If I asked you to put together a pecking order for what conferences, including the Mountain West, were best and worst in their regular season BCS match ups over the last two years, would it look anything like this?
Regular Season Record vs. Other BCS Conferences/ND/Moutain West Conference, 2007-2008 Regular Seasons
ACC: 26-19 (.578)
Big Ten: 15-11 (.577)
Mtn West: 17-13 (.567)
Big East: 16-15 (.516)
Pac-10: 12-13 (.480)
Big 12: 12-14 (.462)
SEC: 13-16 (.448)
Stats and unrelated story courtesy of Dr. Saturday.
First, holy hell, the ACC was 26-19 against BCS Conferences/ND/MWC for the last two seasons!!!?? What's even more impressive is the fact the won more BSC match ups than the Pac-10 played over the last two years. That's an astounding 47 non-conference games against BCS opponents, which breaks down to just about two BCS level opponents each year for every team in the ACC. When you think about the fact that the ACC's win total is equal to the amount of games the Big XII and Big Ten played, and within 3 games of the totals of the SEC, it's surprising that the ACC has such a bad reputation come kick-off. The proof's in the pudding. The ACC's best might not be equal to USC, Florida, and maybe Oklahoma (just as examples, not in direct order); but the conference as a whole can stand toe-to-toe with anyone on the basis of the ever important "show me" stat.
Second, the SEC did not fair nearly as well as it's reputation would've suggested. Not that three games below .500 is "OMG teh wheels are falling off!!" But it's still surprising. Florida's got four of those wins in shellacking FSU and Miami twice a piece. You could interpret that to mean the rest of the SEC isn't holding up their end of the bargain, or you could interpet it to mean BCS schools are only scheduling the bottom half of the conference. Your choice on that one.
Third, the Big Ten placing second on the list is a nice "so what" stat. Winning four more games than they lost for a .577 winning percentage against BCS/MWC/ND opponents. When you consider that ND counted for at least four of those wins, you get a great big yawn. What you also get is a great big "yikes" if Notre Dame turns the corner this year as predicted.
So what can we infer from these numbers? Other than giving the ACC a little credit where credit is due, not a whole hell of a lot. What's obvious, and what everyone has been complaining about this off season, is that the conferences simply aren't scheduling one another. When they do, the scheduled games rarely determine anything in the grand conference scheme. What it looks like is the conferences, despite all the "my confurenz es da Suxors!" yodeling, are pretty even.