During the regular season, the Big Ten was living high on the rankings hog, what with four teams littered amidst the top eight of the College Football Playoff’s Top 25 heading into bowl season. With just one game left in the 2016-17 postseason? Consider it a B1G bowl bust for Jim Delany‘s conference.
Michigan’s oh-so-close loss Friday night in the Orange Bowl gave way to Ohio State’s emasculation in one of the two playoff semifinals Saturday, which subsequently wrought Iowa’s Outback Bowl evisceration along with Penn State’s Rose Bowl comeback that wasn’t two days later. Add it all up — factoring in Wisconsin’s win over the best the Group of Five had to offer for good measure — and it’s a Big Ten that saw its record this bowl cycle plunge to 3-7, easily the worst of any of the Power Five conferences.
In fact, there’s the possibility that none of the other P5s will finish with a bowl record below .500.
The Big 12 wrapped up its postseason at 4-2, while the Pac-12, with all of their games coming against P5 competition — the only power league that can make that claim — came in at 3-3. Auburn’s loss to Oklahoma in the Sugar Bowl left the SEC at 6-6 with one game remaining for that conference. That one game? Alabama versus Clemson for the College Football Playoff title.
Heading into the championship game, the ACC will be sporting a sparkling 8-3 record in bowls this season. Seven of those wins — along with all three of the losses — have come against P5 teams. Against the Big Two of the Big Ten and SEC, the ACC went 3-1.
When it comes to conference bragging rights, the ACC can already puff its chest out. A Tigers triumph over the Tide? That chest-puffing would have, for the first time since 2013 Florida State and just the third since 1999 FSU, some title oomph behind it.
Below appears the conference bowl rankings, based on current postseason winning percentages. If you’re a fan of MACtion, you might want to look away.
ACC, .727 (8-3)
Big 12, .667 (4-2)
Sun Belt, .667 (4-2)
Conference USA, .571 (4-3)
MWC, .571 (4-3)
Pac-12, .500 (3-3)
SEC, .500 (6-6)
Big Ten, .300 (3-7)
AAC, .286 (2-5)
MAC, .000 (0-6)