Uber stat nerd Phil Steele released his Conference Bowl Rankings recently. None of it was news, per se; rather, the article is a compilation of the eleven larger conferences and their bowl success/failure over the last decade.â†µ
Not surprisingly, the Big Ten had a poor showing, ranking sixth (fifth of the Big 6 BCS conferences). The obvious way to improve, both the record and the conference’s national perception, is to win, but one possible excuse for the poor showing is that more Big Ten teams have played in BCS bowls than any other conference. That requires all the other bowls that the Big Ten plays in to take the next worst Big Ten team, essentially skewing certain matchups. However, coming off a bowl season that included two BCS wins and Penn State’s victory over LSU in the Capital One Bowl, the Big Ten is riding some momentum.â†µ
The Big East ranked fourth. However, Big East teams only played in 10 BCS bowls (since every Big 6 conference sends a team to a BCS bowl every year, this number means that there was never a year when TWO Big East teams made the BCS bowls). The Big East also played 13 bowls against non-BCS conference schools, second only to the Pac-10’s 14 games (the Big Ten only played three such bowls).