a great decade in bowl games. Despite having a better win % than the Big 10, their 1-9 mark in BCS bowls including 0-2 vs the Big 10 puts them at #7. Finally, the WAC deserves some mention here thanks to Boise St with 2 BCS wins and their .500 mark against ranked teams.

On the PhilSteele.com homepage, you can vote on the winner of each regular season conference matchup. When you select a conference you get the complete conference schedule for each team with the home team capitalized. All you have to do is vote on who you will think the winner will be in each game and the current voting tally appears. Remember you can only vote once and take your time by maybe doing one conference at a time. To vote you do have to register your e-mail address but this is just to make sure there is no stuffing of the ballot box. This is a great way for me to gauge on how the public looks at each game and I will look at how the current % are going so far in Monday’s Blog.

Also We just posted my 2010 FCS All-Conference and All-American teams on the homepage on Thursday and if you want to see if your favorite local team has any players on make sure to download them. Also please check PhilSteele.com everyday to get my FCS Top 25 Countdown, which continues with #11 Wofford. 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 weekend!

Only 54 Days Until the First College Football Game!!!

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  • Mdhardinatl

    Not really a suprise that the MW has so many wins, they beat up on non-BCS Confernece Teams, and weak BCS Conference Teams. THe Big Ten On the other hand, rarely play a Non-BCS team, and is usually playing in to BCS Bowls, play Top Teir SEC and Big 12 Teams. Try applying the Strength of Schedule to the Bowl Schedule and see how they rank.

  • RussN

    so the MWC beating teams in last 2 years like Cal, Oregon St, Tennessee, Clemson, UCLA, Oklahoma & Alabama – you mean all those “weaker” bcs teams? Of course the MWC did also beat some weak bcs teams like Colo, Ariz, ASU, Louisville & Mich. and several non-bcs bowl teams like Fresno St, Houston & Nevada.
    The MWC loves playing SEC, but why o why won't the SEC come to our stadiums???
    Why won't Florida leave their state for a ooc game??? Much easier to do well when you have 7 home games like some SEC teams do.

  • Redsuit

     bullcrap, SDSU is the best nonconference game that Michigan plays this year.  otherwise they only play Notre Dame and the Directional Michigans

  • Redsuit

     bullcrap, SDSU is the best nonconference game that Michigan plays this year.  otherwise they only play Notre Dame and the Directional Michigans

  • Redsuit

     bullcrap, SDSU is the best nonconference game that Michigan plays this year.  otherwise they only play Notre Dame and the Directional Michigans

  • Brspamster

    Going into fall 2011, this weekend kicking things off with LSU-Oregon, has anyone noticed that the Big 12 is once again grossly overrated in the preseason rankings?  It is baffling.

    Consider all of the Big 12′s recent preseason rankings and contrast with their bowl and other nationally relevant win-loss records.  Every year they have multiple teams rated high in the preseason.  Then by virtue of that, of not having a significant non-conference regular season, being a top-heavy conference (not to lose sight of the point that the top teams are very overrated), and the inertia that exists in the polls, the Big 12 teams get waaaaaaaaaaaaay too much press throughout the season and ultimately are awarded bowl games that are too generous.

    Someone needs to get at the truth here.  It is irrational.  Is it market driven?  I think so.  As in, the biggest markets, which have the biggest brand names worth the most $, are favored in the media.

    If anything there is evidence based on recent history that the Big 12 should not have the teams ranked in the top 10 that it does going into 2011.  Perhaps OU deserves to be top 10, but #1?  And Okie State and A&M also in the top 10?  There is no evidence to suggest this is reality.

    The Big 12 hasn’t won a national championship since Vince Young did it.  Outside of that singular, individual performance, they haven’t even been close.  Whether TX was close, or should have even had the opportunity to be in the game versus Bammer, a couple of years ago is debatable. 

    You can’t look at Big 12 regular season records because none of them play anybody.  Look at the data and please prove this to be incorrect.  I want to understand but I can’t.

    The only bottom line (i.e. $) reason this matters is because, once teams are ranked high, outside of total meltdown it is almost impossible for them to drop out of the top rankings (see 2010 Texas Longhorns).  So when the BCS rankings and bowl games roll around, the Big 12′s reward is unjustified and opportunities other schools should have never materialize.

    Think the media has an incentive to keep the biggest names in the rankings headlines?

    The Big 12 in the last ten years is absolutely and by far the most overrated conference in the nation.  Please dis-spell this by the numbers.  You can’t.  Under 500 in bowls, under 500 versus ranked teams in bowls.  And despite this, multiple top 10 teams in the preseason every year.

    Why isn’t this written about and studied more?

  • Rookysluk1919

    well these stats are crap because ESPN and the media make every other SEC conference game against a ranked team.
    factor out those non-conference games and they’re no different than any other conference.

  • WSU ” Shocker”

    I think YOU need to check YOUR facts! How’s the Big 12 look now. I think your problem is when your mouth opened all of this non factual b.s. comes out and you believe it! okie state top 10 no way try top 5 Baylor HEISMAN, even the Cats are back. Everything evens out. try not to be so jaded.

  • Ferris

     that’s easy… cause the MWC can’t offer the same revenue payout to BCS schools let alone the SEC.  Its about the cash bro… nothing to do with being scared.  and by the way, if it makes your small ego feel better… we the SEC are very very scared to come to MWC stadiums… scary!  scary! scary!