Checking Power Five propaganda

Big 12 teams will play nine conference games.

SEC teams will play eight.

Pac-12 teams will play nine league games, plus a conference championship game.

ACC teams will play eight (and maybe Notre Dame).

As major college football heads into its first season with a four-team playoff, each Power Five conference is trying to convince the selection committee its scheduling format is the most challenging. It's part of a concerted and continuing effort on the part of each league to better position itself for consideration for the playoff. With five major conferences and only four playoff places, at least one will be left out.

Every conference has its pitch. We try to sort the facts from the propaganda:

ACC: "We broke the streak."

Fact: Florida State ended the SEC's seven-year reign, defeating Auburn 34-31 in the final BCS National Championship at the Rose Bowl on Jan. 6. It was the Seminoles' first national championship since 1999, which was also the last time an ACC team won a national title (Miami won in 2001, three years before it left the Big East for the ACC).

Propaganda: Sure, the ACC earned some respect during the past bowl season by going 2-0 in BCS bowl games (Clemson defeated Ohio State 40-35 in the Orange Bowl) and sending an NCAA-record 11 teams to the postseason. But the ACC's success in 2013 hardly makes up for its futility in the first 15 seasons of the BCS era, when its teams went 3-13 in BCS bowl games.

Heading into the 2014 season, FSU and Clemson seem head and shoulders over everyone else in the ACC once again. Every other ACC team (except Duke!) appears stuck in neutral. Virginia Tech lost at least five games in each of the past two seasons, which hadn't happened under coach Frank Beamer since 1991-92, and Miami was only 13-11 in ACC play during the past three seasons. The Blue Devils were one of the country's biggest surprises last season, finishing 10-4 overall, 6-2 in ACC play.

Although the ACC boasts of becoming the first league since the 23-team Southern Conference in 1932 (which consisted predominantly of current ACC and SEC teams) to have 11 teams finish with winning records, nine of its 14 teams finished 7-6 or worse in 2013. Talk about being top-heavy.

Big Ten: "It can't be any worse than the BCS ... can it?"

Fact: The Big Ten had more opportunities to make a statement -- or fall on its face -- than any other league during the BCS era. Big Ten teams made 28 appearances in BCS games, more than the SEC (27), Big 12 (22), Pac-12 (21) and ACC (18).

But after winning their first four BCS bowl games, Big Ten teams went 9-15 from 2001 to 2014 (and that's if you count Ohio State's 31-26 win over Arkansas in the 2011 Sugar Bowl, which the Buckeyes later vacated because of NCAA sanctions). Without the OSU win, the Big Ten's 12-15 record (.444) in BCS bowl games was second worst among the Power Five leagues, ahead of only the ACC's 5-13 mark (.278).

Propaganda: The last Big Ten team to win a national championship was Ohio State in 2002, and no team from the conference has played for one since the 2007 season, when the Buckeyes lost their second consecutive BCS title game.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
  • |
  • 3
  • |
  • 4
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...