How Various Conferences Perform in Bowl Games
When it comes to college football, certain conferences are consistently strong on an annual basis. The Southeastern Conference and Pac-10 can generally be counted on to field some quality teams, while others are considerably weak and the conference champion is merely not as bad as the rest of the teams.
When looking at bowl games from a handicapping perspective, strength of schedule or Average Opponents Power Rating (AOPR) is something that has to be considered, as it's important to know what type of opposition the team put up its stats against. In general, teams playing in the stronger conferences played tougher opposition during the year.
That should give some insight to how teams will perform in bowl games, as your more battle-tested teams have an advantage against one who cruised through a relatively week schedule.
Atlantic Coast Conference
The ACC generally fields some decent teams on a yearly basis and has some depth so that a number of teams will usually gt bowl invites. The conference has done pretty well against the number in recent years. Teams from the ACC are 46-34-1 (57.5 percent) against the spread over the last 10 years. There is no short-term change, as ACC teams are 23-17-1 (57.5) against the spread over the last five years.
Big 10 Conference
Teams from the Big-10 Conference have pretty much been a 50-50 proposition over the years, going 32-34 (48.5) against the spread over the last 10 years and 17-18 (48.6) against the number over the last five years. These teams have consistently had trouble in the Rose Bowl, where they often face an offensive-minded foe.
Big 12 Conference
The Big 12 Conference has labored a bit in the post-season, going just 16-25-1 (39 percent) against the spread over the past 10 years. The short-term trend is a bit better, but is still a losing proposition, going 17-20 over the last five years.
Big East Conference
The Big East Conference is more noted for basketball and its performance in bowl games is a telling reason why. Big East teams are just 16-25-1 (39 percent) against the spread over the past 10 years. The short-term is a bit better, but is still a disappointing 11-14-1 (44 percent) over the past five bowl seasons.
Conference USA teams are a lackluster 21-22-1 against the number over the past 10 years and the short-term is even worse, as those teams have gone 12-16-1 (42.9) against the line over the past five seasons.
The MAC has been a major disappointment in bowl games, going just 7-15 (31.8) percent against the line the past 10 years. The conference is equally bad over the past five years, going just 6-12 against the number.
Mountain West Conference
Mountain West teams have performed fairly well in bowl games in recent years. MWC teams are 21-17 (55.3) against the number over the past 10 years and 12-9 (57.1) the past five bowl seasons.
Not surprisingly, the Pac-10 has performed solidly over the years in bowl games. Teams from the Pac-10 are 31-22 (58.5 percent) over the past 10 years and 15-12 (55.6) over the past five seasons.
The Southeastern Conference hasn't performed quite as well as expected over the years, although SEC teams are showing a profit for both the 10-year and five-year time periods. SEC teams are 41-31-2 (56.9) over the past 10 years and 20-17-1 (54.1) against the number over the past five seasons.
Sun Belt Conference
The Sun Belt Conference doesn't get too many teams to bowl games and as a result is just 5-6 (45.5) over the past 10 years and 4-4 over the past five seasons.
Western Athletic Conference
WAC teams are pretty much a break-even proposition over the years, going 16-14 (53.3 percent) against the number over the past 10 years and 10-9 (52.6) over the last five bowl seasons.