A Conference Title Game Has No Effect on Conference BCS Bids

[BH: Bumped for it's comprehensive look at a media falsehood.]

In nearly every article about the Big Ten adding a conference championship game, some idiot commentator will say that "The Big Ten will have more trouble making two BCS games every year because of the CCG".  This supposed event (a conference title game costing a BCS bid) doesn't happen in reality.  


Before anyone asks, my role model is in fact this guy:


Now that's out of the way, here are some ground rules.  For a conference to lose a BCS bid due to a title game, the following have to be true:

1.  The conference received only one BCS bid.  If a conference has the maximum two bids, it obviously hasn't lost anything.

2.  The conference would have received two bids, but the loser of the conference championship game fell too far to obtain the second bid.

So now we simply have to look at each conference title game in the BCS era (32 in all since 1998).


1.  ACC 2010: #11 Virginia Tech beat #20 Florida State

Obviously FSU wasn't going to a BCS game either way.


2.  Big 12 2010:  #10 Oklahoma beat #13 Nebraska

At #13, Nebraska doesn't beat out #6 Ohio State or #8 Arkansas for the two at-large bids.


3.  SEC 2010:  #1 Auburn beat #19 South Carolina

The SEC received two bids.  


4.  ACC 2009:  #10 Georgia Tech beat UR Clemson

Obviously a one bid league.


5.  Big 12 2009:  #3 Texas beat #21 Nebraska

Nebraska wasn't even eligible for a BCS game.


6.  SEC 2009:  #2 Alabama beat #1 Florida

The SEC received two bids.


7. ACC 2008:  UR Virginia Tech beats #20 Boston College

Obviously a one bid league.


8.  Big 12 2008:  #4 Oklahoma beat #19 Missouri

The Big 12 received two bids.


9.  SEC 2008:  #2 Florida beat #1 Alabama

The SEC received two bids.


10.  ACC 2007:  #5 Virginia Tech beat #12 Boston College

The at-large bids went to #13 Illinois, #8 Kansas and #5 Georgia.  At #12, Boston College doesn't overtake any of those 3, especially since the Rose Bowl was determined to take a Big Ten team.


11.  Big 12 2007: #9 Oklahoma beat #1 Missouri

The Big 12 received two bids, in part due to the result of this game.


12.  SEC 2007:  #5 LSU beat #14 Tennessee

The SEC received two bids.  


13. ACC 2006:  #16 Wake Forest beat #22 Georgia Tech

Obviously a 1 bid league regardless.


14. Big 12 2006:  #8 Oklahoma beat #19 Nebraska

Effectively only 1 at-large in 2006, and #11 Notre Dame wins that bid every time.  


15.  SEC 2006:  #4 Florida beat #8 Arkansas

The SEC received two bids. 


16. ACC 2005:  #22 FSU beat #5 VT

2005 had effectively no at-large bids, so the ACC was one bid either way.


17.  Big 12 2005:  #2 Texas beat UR Colorado

I think Colorado would have gotten a BCS bid without this game (/sarcasm)


18.  SEC 2005:  #13 Georgia beat #3 LSU

In some sense, LSU losing triggered the automatic "Top 4" bid for OSU, but #13 Georgia doesn't beat out #5 OSU anyway.


19.  Big 12 2004:  #2 Oklahoma beat UR Colorado

Again, the Big 12 North was bad.  Colorado was 4-4 in conference.  (Iowa State: Your 2004 Big 12 North Co-Division Champions)


20.  SEC 2004:  #3 Auburn beat #15 Tennessee

Like 2005, 2004 had no at-large bids.  #6 11-0 Utah triggered the non-AQ bid and #4 Texas triggered the "Top 4" rule.  


21.  Big 12 2003:  #15 Kansas State beat #1 Oklahoma

Kansas State doesn't received a bid without winning this game, so this CCG actually helped the conference have two teams in the BCS.  Had Oklahoma won, the final at-large bid could have gone to #6 Texas, but it also could have gone to #5 Georgia or #7 Tennessee.  


22.  SEC 2003:  #3 LSU beat #5 Georgia

This game comes the closest to costing a bid, but does Georgia get the bid over a #8 OSU even without this game?


23.  Big 12 2002:  #8 Oklahoma beat #12 Colorado

This year effectively only had 1 at-large bid (due to USC triggering the "Top 4" rule) and Colorado wouldn't have received it over #5 Iowa. 


24.  SEC 2002:  #4 Georgia beat #22 Arkansas

Similarly, Arkansas would not have beaten Iowa for the last BCS berth even without a loss in this game.


25.  Big 12 2001:  #9 Colorado beat #3 Texas

The Big 12 received two bids.


26.  SEC 2001:  #21 LSU beat #2 Tennessee

The SEC received two bids.


27:  Big 12 2000:  #1 Oklahoma beat #8 Kansas State

#11 Notre Dame and #6 Oregon State still receive the at-large bids over Kansas State, even without this game.  


28.  SEC  2000:  #7 Florida beat #18 Auburn

Auburn isn't getting a bid at #18.


29.  Big 12 1999:  #2 Nebraska beat #12 Texas

A #12 Texas doesn't beat out #8 Michigan or a #5 Tennessee even without a CCG loss.


30.  SEC 1999:  #7 Alabama beat #5 Florida

The SEC received two bids.


31:  Big 12 1998:  #14 Texas A&M beat #2 Kansas State

The at-large bids went to #4 Ohio State and #8 Florida.  Texas A&M at #14 doesn't beat out either of those two, so the Big 12 was a one bid league without a CCG.  The bid would have simply been KSU instead of A&M.


32.  SEC 1998:  #1 Tennessee beat #23 Mississipi State

The SEC received two bids.  


So to sum up, once (Big 12 2003) a CCG likely gave an extra bid.  Once (SEC 2003) a conference title game may or not have cost the SEC a second BCS bid.  No other CCG had any effect on BCS bids.  Thus in net, a conference title game has no effect on conference BCS bids (or a slight positive effect).  

As an aside, the CCG probably has a net negative effect on national championship game appearances.  3 times a loss by the higher ranked team in that game likely cost the conference a spot in the title game (Big 12 2007, SEC 2001, Big 12 1998).  Two other times, the higher ranked team lost but the conference still had a representative (Big 12 2001 and Big 12 2003, where Oklahoma bizarrely lost their title game and still was #1).  Given the backlash and the change in the rules as a result of those two years, a non-conference champion will likely never be in the title game again.  

Against those potential 5 spots lost, only two times has a conference championship helped a team into the national championship (SEC 2006, SEC 2007), and perhaps those teams would have been in regardless.  


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