The Big 12 has an amazing 33-4 non-conference record this fall with one game left. That 89.2% winning rate against out-of-league opponents is the best in history for a Bowl Championship Series conference.
With several bowls remaining, the other BCS conferences have registered non-league records this fall as follows: SEC (47-9, 83.9%), Big Ten (40-20, 66.7%), Big East (28-15, 65.1%), ACC (34-23, 59.6%) and Pac-12 (27-19, 58.7%).The Big 12’s record-breaking win percentage against its non-league opposition begged for further inspection of team schedules. It is hard not to wonder if the glossy W-L totals were skewed by weak scheduling. So, I compared the number of BCS conference schools on everyone’s 2011 schedule. Iowa State, for instance, was joined by Oregon, UCLA, Wake Forest, USC and LSU as the only schools to play 12 games against teams from BCS conferences this season. The average number of BCS opponents for each Pac-12 school was 11. The Big 12 (10.7 per school), ACC (10.3), Big Ten (10.0), SEC (9.9) and Big East (9.5) followed. Additionally, eight of the nation’s Top 25 toughest schedules – per the NCAA – were from the Big 12: Kansas (2nd), Oklahoma State (4th), Oklahoma (6th), Baylor (10th), Kansas State (12th), Iowa State (13th), Texas (19th) and Texas A&M (24th). The Big 12’s on-field success in 2011 – as measured by its non-league mark and 6-1 bowl record – is hard to dispute. In combination with the scheduling data above, that 33-4 mark looks even more impressive. Reader feedback is welcome at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Twitter at: twitter.com/SteveMalchow