Berry Tramel

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Tramel: Bowl standings dominated by SEC

by Berry Tramel Modified: January 2, 2014 at 9:45 am •  Published: January 2, 2014

I got a great email from a guy last night. Said he was tired of all the SEC bowl hype. Said of course the SEC wins a bunch of bowl games; they’re always playing underdogs.

I wrote him back and said there’s a reason the SEC is always playing underdogs. They’re favored to beat everybody.

And in related news, the Big 12 stinks.

What else to say after Baylor’s 52-42 loss to Central Florida. The Sooners scored 12 on Baylor; UCF scored 40 more than that. Doesn’t make you feel good about the Sugar Bowl tonight.

Anyway, most of the bowl results are in, and here are the records for the conferences:

1. SEC 5-1: The SEC still has Alabama, Auburn and Vanderbilt (against Houston) to play. But again, the SEC has been impressive.

2. Pac-12 6-3: If Stanford had won the Rose Bowl, the Pac-12 would have at least had a chance to claim best bowl season. But not now.

3. American 2-2: Yep, the beleaguered old Big East has two good wins  —  Central Florida, plus Louisville’s rout of Miami. And even the American’s losses weren’t awful. Rutgers played Notre Dame tough, and Cincinnati at least came back some on North Carolina.

4. Big 12 2-2: If Baylor had won, the Big 12 would be looking halfway decent. Now, the Big 12 has to rely on OU and OSU against SEC foes in tough situations. OU vs. Alabama, OSU in a bowl (Cotton) that the Big 12 never wins.

5. Big Ten 2-4: The Big Ten would be a disaster without Michigan State’s Rose Bowl win. As it is now, the Orange Bowl (Clemson-Ohio State) could be referendum on who gets the edge on the ACC/Big Ten debate.

6. ACC 3-6: If the ACC sweeps its final two bowls (Clemson-Ohio State, Florida State-Auburn), it’s a decent show. If it gets swept, it’s a disaster. And I’ll say this. Same as Baylor’s loss doesn’t make you feel good about OU’s and OSU’s chances, the ACC’s 3-6 bowl record doesn’t make you feel good about Florida State’s chances against Auburn.

7. Independents 2-1: Notre Dame and Navy won, Brigham Young lost.

8. Mountain West 3-3: ColoradoState’s comeback against Washington got the Mounties off to a great start. But they fizzled from there.

9. Conference USA 3-3: Marshall’s victory over Maryland was the crowning achievement.

10. Sun Belt 1-0: The Sun Belt still has Arkansas State alive. How did the Sun Belt get only two bowl teams? Only Western Kentucky was passed over with a winning record.

11. Mid-American 0-4: Total flop, though Ball State remains alive, against Arkansas State.

Now, another way to measure is to count only games against fellow BCS-conference schools. That eliminates some of the padding, which goes to the heart of the email writer at the top of this post.

Here are the standings if you count only games against fellow major conference schools:

1. SEC 4-1: SEC could finish with a flourish.

2. Pac-12 3-2: Pac had four games against Mountain West/BYU foes.

3. American 2-2: Good showing, but now Louisville is leaving.

4. Big 12 2-2: The Big 12 locks seemed to be a Baylor win and a Texas Tech loss.

5. Big Ten 3-3: The Big Ten went 2-2 on New Year’s Day; not too many years will it do better than that.

6. ACC 2-5: The ACC’s wins are over Minnesota and Cincinnati, who are not to be confused with the Vikings and the Bengals.

 


by Berry Tramel
Columnist
Berry Tramel, a lifelong Oklahoman, sports fan and newspaper reader, joined The Oklahoman in 1991 and has served as beat writer, assistant sports editor, sports editor and columnist. Tramel grew up reading four daily newspapers — The...
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