Thursday, February 14, 2008

How good is your conference? Introduction and ACC

We tried this last year and thought we'd bring it back. The goal is to add some more data to the offseason conference bashfest. People like to use bowl record, strength of schedule (or lack thereof), etc. when saying why Conference X is better than Conference Y. Yet everyone knows that Conference Y is better and it is because they have looser academic standards and let convicted felons roam the defensive backfield.

So what follows is the Bastard analysis and it's pretty simple. There are 6 BCS Conferences and each team within those conferences plays 4 non-conference games with a fifth coming if you have a bowl birth (3 and 4 for the wacky Pac-10). When you play a team in conference one wins and one loses (I shouldn't have to explain that) so the conference record against bowl teams would be weighted heavily below .500 due to teams in the bottom not making a bowl game. Therefore, we throw out conference games and judge you by your non-conference schedule and the success versus that schedule. Since roughly 80% of teams make bowl games we only look at teams that made bowl games last year and the bowl game counts if you made it. This method eliminates the wins over those delicious 1-AA cupcakes, but also erases that embarassing loss versus Double-Directional State because that was one of their three wins all year so they didn't make a bowl.

First up is the Atlantic Coast Conference.
ACC versus non-conference bowl teams 12-16 (.429)

Boston College (2-0) Wins versus Bowling Green and Michigan State

Clemson (1-1) Win versus Central Michigan; Loss versus Auburn

Duke (0-2) Losses versus Uconn and Navy

Florida State (2-2) Wins versus Colorado and Alabama; Losses versus Florida and Kentucky

Georgia Tech (0-2) Losses versus Fresno State and Georgia

Maryland (1-2) Win versus Rutgers; Losses versus Oregon State and WVU

Miami (1-1) Win versus Texas A&M; Loss versus Oklahoma

UNC (0-2) Losses versus ECU and South Florida

NC State (1-1) Win versus ECU; Loss versus UCF

Virginia (1-1) Win versus UConn; Loss versus Texas Tech

VT (1-2) Win versus ECU; Losses versus Kansas and LSU

Wake Forest (2-0) Wins versus UConn and Navy

BC and Wake were the bell-cows for the conference going undefeated in non-conference play. FSU played the most bowl teams non-conference with 4 including their bowl game and actually beat both participants of the Independence Bowl during the season. Duke, GT, and UNC all failed to beat a bowl opponent in non-conference play. One interesting note is that the bottom feeders such as Duke would figure to have played the better teams from other conferences yet Duke lost to Navy and UConn which isn't exactly murder's row. But hey ACC, there's always basketball.

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