Welcome back to the Stat Department at OTP.
Last week we discussed 20 teams that were grossly mismatched against all their opponents, whether it be for the better (Boise State) or the worse (Washington). Today, let's take a step back and look at a larger chunk of teams. I promised that we would let some numbers destroy a conference, and I think we've found it. By "destroy" I do of course mean "humiliate them in front of the rest of the class".
We throw around the term "cupcake" around here, but I think we're about to find out what that means. Ladies and gentlemen, let me pull back the curtains and reveal to you a conference that lives up to the "cupcake". In fact, their logo should look something like this:That's right. I have just called the ACC (Atlantic Cupcake Conference) a bunch of cupcakes. Wanna throw down? Well, let's look at the figures first. Then if you still want to fight about it, we'll meet at the jungle gym at three today where I'll bust your ass.
I'm sure you're aware the ACC has 12 teams. But, did you know out of all the games they played, a whopping 9.62% of them were against FCS schools? Four of the 12 teams had two FCS opponents apiece. Only one didn't have an FCS opponent, so Wake Forest, you are free to leave from this discussion. The rest of you, sit down a minute. Now that we took away Wake's schedule, the rest of the ACC played 10.49% of their games against an FCS school. For shame.
I suppose this brings forth some interesting questions. Why would a team really need two FCS opponents? Does any team really need one for that matter? Most programs dole out some nice cash to play an FCS school to just make sure all the practice will translate to game situations. Nearly three-fourths of all FBS school had at least one FCS opponent in 2008. But check this out: in the ACC, Florida State had two FCS opponents to start the season, Clemson had its second and fourth games against FCS opponents, GA Tech had one at the start and another at the sixth game, and VA Tech had games two and six against FCS schools. Does this make sense to anyone, really? Also, does it even make sense when you can only use one FCS game to count toward your bowl eligibility? I'm sure it looks great in Clemson's media guide that last year "the Tigers chalked up a winning season at 7-6...", but are they really going to put that two of those wins were against FCS opponents? How would they have looked had they played all FBS schools? 6-7? 5-8? Finally, consider this: ten of the 12 ACC schools went to a bowl last year. I'm not sure I'm okay with that.
It might be time to take a look at scheduling on a national level. If most teams want an FCS school to bang around, go for it. But when you look at how lopsided the ACC scheduling was compared to other conferences, it starts to look a bit fishy. So, could a possible solution be to make FBS/FCS games exhibition only and not count toward the regular season? Hmm, now there's a thought.
In the near future, we'll get into a heavier FCS debate and also detail which conference was the anti-cupcake. But now that you have a bit of knowledge on this, what's your impression of the ACC and it's cupcakery? How would you feel about scheduling FCS opponents only in an exhibition format? Comment away!