Following Florida State’s dramatic win over Auburn last night in the National Championship game, the 2013-2014 College Bowl Season is officially over. Now we can look back and reflect on which conferences were the most successful, making the most of their bowl games, and which ones did not do as well.
ACC: The big winner of the Bowl season is the ACC. First-and-foremost, the conference sent a league record 11 teams to postseason play, even picking up bowl slots from other conferences that did not field enough eligible teams (Big XII, American).
Secondly, the ACC went 2-0 in their BCS games including Clemson’s win in the
Sugar Orange Bowl and the aforementioned National Championship.
Despite their unblemished BCS record this year (which arguably matters the most), the ACC did not fare as well in the rest of their bowl games, finishing a respectable 4-6. The league had nice wins by newcomers, Syracuse and Pitt, but had a tough loss by outgoing Maryland (in their own backyard for that matter), and a loss by Miami to incoming Louisville.
SEC: The next biggest winner of the Bowl Season is the SEC. Although the conference failed to win a BCS game, they did post a remarkable 7-3 record overall. The SEC may not be the elite conference that they once were, however they clearly are still the most dominant conference.
PAC-12: The Pac-12 could be considered a winner or loser, depending on your point of view. They did post a very impressive 6-3 bowl game record, however like the SEC, they failed to win in a BCS game.
Sun Belt Conference: The final Big Winner of the Bowl Season goes to the Sun Belt Conference. That’s right, the Sun Belt Conference. They only had 2 bowl games, but they made the most out of their opportunities and they won them both.
B1G - The saving grace to the B1G’s Bowl season was Michigan State’s win over Stanford in the Rose Bowl; otherwise there wasn’t much to get excited about. Ohio State lost to a very good Clemson team, en route to the B1G posting a 2-5 record overall. To top it all off, their two additions (Maryland and Rutgers) will both be heading into their new conference following bowl games losses to Marshall and Notre Dame, respectively. So, good luck with all of that, B1G…
MAC – Poor Little MAC. A loss by Northern Illinois in the Conference Championship Game cost them a shot at a 2nd consecutive BCS berth. On top of that, the conference failed to win a single game in the postseason, going 0-5.
MWC – The post season for the Mountain West Conference was like the MTV generation, feeling neither highs-nor-lows, posting a .500 record (3-3). The Conference failed to get a team in the BCS, but had more bowl eligible teams than slots to place them.
American – In their inaugural season, the American Athletic Conference nabbed an impressive BCS win, but posted a 2-3 overall record. The only other win was from ACC-bound Louisville. The conference failed to have enough bowl eligible teams to meet their bowl slots.
Big XII – The Big XII went 1-1 in BCS games, including a signature win for Bob Stoops’ Oklahoma Sooners, and was even-steven in their bowl games posting a 3-3 overall record. The Conference was thisclose to being listed as a Big Loser for their inability to meet their conference
C-USA: The ever-changing Conference USA won as many bowl games as they lost (3-3). For a league that seems to be in a perpetual state of flux replacing teams that have left for the
Big East American Athletic Conference, it’s not a bad postseason.