Blog Entry 120 -- Big Least?

Posted on: October 27, 2008 12:58 pm
Edited on: October 29, 2008 9:54 pm

Trivia time: Name the only two conferences in the nation without a zero- or one-loss team?

Answer: Sun Belt and Big East.

That's right. I know the ACC takes most of the abuse when talking about the weakest conference in the BCS, but make no mistake about it ... it's the Big East.

And it was proven this week in the 120 as South Florida is now the only team in the Big East ranked in the Top 25, falling from No. 14 to No. 25.

The Mountain West has three teams ranked. The ACC also has three. Hell, all three of the ACC teams are ranked higher than the best Big East team!

And even that can be questioned. South Florida has lost two of its last three games, falling to Pittsburgh 26-21 and Louisville 24-20. The shocking victory over Kansas doesn't even look like an impressive win anymore, so I'm not so sure the Bulls are the best team in the conference.

So who is?

Pittsburgh? It gives up way too many points and it just lost to Rutgers 54-34.

Cincinnati? Not after getting blown out by Connecticut 40-16.

How about Louisville? Things were written off for the Cardinals after opening the season with a 27-2 loss to Kentucky, but they now find themselves in the thick of things.

But I'm looking at the teams ranked No. 27 and No. 28, who just so happen to play each other this week. West Virginia and Connecticut.

The Mountaineers fell off the map after losing on the road to East Carolina and Colorado, but have won four in a row and earned a big win over Auburn last Thursday night. The offense is really getting going, led by Noel Devine. The sophomore is finally showing everybody how good he is, rushing for 188 against Syracuse and 207 against Auburn.

Meanwhile, Connecticut has its own star running back in Donald Brown, who is second in the nation with 1,324 yards and has scored 14 touchdowns. The Huskies spent some time in the Top 25 earlier in the year before losing on the road to North Carolina and Rutgers.

Last season, West Virginia blasted Connecticut 66-21.

"You don’t think (coach) Randy Edsall will remind them of that score a few times this week?" West Virginia coach Bill Stewart said.

The last team West Virginia played after blasting last year was East Carolina and we saw how that turned out. The Pirates smothered the Mountaineers offense, beating them 24-3.

"Our people better get that in their heads. They celebrated Thursday night, Friday and they enjoyed it a little bit yesterday but our Mountaineers better crank our engine. If you saw the fourth quarter of UConn, wow, I saw a defense get after people and that was impressive."

The winner can stake its claim as the best in the conference -- at least in my eyes.


... Notre Dame is the closest to the Top 25 it has been all season, moving up to No. 26 after pounding Washington 33-7. Remember, Notre Dame counts as a "Big East" school when it comes to bowl selection. So with the Big East champion going to the BCS, Notre Dame most likely going to the Gator (Big East No. 2 slot), that leaves the No. 3 Big East team to the Meineke Car Care Bowl on Dec. 27 vs. an ACC team.

... Syracuse remains the lowest-ranked BCS team, coming in at No. 116. The 'Cuse are 1-6 with its only win coming against a FCS team (Northeastern)

... Oregon jumped into the Top 25, leaping 11 spots from No. 34 to No. 23. The Ducks give the Pac-10 their second team in the Top 25.

... Louisiana Tech fell 25 spots from No. 68 to No. 93 after losing 14-7 to Army.

... Utah jumped into the Top 10, moving up from No. 12 to No. 9. It is the highest-ranked non-BCS team.


Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: November 4, 2008 9:59 am 120 -- Big Least?

Twisted Cougar...Much better with your post...but I still disagree with you.  You seem to be like our friend Darst here...supplying information that makes the Big East look better.  Other than the "at large bid" comment, which has to do with nothing but money...your comments support the fact the BIg East is not the weakest conference. 


BCS Winning percentages by conference.

The Big East is only behind the Mountain West (1-0), the SEC, and the Pac 10.   (The Big Ten...The Big Twelve...The ACC...The WAC...all sub .500 in the BCS)

The Big East has Two teams in the top 10 of winning percentages...WVU and Louiville....SEC has two teams....LSU and Auburn...Big 12...Texas and Kansas...Pac 10...Oregon and Oregon St...Big 10...Wisconsin...

Fact is...since our facelift, the Big East has been tearing up their BCS games...No "at large bids?"...popularity contest...  Do you really think ...PITT...South Florida...Rutgers...Do you really think that they would be picked as an at large bid when there are big money schools...Penn State...Michigan...Florida...LSU...

with the same record...that's all it is...It's all about the dough...I'll admit WVU has gone to the Gatorbowl a few times because they knew the Fans would PAY to go to the game, not because we deserved to go.  Money makes the BCS go round and your big name schools bring in the cash. strip the Big East of Miami, Va. Tech, and BC...and we have been 3-1 in the four years.  The only other conference with a tying BCS record is The PAC 10...or should I say "the USC" because they are the only PAC 10 team that has gone to a BCS game in the last 4 years.  I'd say the PAC 10 is a little USC heavy...Wouldn't you?     

With Miami...Va Tech...and BC, the Big East was consistently having teams in the top 10...and losing BCS games...Now, we are winning BCS games without them, and all the sudden since there are new faces in the Big East, we are weak?  We are weaker in the public eye not having those teams...But weak since they left, no way.  Look at our records.   Especially WVU...Most rushing yards in a BCS game...twice...OSU-fewest total yards in a BCS game and in a BCS championship game...ever.  We deserve more respect than being called the Big Least.  The Big East has earned it.   

Since: Oct 16, 2008
Posted on: November 1, 2008 2:24 pm 120 -- Big Least?

This must be a Big East Writer cause i know regular fans are smarter than that...tenn lost 4 of 6, 3 of those losses to top 8 teams, if they had been playinig anyone in the big east instead of those 3 they would have won all 3.  Vandy lost 3 in a of those to a top 8 team, but vandy is vandy, at least they did appear in the top 20.  Hell even arkansas played the #1, #2 and #5 team in the country, LSU lost 2 of 3 and both those loses were to the #6 and #8 team in the country.  So when painting the picture, its a lot prettier if you would use color instead of grayscale.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: October 31, 2008 5:26 pm 120 -- Big Least?

HandsomeRobWV - Thank you for your comments.  Since you're concerned with facts and research, I'll address a few of your 'facts':

 The question is, how can you not argue that the Big East is tough enough…It’s not the Pac 10 or the Big 10, where one team dominates the conference and goes on to get blown out in their bowl game


Relative Records in the 10 years of the BCS:

  • Pac 10 - 8-4 (.667) 7 of 10 teams played in BCS games
  • Big Ten - 8-9 (.471) 7 of 11 teams played in BCS games
  • Big East - 6-4 (.600) Miami, Va Tech went to 5 games, winning 3, then left for the ACC
  • Current Big East 3-2 (.600) 4 of 8 teams played in BCS games

The Pac 10 has had 7 of its 10 teams play in the BCS in the 10 years the BCS has existed.  4 of those 7 have won BCS games.  It is true that USC has been to 6 BCS games and in recent years been the dominant program in the Pac 10.  USC is 5-1 in the BCS with its only loss a 3 point loss to Texas in the National Championship.  Not exactly a blow out, and with 70% of the teams in the conference playing in BCS games, its tough to say the Pac 10 has no depth.

The Big 10 has had 7 of its 11 teams play in the BCS in the 10 years the BCS has existed.  While the conference doesn't have the winning percentage of the Pac 10 in BCS games, 7 different teams have reached the BCS, and 4 of those (Ohio St, Michigan, Wisconsin, Illinios) have reached multiple BCS games.  4 of those 7 teams have won BCS games.  Ohio State arguably has been the most dominant team in the conference over the last decade and has attended the most BCS games.  It is 4-2 overall, but it is noteworthy that its only 2 losses came in the national championship game (both games somewhat ugly).  OSU is undefeated in non-championship games where it doesn't play the #1 team in the country. 

The Big East is 6-4 (.600) in the 10 years of the BCS.  It is one of only 2 BCS conferences to never have a 2nd team selected as an at large bid from its conference in any year, the ACC is the other.  If you strip out the BCS games for the 3 teams who left  the Big East for the ACC (Miami, Va Tech, BC), the current Big East has only 3 BCS wins, has had 4 of its current 8 teams play in BCS games, and has never played in the BCS National Championship Game.  Of the current Big East, only 2 teams have won BCS games, West Virginia winning two (UGA in '06 and Oklahoma in '08), and Louisville (Wake Forest in '07).  While it is noteworthy that the Big East has won its last three BCS games, the current Big East has the fewest number of teams to play in (4) and fewest to win (2) BCS games than either of the conferences you call one team dominated. 

Seriously, the one fact you tried to spew in your fecal infected post was that “Pitt had an embarrassing loss to Utah” which never even happened…well, kind of did in 2005

Jan 2005 Fiesta Bowl - Utah 35 - Pitt 7.  I'm not sure how lopsided a loss needs to get before it gets embarassing, next time I'll use a more objective adjective. 

The last time Pitt played Utah was 2005…unless you are on the wrong site and were talking about some other sport. I think you meant Bowling Green...

We are talking about BCS bowl games here.  However, since you brought up the BG loss.....rough when you lose at home to a team that is 1-3 currently in the MAC.  At least Pitt beat S Florida, the only ranked (before last night) team in the conference.  Any team in the Big East can beat anyone in the Big East, but you've gotta take care of the middle/bottom half of the MAC when you get them at home.

The question is, how can you not argue that the Big East is tough enough? ......Any team in the Big East, with the exception of Syracuse, can beat any other team in the conference.  What other conference can say that? 

Honestly, I'm not arguing that the Big East doesn't have a lot of parity.  Currently, it has 6 teams ranked on CBSSportline between 25 and 41 (S Florida 25, WVU 27, Uconn 28, Louisville 33, Cincy 37, and Pitt 41).  But if this conference had to live up to the Mid-major standard, it would not qualify for a BCS game this year.  Most years it does, but not this year.  Too many 2nd / 3rd tier teams, and not one that consistently plays top 10 calibre football. 

My real issue is with the BCS not the Big East.  I beleive the Big East should have an auto bid to the BCS every year.  But so should the MWC, the MAC, the WAC and CUSA.  While its no shame to be ranked behind any individual Mid-major, to have the entire conference ranked below 6 Mid Majors (Per Sportsline: Utah 9, Boise 10, TCU 12, BYU 15, Ball St 17, Tulsa 18) will be meaningful if the season continues this way.  Hopefully WVU or someone in the Big East will get on a tear and shoot up in the rankings, because it would be something if an unranked team makes it to the BCS and undefeated, ranked conference champions don't.

Since: Aug 14, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2008 5:24 pm 120 -- Big Least?

 I guess Darst knows what he can do with his Big Least

Blow it out my nose?

Stick it up my (you know what)?

Suck on it?

So many to choose from -- how about all of the above.

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2008 2:15 pm 120 -- Big Least?

TWISTEDCOUGAR…to save me from reiterating so much…let me refer you to my posts on pages 3,5, and 6. Now, I will address your most recent babbling...I can argue that we deserve a BCS bid, and I will...but that shouldn't be your question... The question is, how can you not argue that the Big East is tough enough…It’s not the Pac 10 or the Big 10, where one team dominates the conference and goes on to get blown out in their bowl game...The Big East has a handful of 2 or 3 loss teams that go on to Win their bowl games.   
Because of your disjointed rubbish...I don't know if I CAN get to my arguments...You said “Getting crushed by a solid team like Georgia or Florida is one thing, but to get slapped around like Pitt did by Utah is certainly another.” Hey, Mr. Wizard… get your facts straight…I can’t respect a claim that is completely bogus. The last time Pitt played Utah was 2005…unless you are on the wrong site and were talking about some other sport. I think you meant Bowling Green...And, if you were implying that Utah is not a great team, a Utah team that beat Oregon St, which was an Oregon St. team that beat then #1 USC (who no one was going to beat) I wish you were right and they did lose to Utah…But What team hasn’t been upset this year or had a disappointing loss…a few undefeated teams, deserving of their spot on the polls for now.  But a Big East team is upset, all the sudden the conference sucks...right…  &n
   Any team in the Big East, with the exception of Syracuse, can beat any other team in the conference.  What other conference can say that? Maybe the SEC, but Big East teams have been whooping on the SEC since the 90’s.  After winning the last three BCS title games we faced in a row, how can you not argue the Big East deserves to be there? The best word to describe your rambling is “ignoramus” …full of opinion and no facts. You are entitled to your opinion, of course, but no body wants to hear it unless it is going to have some facts to back it up.  Work on your research sport, it will make you a better sports fan...take you to the next level from those Saturday morning cartoons... Seriously, the one fact you tried to spew in your fecal infected post was that “Pitt had an embarrassing loss to Utah” which never even happened…well, kind of did in 2005, but Utah was undefeated and ranked in the top ten and Pitt was having a 500 year.      

Since: Sep 22, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2008 1:24 pm 120 -- Big Least?

Darst apparently does not know how to read. Most every conference has the majority of their teams with more than one loss, in most cases, more than two losses with the exception of the obvious undefeated teams. So what if we don't have but one team in the top 25. Most other media favored conference teams don't fall like a rock from the rankings like the Big East teams do. Lose one game and they drop us like hot potato. I guess Darst knows what he can do with his Big Least.

Since: Sep 20, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2008 1:17 pm 120 -- Big Least?

I agree, the Big East has a lot of 3rd / 4th Tier teams that likely could all finish in the top half of most mid-major conferences.  The problem is that this year you could put the Big East Champ into the MAC, MWC, CUSA or the WAC and its doubtful it would finish in the top 2 or 3 of any of them.  I still imagine that the BE champ would probably win the Sun Belt, but so could several high school teams.  The mid-majors with all the disadvantages with respect to money, recruiting, bowl access and exposure this seaon seem to be better than the Big East. 

You're right, the OOC games are the essential to rankings and honestly are the only reference point to compare one conference to another.  Since the Big East didn't in your words beat up on the OOC teams, how else do you expect people to rank the conference??  Afterall, this isn't a beauty contest, its football.  OOC wins and losses count. 

If you ask me, its really a shame that the Big East gets into the BCS each year when other equally (or more) deserving conferences don't.  I sort of can buy into the argument that even when the Big East has a down year, if there is one team that steam rolls the conference and its OOC it still likely belongs in the BCS.  But this year, how can you argue that without an undefeated or even a one loss team?  You can't even argue that the Big East deserves to have a team play in the BCS before any of six mid-majors programs at the present (Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise St, Ball St or Tulsa).  The top end of the Big East has 6 teams on par with the Fresno State's and Air Force's of the world.  Sure, the bottom of the Big East (excluding Syracuse) isn't as dismal as some, the best word to describe the conference is mediocre. 

If I'm the Big East Champ, I'm just hoping I don't have to play a Mid-Major in the BCS.  Getting crushed by a solid team like Georgia or Florida is one thing, but to get slapped around like Pitt did by Utah is certainly another. 

Since: Dec 8, 2006
Posted on: October 30, 2008 12:36 pm 120 -- Big Least?

You must be an Oklahoma fan.  Your team thought the same thinkg last January and you were beaten so bad, so soundly, I'm surprised your alma mater didn't drop football.

Since: Sep 16, 2008
Posted on: October 30, 2008 11:01 am 120 -- Big Least?

pengowin..."Louiville joined the Big Least, they wanted an easy chance to go to a BCS bowl game"???  In 2006 they had anything but an easy schedule. They killed Kentucky...whooped up on Miami, Fl who was ranked 15th,  beat an amazing #3 WVU team, beat up on Wake in the BCS title game.  Their only loss was to Rutgers by 3 points in NJ.  That year the Big East went 5-0 in bowl games...and Louiville was at the top of the Big East.  An easy road...I don't think so...

Since: Oct 21, 2008
Posted on: October 29, 2008 3:06 pm 120 -- Big Least?

I couldnt agree with you more. But to the media it's always fun to pick on the confrences with less money. But the big east seems to not loose in big bowl games in recent history and without much credit. And what about when B.C. miami and tech were in the B.E. and miami and florida state were always at the top?

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