Bowl standings by conference: SEC crushes, AAC suffers
The SEC entered bowl season cautiously optimistic, favored in eight of 10 games.
Still, it has been three years since a conference program won a national title. Last year’s bowl season was an unmitigated disaster for the SEC West, and just five teams earned a ranking in the final College Football Playoff poll.
Those negative trends mattered not this postseason, as chants of “S-E-C! S-E-C!” filled many a bowl stadium.
The West Division finished a resounding 6-1 this go-round, with Arkansas winning a second consecutive bowl game.
All five programs that lost last season found themselves victorious. The only loser, Texas A&M, played without the only two quarterbacks that started during the regular season.
The state of Alabama and the state of Mississippi are much happier, and the SEC is back in the national title game as a significant favorite.
The beleaguered Big 12, one year after getting left out of the College Football Playoff, remains the only power conference without a championship game appearance since the sport jettisoned the BCS system.
It appeared this was to be an embarrassing bowl season for the Big 12 as Clemson trounced Oklahoma in the national semifinals, Ole Miss got some Big 12 bowl revenge by flogging Oklahoma State and TCU fell behind 31-0 to Oregon. But after the Ducks quarterback got injured, the Horned Frogs — themselves without quarterback Trevone Boykin — completed a remarkable comeback in triple-overtime.
Then West Virginia closed out bowl season with a one-point win against Arizona State in the wee hours of Sunday morning, and just like that, the Pac-12 went from two to four losses, and no power-conference team was worse than one game under .500.
The American Athletic Conference, with multiple ranked teams for much of the season, served as a sort of bridge between the Group of 5 and the so-called power conferences. But it won just two of eight bowl contests, which will not help Houston’s bid to crack the top 10 in 2016.
With just one game left — the College Football Playoff championship in eight days — here are the bowl standings by conference.
|Conference||Record||Win Pct.||Against The Spread|