Blog Entry

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Posted on: December 6, 2011 5:32 pm
Edited on: December 7, 2011 10:03 am
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Start with the fact the Big East has BCS membership only because of a hall pass.

The BCS commissioners awarded the conference a waiver to stay in the club in 2007 just, well, because. Back then, the Big East still had enough existing juice from its teams and power from its administrators to keep its nose under the BCS tent.

No more.

You don’t have to be told that the Big East hasn’t had a team ranked in the final BCS top 20 since 2009. Or had one team in the top 10 of the BCS since 2008. (The Big Ten has had seven.) Such things matter when a conference is being awarded an $18 million-$20 million bowl game each year just, because.

That’s why you may have noticed the Big East is expanding, to chase that magic BCS berth like it was a contact high. CBSSports.com’s Brett McMurphy reported Tuesday that Boise State, San Diego State, Houston, SMU and Central Florida will join the league in 2013.

The problem is no one really knows what it all means. Four of the five new schools are basically warm bodies to keep the Big East afloat. The league is hoping the fifth, Boise, can keep the conference in the BCS big time. Air Force and Navy may join later.

But there’s no certainty the BCS is even going to be around in a few years. Commissioners will spend most of the next year deciding what college football’s postseason will look like beginning in 2014 (when the current BCS contract expires). The question – now that there is a bit of clarity regarding Big East membership – is if the league is better off with this current expansion.

Short answer: No. Not even close. The schools that have left – West Virginia, Syracuse and Pittsburgh – have accounted for five BCS bowls in the 14-year history of the system. That’s more than twice as many as the new schools bring to the table, all of them by Boise State (two).

But what choice did the Big East have? After the latest ACC raid, it just needed a heartbeat.

Here is  breakdown between the old and new. Decide for yourself if the Big East is worthy of a BCS bid.

(Note: We are considering the “highest level of football” since 1973 when Division I was established by the NCAA. Boise State moved up to Division I-A in 1996. All ranking references are to the Associated Press and BCS.)

 

Boise State

Conference: Mountain West, first year

Age of program at highest level of college football: 16th year in Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Broncos ended the season ranked (1998-present): Seven

The last year the Broncos ended the season ranked: 2011

BCS bowls: two (2007 Fiesta, 2010 Fiesta)

 

San Diego State

Conference: Mountain West, 13th year

Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Aztecs ended the season ranked: None.

The last year the Aztecs ended the season ranked: 1977

BCS bowls: None.

 

Houston

Conference: Conference USA, 16th year

Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Cougars ended the season ranked: One (2011)

The last year the Cougars ended the season ranked: 1990

BCS bowls: None



SMU

Conference: Conference USA, sixth year
 
Age of program at highest level: 39th year in Division I/Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era that the Mustangs ended the season ranked: None.

The last year the Mustangs ended ranked: 1984

BCS bowls: None.

  

Central Florida

Conference: Conference USA, sixth year  

Age of program at highest level: 16th year in Division I-A/FBS

Years in the BCS era the Knights ended the season ranked: One (2010)

The last year the Knights ended ranked: 2010.

BCS bowls: None.

 

The skinny on new teams

Average stay in current conference: 8.4 years

Average age of new programs at highest level of football: 29.8 years

Total seasons in the BCS era that ended with a ranking: Nine (average of 1.8 times per school)

Average length of time, in years, since last end-of-season ranking: 16.4 years

Last season ranked at the end of the season: Boise, 2011

Total BCS bowls: Two.

 

The skinny on departing teams (West Virginia, Pittsburgh, Syracuse)

Average stay in current conference: 20 years (Each year was a charter member in football.)

Average age of programs playing at the highest level of football: 39

Total seasons in the BCS era that ended with a ranking: 12 (average of four times per school)

Average length of time, in years, since last end-of-season ranking: four

Last season ranked at end of the season: 2011 (West Virginia)

Total BCS bowls: 5


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Comments

Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:58 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

I agree Smorgie...while BSU is a good team, don't think 10 of last 13 would be accurate. The Big East is down right now but in the last 13 yrs they haven't always been down. Like all the conferences, when they were up...they were a little "top heavy", but it only takes 1 team to prevent another from winning the conference. BSU, you've gotten everyone's attention. You're no longer a cinderella. You will likely be picked as favorites in big games now, and that brings a whole new pressure. The only way to keep critics quite is keep winning.



Since: Feb 2, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:55 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Theres no doubt Boise State would have run the table in the Big East the last couple of years.
Of course there is doubt, the past 2 years they have lost games they had no business whatsoever losing.  They would clearly have been the best team in the league but recent history suggests they would very likely lose somewhere along the way.  To go so far as to say there is 'no doubt' is to completely ignore fact.



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:51 am
 

Pitt fans used to have hair and weren't fat too!

Rest on your laurels much Pitt?  How many in last 30 years?



Since: Mar 20, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:47 am
 

Pitt fans used to have hair and weren't fat too!

Pitt has 9 National titles.....how many in last 30 years?  Rest on your laurels much?

Boise Fans love their team and I respect that, but the poster who thinks Boise would have won the Big East conference 10 of the last 13 years is smoking something. Vitginia Tech and Miami were in the league for 5 or 6 of those seasons and WVU had Pat White for 4 years.  Travel would have taken its toll on BSU and there is no way they would have dominated. Thems the facts hoss.



Since: Jan 8, 2010
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:45 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

I don't see this lasting. Everyone is all up in arms about this realignment. Why is the realignment happening? Different reasons, but one is so the little guys get their shot in the current system. What is the most unpopular thing on the planet? The BCS. When the BCS is revamped, tweaked, or replaced...all this realignment really starts to look silly. Just hold on folks, we're in a transition period in College Football; but like most things...it'll probably work itself out without someone having to "Hit us with the paddles" to bring us back.



Since: Feb 2, 2009
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:38 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Pitt has 9 National Titles... What do the rest have?  0



Since: Jan 9, 2007
Posted on: December 7, 2011 9:06 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Theres no doubt Boise State would have run the table in the Big East the last couple of years. There has been no strong team in quite a while for the Big East. Without Kellen Moore, Boise may not do as well, but I have a feeling they will definitely be in the mix every year.



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:42 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Good analysis - you caught the reporting being a bit lazy!



Since: Dec 7, 2011
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:34 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

Would Boise State have had the same record the past 6 years if they were in the Big East?




Since: Jul 28, 2008
Posted on: December 7, 2011 8:25 am
 

Comparing old Big East to new Big East

This is going to get pretty funny a couple of years when the BCS ceases to exist in its current form. The Big East will no longer have its automatic bid and the entire league will collapse under the weight of debt leaving the basketball schools on solid ground but its football schools crashing and burning.


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com