Conference Realignment: 8 Loser AQ Schools That Should Be Replaced
Superconferences are on hold.
The college football roller coaster ride of realignment talk came to a screeching halt when the Pac-12 announced it would stay at 12 teams. Oklahoma and Texas have decided to play nice, work out their differences and rebuild the Big 12.
The BCS lives on for at least a few more years. Ugh!
The ever-agitating computer selection methods will continue to pick out No. 1 and No. 2 while we humans continue to debate about the computer's selections.
The six conferences in the AQ club will continue to hold their BCS-capped heads high above the rest of college football while we all continue to question the worthiness of namely the Big East and the ACC's invitations to the party.
We will also be left in wonderment while the undefeated Boise States and TCUs are not permitted to ever play for a national championship, but are permitted to defeat the Oklahomas and Wisconsins for a shiny consolation prize.
But hey, if you're a Big East fan, you have to love the hefty pile of money each undeserving team in the conference gets to split every year. Rutgers fans are elated at all the BCS dough they've received. About five years ago, Rutgers transformed from losing eight games a season to being nationally ranked. Just like that!
Rising from the muck, a few non-AQ schools have proved on the field that the outsiders of college football are still a force to be reckoned with. Meanwhile, consistent AQ bottom-dwellers show minimal signs of improvement while they rake in the big bucks of BCS status.
The following eight BCS schools should be kicked out. Poor performance on the field should strip away their automatic-qualifying status, which should be given to the more deserving.
Goodbye Baylor, Hello Boise State
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One high-profile win against a ranked team a qualified BCS program does not make.
Congratulations, Bears, on beating TCU earlier this season. Now let's review the rest of your résumé as an AQ squad.
Baylor holds a booming 16-88 (.154) record in the Big 12 as a BCS team, averaging just over one conference win per season. Ouch!
The Bears have finished last in the Big 12 South Division every BCS season except for last year and in 2005 when one-win Oklahoma State finished below the two-win Baylor Bears.
Boise State should replace Baylor. Texas and Oklahoma may be too comfortable with the automatic conference win against Baylor to even think twice about the suggestion. Regardless, Boise has earned a spot at the table.
Since the BCS started in 1998, Boise State is 9-12 against AQ teams. Against the Big 12 the Broncos have an undefeated 2-0 record defeating Iowa State in 2002 and Oklahoma in 2007.
Boise State has already busted the BCS twice and will likely break through again this season.
However, even an undefeated Broncos team will be screwed out of any shot to play for a national championship by the all-intelligent computers.
An undefeated team out of Boise should be able to play for the national championship.
Meanwhile, Baylor should get the boot out of the BCS.
BYU Greater Than Iowa State
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Being greater than Iowa State isn't much to brag about.
Since the BCS began, Iowa State has posted a 32-72 (.307) record in conference play. In the same period of time, BYU has posted a 17-21 (.447) record against AQ teams.
During the BCS era, Iowa State has earned three bowl game wins in 2000, 2004 and 2009. In 2004, the Cyclones were the co-champions of the Big 12 North Division but did not play in the conference championship, having lost to co-champion Colorado. Iowa State has never reached the Big 12 championship game.
Since 1998, Brigham Young holds four Mountain West Conference championship trophies. The program hasn't missed out on the postseason since 2004. BYU has been to nine bowl games during the BCS era, winning four of them.
Iowa State and BYU should switch their AQ status.
Washington State, No Soup for You
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Washington State and Hawaii have faced off twice recently, playing a home and away series in 2008 and 2009.
Hawaii won both contests by a combined score of 62-30.
Since '98 Washington State has a 35-74 (.321) record in Pac-12 play while Hawaii has gone 6-9 (.4) against the Pac-12 in the same time period.
Usually always at the bottom of the pack, the Cougars have finished dead last in the conference four times during their BCS days. In that time, Washington State has been invited to four bowl games, winning the 2001 Sun Bowl and the 2003 Holiday Bowl.
Hawaii, during the same time, has been invited to eight bowl games and has won four of them. Two of those wins came against Pac-12 foes Oregon State and Arizona State.
Due to its noncompetitive nature, Wazzu should lose AQ status and be replaced by Hawaii.
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Conferencemates Baylor and Iowa State have already got the thumbs down.
And now, it's Kansas' turn.
Not one of these ugly stepsisters have ever been invited to the Big 12 Championship ball. (But then, neither has Oklahoma State or Texas Tech, but that's another discussion for another day.)
From 1998-2010, Kansas has won a lowly 31 conference games and has lost 73 (.298). In that time, the Jayhawks have won three of the four bowl games they've been invited to, highlighted by the 2007 BCS win over Virginia Tech in the Orange Bowl.
Impressive, but its not enough to remedy that dismal conference record. Sorry, Hawks, stick to basketball.
The Jayhawk flyzone should be surrendered to another bird, the Falcon.
Air Force has a winning record 8-7 (.533) against AQ teams during the BCS era. In the Commander-in-Chief battle, Air Force has been dominant, with Navy at a distant second.
Since 1998, the Air Force Falcons have won four of the seven bowl games they've been invited to.
Trade a Jayhawk for a Falcon and fly high.
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Vanderbilt is the second-worst AQ program in the country. Duke is the worst.
Did you know that Vanderbilt has lost three recent games to Middle Tennessee State of the Sun Belt Conference by a combined score of 75-63?
Close, Vandy, but no cigar.
When it comes to losing football games Vanderbilt does not care if you belong to the Sun Belt, SEC,or the Springville Junior High School football league, it is happy to oblige.
Since the BCS began in 1998, Vanderbilt is 18-87 (.171) in conference play. I know all the excuses about the SEC being the toughest conference in the league. It's time to give a different school a shot at being competitive.
Out of my hat of non-AQ programs worthy of replacing Vanderbilt, I pulled out Tulsa.
Since 2005, when CUSA implemented a championship game, Tulsa has represented the West Division three times—2005, 2007 and 2008.
Tulsa has been to six bowl games during the BCS era, winning four of them.
In the 2008 GMAC Bowl, Tulsa spanked Bowling Green 63-7. The 56-point margin of victory is the largest in any bowl game ever.
Tulsa and Vanderbilt have never played. My money, though, would be on Tulsa for the win.
Syracuse No Good for ACC
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Syracuse has the worst long-term record of any Big East school.
It makes sense, ACC, to bulk up your conference by inviting Syracuse.
Since the BCS began, Syracuse has gone 34-55 (.382). The much juicier statistic: In 11 tries to defeat an ACC foe, Syracuse has succeeded one time.
Since 1998, Syracuse is 1-11 (.090) versus the ACC.
It is clear that in all the realignment mumbo-jumbo some BCS conferences are not considering good competition as the most important quality for teams that could be added. TV markets seem to be top priority.
If the ACC cared about good competition, the conference would have extended an invitation to East Carolina before it invited Syracuse.
East Carolina is 9-18 (.333) against the ACC since the beginning of the BCS. While nine wins in 27 tries may not be something to jump about, it looks a whole lot better than Syracuse's 1-11 record.
ECU to the ACC also makes a whole lot more sense geographically. I am well aware that any consideration to geographic logic has long-since been tossed out with the trash.
The undeserving Big East Orangemen will now go on to be the undeserving ACC Orangemen. They will nicely fill out the bottom slots of the ACC standings.
God bless 'em for their consistency.
Duke of Losington
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Speaking of lowly ACC teams, may I add the Duke Blue Devils to the list?
Duke should be replaced with Navy in the ACC.
The two teams have faced off head-to-head 10 times since 1995. Navy has the winning 6-4 record versus Duke.
Since the inception of the BCS, Navy has defeated AQ foes 18 times. The Midshipmen have more wins over BCS teams than any other non-AQ school, with BYU riding their heels with 17.
Now, just how bad is Duke?
Even though Duke is in a BCS conference while Navy plays independent, Duke has fewer wins over AQ schools since the BCS began.
From 1998 to now, Duke only has 17 wins over AQ teams. In the ACC, Duke has gone 14-91 (.133), including its recent one-point win this season over Boston College.
Duke is the very worst AQ program in the country.
Kick Duke out.
Mississippi State, Bulldogs Get Booted
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Look at the statistics. Math never lies.
Mississippi State has gone 36-69 (.343) in the SEC since the birth of the BCS. Only lowly Vanderbilt has put up worse numbers.
Yes, I know Mississippi State embarrassed Michigan 52-14 on New Year's Day in the Gator Bowl last season. However, the Bulldogs have only reached the postseason four times since the BCS began.
Maybe a different team from Mississippi would be more competitive in the SEC.
Cue Southern Miss.
The Golden Eagles have played in 10 bowl games since 1998 and have a 6-4 postseason record.
Southern Miss won the CUSA in 1999 and 2003, and played in the championship game in 2006.
Southern Miss and Mississippi State were once rivals but have not played in 20 years. The two schools have scheduled a home and away series to start in 2013. The Golden Eagles hold a two-game advantage in the series.
While the success of Southern Miss has been in a notably inferior league, it would be interesting to see if the Golden Eagles could be more competitive than the dismal 34 percent winning rate Mississippi State is earning in the SEC.