Stop Calling It the Big LEast

Samantha Cooke@sportycookieCorrespondent IJanuary 6, 2010

CHARLOTTE, NC - DECEMBER 26:  Teammates Jason Pinkston #77 and Dion Lewis #28 of the Pittsburgh Panthers celebrates after a 19-17 victory over the North Carolina Tar Heels on December 26, 2009 in Charlotte, North Carolina.  (Photo by Streeter Lecka/Getty Images)
Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

For years, the Big East has been the butt of all jokes. People have stated that the Big East does not even deserve a Bowl Championship Series bid.

They should not even be considered a BCS Conference. They do not play anyone. They lose to the big conferences. They are a joke.

They have earned the nickname "The Big LEast."

I am here to prove they deserve a BCS bid more than some other conferences. They are in fact one of the stronger BCS conferences as of late.

This year, the Big East sent six of eight teams to bowl games. Louisville, once a tough opponent, has taken a turn for the worst in recent years. Then, there is Syracuse, the "Duke" or "Vanderbilt" of the Big East.

The other six teams have gone 4-2 in bowls this year, including 2-2 against major conferences.

Yes, Cincinnati forgot to show up against Florida, but many consider Florida the number two team in the country.

Connecticut beat a Southeastern Conference team in South Carolina, arguably the toughest conference in the country. Pittsburgh beat North Carolina from the Atlantic Coast Conference.

West Virginia lost to Florida State in Bobby Bowden's last game as a coach.

The numbers I will present are from 2004 through the present. The 2004 season includes Boston College as a member of the Big East.

Let me make sure people understand this: I did NOT manipulate the numbers to get a better record for the Big East, as I am sure people will claim. All I did was find the results for the past six seasons and copy them down.

I recorded the winners and losers to get these numbers. I did not take out games, discount games, etc. These are facts.

Since 2004, the Big East has a .490 winning percentage against the other BCS Conferences. Yes, they are below .500, but that is not bad considering they are still better than the Big Ten and ACC.

Arguably the toughest conference in the country and certainly since 2004 is the SEC. How has the Big East fared against them?

The Big East has gone 10-6 against the SEC. Yes, they have won more games against the SEC than lost.

The Big East has beaten Auburn and Mississippi State twice, Georgia, Vanderbilt, South Carolina, and Kentucky several times. While they have not played Florida or Alabama, they have not played crappy SEC teams each year.

I know some people are thinking, well, they still lose all their bowl games to the SEC. Actually, the Big East is 2-1 against the SEC in bowl games, including 1-1 in BCS bowls. Considering they are supposed to be the weakest conference, this is not too shabby.

The Big East also holds a great winning percentage against the Big 12, arguably the other toughest conference. The Big East is 8-5.

How have they done in bowls against the Big 12? The Big East is 2-0, including 1-0 in BCS bowl games.

From the Big 12, the Big East has beaten Oklahoma, Colorado, Kansas State, Baylor, and Kansas.

The Big East has the lowest winning percentage against the Big Ten, but that is mostly because Syracuse plays at least two Big Ten teams per season and almost never wins. The Big East and Big Ten have not played in any bowl games since 2004.

Against the Pac-10, the Big East is 3-4, but 0-3 in bowl games.

They have played the ACC the most of any conference, going 24-28. The Big East is 6-7 in bowl games against the ACC, including 1-1 in BCS Bowls.

Overall, the Big East is 10-11 in bowl games and 3-2 in BCS Bowls. They are right in the middle of the pack.

Yes, the Big East deserves to be a BCS conference. Stop calling them the Big LEast and saying that they cannot hold their own. They haven't had any trouble against the SEC and Big 12.

Maybe the Big East will start to falloff with the downturn of Louisville and Cincinnati losing Brian Kelly.

They also only have eight teams, so each game means more in terms of win-loss percentage.

Point is, each BCS Conference their automatic bid. People need to stop saying the Big East doesn't belong—they definitely do.