Bogus Bowl Teams

The following teams from BCS conferences would not currently be bowl eligible were it not for wins over FCS opponents (opponent in parantheses):

Tennessee (Western Kentucky)
South Carolina (South Carolina State)
Georgia (Tennessee Tech)

You will hear a lot of bragging about how the SEC has 10 bowl eligible teams this year.  As you can see, three two of them got there by the worst kind of schedule gerrymandering.   You won’t hear much talk of this since the media’s main M.O. most days is to not upset the very excitable SEC fan base, which brooks no deviation from the party line. 

Correction: Western Kentucky is in its second year as an FBS school.  So my mistake.  I think the point still stands about the level of competition.

Big 12
Iowa State (North Dakota State)
Oklahoma (Idaho State)

Lost in Oklahoma’s disastrous season is the fact that it would likely be staying home this bowl season if not for that fortuitous scheduling of Idaho State.

Big Ten
Michigan State (Montana State)
Minnesota (South Dakota State)

The Spartans went 1-1 against Central and Eastern Michigan, so it’s a good thing Montana State was around.

Florida State (Jackson State)

Florida State’s 27-season bowl streak is saved thanks to Walter Payton’s alma mater.

Arizona (Northern Arizona)

The Wildcats take a page from the SEC formula.

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28 Responses to Bogus Bowl Teams

  1. MichealScott November 22, 2009 at 9:21 pm #

    Unfortunately, I have to stand up for UcheaT. Western Kentucky is now a FBS program, their in the Sun Belt.

  2. anon November 22, 2009 at 9:59 pm #

    How do you not know WKU is FBS?

  3. Truth November 22, 2009 at 10:11 pm #

    Never mind that USCe plays Clemson every year and played NC State this year. Never mind that UGA plays Ga Tech every year and also played Arizona State and Ok State this year.

    HP, how come you didn’t mention the PAC 10 plays these lousy teams?
    Central Mich
    Norther Arizona
    Portland State
    San Jose State (x2)
    Eastern Washington
    San Diego State
    Idaho State
    Louisiana Munroe

  4. Truth November 22, 2009 at 10:17 pm #

    HP…what do you think about the PAC 10s best two teams having lost to an OOC opponent and having each beaten a lousy OOC team by two points?

  5. Truth November 22, 2009 at 10:29 pm #

    HP – if you take away USC from the PAC 10 over the past 10 years, what is the BCS OOC record of the PAC 10? What is the PAC 10s bowl record without USC? Maybe, if you had any pretense of objective journalism you would do a little piece on how the PAC 10s numbers (which are still below the SECs in most categories) would be drastically different without USC.

  6. Solon November 22, 2009 at 10:34 pm #

    Damn, HP, as mentioned above, WKU is indeed a Division 1-A team.

    So, given that, it’s a good thing you posted this now–because if South Carolina and Georgia win this weekend, the SEC will have a grand total of 0 bogus bowl teams. Great find.

    Also, it seems obvious to mention that while you assume a defeat in whatever other game these teams would have scheduled in its place, it’s most likely they all probably some mid-level Sun Belt or WAC team. None of these teams would be likely to lose that sort of game.

    And also, once again you live up to your reputation as the Fox News of the CFB blogosphere…way to go, not mentioning that Pac 10 title contender Arizona is one of these teams as well.

    Or is it that because Northern Arizona was an in-state game, it was a legitimate opponent?

  7. Solon November 22, 2009 at 10:44 pm #

    Truth–HP and I had a back-and-forth about this a few years ago.

    The bottom line is this–from 1992 to 2005, the Pac 9 (the Pac 10 not including USC) roughly did as well against BCS competition as the bottom half of the SEC (defined at the time as UK, S Car, Vandy, Ole Miss, Miss St, and Arkansas).

    Here were the numbers from 1992-2005:
    Pac 10 less USC: 41-48-2 (.462)
    SEC bottom half: 40-46-0 (.465)

    HP tried to argue that the Pac 10 teams had played tougher schedules, so I pointed out the following:

    Wins v. teams with winning records: Pac 10 16, SEC 15; Wins against teams with 0 or 1 wins for the season: Pac 10 6, SEC 2.

    At this point HP stopped engaging, as far as I remember.

    (And, in case it isn’t obvious, I think it’s clear that the bottom half of the SEC kicked ass from 2006 to 2008, so if anything the gap will be expanded here–especially after the Pac 10s horrible 2008 season.)

  8. Heismanpundit November 22, 2009 at 10:50 pm #

    Solon’s hilarious. Yeah, I stopped engaging, cus I shut down this blog.

    Solon is the Chris Lehane of CFB, unfortunately, and is well known for distortions and selective picking over of stats.

    Both mistakes have been corrected and the point still stands. And I will wager that by the end of the season, Arizona will not have needed that win over an FCS team to be eligible. I doubt you will say the same about Georgia and SC.

  9. PAC 10 Homer Site November 22, 2009 at 10:53 pm #

    HP, I thought you were just biased, but now I think you’re just dishonest: you criticize Oklahoma for playing Idaho State. You know who Arizona played the week before they played Louisiana Munroe and two weeks before they lost to UGA? You guessed it…Idaho State. So, its OK if Arizona schedules Idaho State, but surely Oklahoma can’t do that.

    Never mind that Oklahoma also played BYU and Miami OOC. Those are just tedious little details that aren’t helpful to your PAC 10 spin.

  10. Truth November 22, 2009 at 10:57 pm #

    HP – I wouldn’t criticize anyone over “distortions and selective picking over of stats” if I were you!

  11. Heismanpundit November 22, 2009 at 11:01 pm #

    The point is that Oklahoma would not be bowl eligible if not for that win over Idaho State. ASU is equally cowardly for scheduling ISU, but isn’t using that win to get themselves to a bowl.

    By the way, note that in UGA’s first year scheduling against real-live OOC competition (an SEC-high three BCS teams are on its OOC sked), it collapses.

    Truth: yeah, never mind those things, as those aren’t the point.

    Do you all really want to compare the schedules of the Pac-10 with the SEC? It’s not even close which league plays the tougher schedule.

  12. Bucknut November 22, 2009 at 11:30 pm #

    Washingon st.. 1-10.. only win against SMU, lost to Hawaii and Notre Dame in non confe games

    Ariz State 4-7 .. lost to Georgia

    Washing 3-7.. lost to LSU and Notre Dame

    Your top Team (Oregon) lost to Boise State.. maybe WAC is better

    OSU lost to Cincy

    Stanford lost to Wake Forest

    Arizona lost to Iowa

    I’m not a supporter of the SEC, and I know my conference is down, but if you want to compare apples to oranges. HP you obviously are a pac 10 homer. That’s cool but can’t you report unbiased. You could take a cue from Herbstreit.

  13. Solon November 22, 2009 at 11:50 pm #

    HP–seriously, I have to admit that I love it when you get personal, because it generally means that you have no rational arguments left to make.

    So Georgia is having a shit year–that sometimes happens, as you are well aware after USC lost to mighty Stanford–themselves conquered by Wake!–by 34 points. And rest assured it wasn’t scheduling Pac 10 teams that did us in!

    All I did with those numbers was to take all the games the teams had played OOC during that 14 year period and list the records. You responded with some vagaries about “the SEC teams only beat shitty teams” so I stuffed that as well–and, really, showed the opposite was the case.

    I will admit, you are right about one thing. I did selectively choose the stats there–I “selectively” chose to look at Ws and Ls. I guess, in your world, that’s being selective. But to most people that’s how you gauge whether one team is better than another.

    I did leave out the context–which was that those teams in the SEC were no-hopers, complete jokes who the rest of the SEC fattened up on. Whether that’s true or not, they still win at the same rate out of conference–and against roughly the same level of competition–as the rest of the Pac 10.

  14. Truth November 23, 2009 at 8:17 am #

    Yes, HP, I get your point about the bowl eligibility of Oklahoma, but don’t you understand what disingenuous reporting is: critiicizing Ok for playing Idaho State while not even mentioning that Arizona plays them, nor mentioning that Oklahoma also played BYU and Miami OOC. That king of reporting is meaningless and shamelessly biased.

    And FSU has BYU, UF and USF on their OOC schedule. So, OK, have it your way, let FSU pull a PAC 10 move and take UF and USF off the schedule and add San Jose State and Northern Arizona. OK, now FSU has 8 wins instead of 6 (assuming UF wins next week). Come on HP are you really this bad a reporter? I’m surprised at the weakness of your reporting that is fed by your PAC 10 love.

  15. Truth November 23, 2009 at 8:19 am #

    You think UGA is “collapsing” because it added Ok. State and ASU to the schedule? Maybe it had something to do with loosing Stafford and Moreno? And adding those two teams to the schedule only cost them one loss (to the BIG 12, not the PAC 10). By the way this “collapsing” SEC team managed to beat a PAC 10 team.

  16. Locker November 23, 2009 at 9:03 am #

    i really cant respect the argument of anyone who cant spell losing

  17. Truth November 23, 2009 at 9:55 am #

    Locker – sorry to mess up on losing…I’m a horrible speller, you should ask my wife about that. On the other hand I do have 3 master’s degrees (one of which is from Harvard), so maybe the ability to spell well isn’t the most important thing unless you want to win a Spelling B! Actually, any one familiar with basic logic would tell you that your argument is invalid (an argument’s strength or weakness has nothing to do with whether one can or can’t spell a particular word). So do you proof-read all your posts?

    So what’s your argument? I looked back up the list here and didn’t find any input from you. Do you just prefer to spell check?

  18. Johnny November 23, 2009 at 10:09 am #

    One small correction – FSU played Jacksonville St, not Jackson St.

  19. Jams November 23, 2009 at 2:44 pm #

    Come on guys, give HP a break. He’s formally trained as an SID for Southern Cal– he’s not supposed to be good at unbiased reporting, he’s supposed to be good at presenting facts that make his constituents look good.

    That said, these kinds of “oooh look at the Pac 10 they are good p.s. SEC sucks” posts would have made me stop reading this blog a long time ago if it weren’t for the HP Fantasy Challenge.

    It’s frustratingly obvious that HP hasn’t learned about the wonders that concessions will do for your argument.

  20. Heismanpundit November 23, 2009 at 5:20 pm #

    James, I have learned that concessions on a blog or any kind of reason are likely to get thrown out the window or ignored by hotheaded fans.

    A faithful reader of this blog would know that the last couple years I have indeed given the SEC its due as a great conference and have rarely touted the Pac-10 as the best.

    My main point in touting the Pac-10 on those occasions when I think it deserves it (such as this year) is to point out the hypocrisy of the media when it comes to coverage of the conferences. The SEC is always cowtowed to and the Pac-10 (and other leagues) are downplayed. Facts are almost irrelevant to fans when it comes to these things–see for instance the complete lack of concession when I point out–factually–the number of teams from each conference that relied on wins over FCS teams to get bowl eligible. These are facts and yet no SEC fan here will comment on them but instead goes into attack mode because the narrative of ‘the SEC is the best!’ hasn’t been faithfully adhered to.

    The real issue here is that there are bogus bowl teams out there who will nonetheless give their conference occasion to brag about the number of bowl teams it has produced. Yet the SEC fans don’t want to see that, do they? Much easier to nitpick and attack over other things and call someone biased.

  21. Roby November 23, 2009 at 5:32 pm #

    Why is it that Oklahoma is “sneaking” into a bowl game by playinng an FCS opponent? Maybe you can look at as they almost knocked themselves out of a bowl game by scheduling Miami and BYU OOC.

  22. Jams November 23, 2009 at 8:21 pm #

    I really wish conference strength arguments didn’t elicit such strong response, as it’s a completely subjective, muddled, meaningless debate that is frustrating for all (yet keeps popping up because it makes for high readership numbers). I almost always find myself arguing against anyone who picks one side or another–mainly because there is so much contradictory data that it is impossible to both take an unbiased approach and also entrench oneself on one side of the debate.

    So I’m not trying to say that you’re necessarily wrong that the Pac 10 is the best this year, HP, but just that it isn’t as slam-dunk of a decision as some people make it out to be.

  23. sandymex November 24, 2009 at 9:39 am #

    HP –

    Here’s the breakdown of non-conference games showing the percentage played against FCS opponents:
    ACC – 14 FCS out of 55 OOC games (25.5%)
    Big East – 10 out of 46 (21.7%)
    SEC – 11 out of 58 (19.0%)
    Big 10 – 9 out of 59 (18.0%)
    Big 12 – 9 out of 56 (16.1%)
    Pac 10 – 4 out of 36 (11.1%)

    This includes all games through the end of the season. I suppose you’re free to attack the other 5 BCS conferences for playing a few more FCS games than the Pac 10, but the SEC is clearly right in the middle. In fact, the SEC is at the low end of conferences that play championship games and don’t oppose playoffs.

  24. Truth November 24, 2009 at 9:41 am #

    HP says “SEC fans don’t want to see that, do they? Much easier to nitpick and attack over other things and call someone biased”

    You have made yourself not credible by your constant assertions of the superiority of the PAC 10 despite much evidence to the contrary. If you presented the evidence in a balanced less bias manner you’d be more believable and probably have more readership.

    As a prime example that I’ve already mentioned on your site – you criticize both FSU and Oklahoma as bogus bowl teams while only highlighting their one lousy team played and not mentioning the fact that they have some of the toughest OOC schedules of anyone. AND NOTE, this is an SEC fan (actually a Gator fan) defending Oklahoma and FSU. So don’t tell me its all about SEC fans beating their chests and ignoring evidence.

    Even a Buckeye fan (Bucknut) was chastising you for your bias – and he presented solid evidence to contradict your assertion.

    HP – are you in denial (not about the PAC 10 or SEC or any CFB matter) about your use of disingenuous arguments and manipulated evidence to promote your agenda? That’s the biggest thing that people are upset about. Sure we all overly defend our opinions, but you are so biased on a regular basis that its become comical.

  25. Chris J November 24, 2009 at 5:02 pm #

    As an ASU fan, I hate to stand up for U of A, but the reason the Wildcats scheduled NAU this year is because the Arizona Board of Regents mandates that both ASU and U of A play NAU once every three years.

  26. Anonymous November 24, 2009 at 8:40 pm #

    To Chris,

    That’s great and good for the state of Arizona and the little schools. Those schools get exposure and money. I hope everyone notices, its mostly HP who is harping on these games not the CFB fans on this site. Furthermore, HP downplays overall SOS by focusing on one or two bad opponents as he did with FSU and Oklahoma. FSU plays UF, USF and BYU OOC in addition to having the two best teams from the ACC on their schedule (Clemson and Ga Tech) as well as Miami. With a schedule like that, I’m not going to begrudge them scheduling Jacksonville State even though they also have a few ACC patsies on the schedule.

    Just wish HP would be a little less biased toward the PAC 10 with his SOS schedule analysis.

  27. sandymex November 29, 2009 at 3:32 am #

    The SEC now officially has zero “Bogus Bowl Teams.” So much for the gerrymandering argument. HP claims the Pac 10 is #1, despite them being 2nd or 3rd in all 6 computer ranking systems used by the BCS.

    Speaking of gerrymandering, when will the Pac 10 stop opposing playoffs and stop trying to rig it so USC plays home games against the Big 10 rather than real bowls?


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