Which conference was most impressive?

#1
So what conferences do you think had the strongest and weakest showings this bowl season?

I know that the National Championship game has yet to be played, so feel free to wait until after that to make your choice if you so desire.

I'll freely admit that I'm biased, but I think the Big Ten had a really fantastic showing this year. They had seven bowl eligible teams and won four games. The three losses were all pretty close (Iowa State beating Minnesota 14-13, Auburn beating Northwestern 38-35, and Texas Tech beating Michigan State 41-31) but their wins were all great wins against Top 15 ranked teams With OSU, Penn State, Wisconsin, and Iowa beating Oregon(7), LSU(12), Miami of FL(15), and Georgia Tech(9), respectively. For a conference that was constantly slammed for being unable to win bowl games, the close losses and four wins (two of which were BCS bowls) really gives them a strong showing.

Also impressive was the Mountain West Conference simply because they had five bowl eligible teams and only one loss (TCU to Boise State). The are really making a strong name for themselves, and it would have been stronger if only TCU would have pulled it out.

As for the worst showing, I'm going to have to say the PAC-10. They had seven bowl eligible teams, and only two wins (USC over Boston College and UCLA over Temple). This year, to me, showed that when USC isn't at the forefront of the PAC-10, there isn't really alot to distract from the fact that the rest of the PAC-10 just isn't up to par. Maybe they can turn it around, but it will be interesting to see how the PAC-10 looks for the next few years.
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#2
It's hands down the Big Ten. The 4-3 record doesn't look great on paper, but all four wins were against top 15 teams, which is apparently only the second time a conference has four bowl wins against top 15 teams in the BCS era. The losses were all respectable as well. Plus you have to remember that with two BCS teams, the rest of the teams were playing in a game higher than they should have been.

Ohio State beat Oregon, the Pac-10 champs. They shut down their prolific offense for the most part.

Iowa beat Georgia Tech, the ACC champs. Iowa really dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball.

Penn State beat LSU, a mighty SEC team. #3 Big Ten over #3 SEC I believe.

Wisconsin beat Miami. In Florida. #5 Big Ten over #3 or 4 ACC. And Wisconsin completely dominated the game.

Northwestern hung with Auburn, another SEC team, and really should have beaten them. They outgained them by 200 yards. They lost because of six turnovers, a missed extra point, two missed field goals, and a hurt kicker. In overtime.

Minnesota lost to Iowa State by a point. I don't put a lot of stock into this game since Minnesota finished 8th in an 11 team conference and looked terrible in every game I saw them play.

Michigan State lost to Texas Tech, who were heavy favorites even before 11 MSU players were suspended. The Spartans actually put up a pretty good fight. Oh, and the game was played in Texas.


The Mountain West had a great bowl season with two dominant wins over decent Pac-10 teams.

Other than Florida and maybe Georgia, the SEC has looked like absolute garbage in every bowl game. Kentucky, Tennessee, South Carolina, and LSU all lost. Ole Miss, Auburn, and Arkansas all played really crazy games and were extremely lucky to win. Ole Miss and Arkansas looked like horseshit offensively.

The Big 12 is doing alright, but none of their wins are that impressive except for Nebraska over Arizona. But it's not like Arizona is even very good.

The Pac-10 has been the biggest disappointment.

The ACC is mediocre as usual with no significant wins.

And the Big East has a decent record against a weak bowl schedule. The conference champ Cincinnati was exposed.
 
#3
Well it seems that you and I weren't the only people to be impressed by the Big Ten this year. Looking at ESPNs "Way-too-early 2010 Top 25," the Big Ten has three teams in the top 10 (OSU at 2, Iowa at 9, and Wisconsin at 10). It seems that the Big Ten has a chance to make even more noise next year due to the big teams returning alot of starters.

Source for the early Top 25: Mark Schlabach: Way-too-early 2010 Top 25 - ESPN
 

Major

4 legs good 2 legs bad
V.I.P.
#4
Yeah, I read that article earlier. I think this bowl season was somewhat of a preview of how good the Big Ten could be next year.

As mentioned in the article, Ohio State, Iowa, and Wisconsin all return most of their key players and should be better next year. Penn State has to replace their QB, but should be strong. Most of the teams in the middle and bottom of the conference should be improved as well. It's going to be a tough conference and I'd be surprised to see anyone run the table.