Wayne Root: Bowls and Conferences



You've heard a lot of talk this week about how strong or weak various conferences have been so far during the college bowls late. There's not much I have to add to the obvious. What I think is getting overlooked so far is that certain DIVISIONS within conferences can show power or weakness in a way that gets hidden casual glances.

For example:

  • The SEC West made big headlines on New Year's Day with blowout wins by Alabama and Mississippi State.
  • The SEC East hasn't looked as sharp. Georgia lost outright to Central Florida as a favorite. South Carolina lost outright to Florida State as a favorite. Tennessee couldn't win in front of a big home state crowd in the Music City Bowl. Florida was on the verge of losing outright to Penn State as a favorite before a late pick-six got them a lucky cover.

Has the SEC played great in the bowls so far? It's kind of a wash. But, it's kind of a wash because Alabama and Mississippi State won huge from the West, while the East wasn't knocking anybody's socks off.

As you handicap LSU/Texas A&M this Friday Night...are you going to think of LSU as an SEC team...or an SEC West team?

We can do the same thing with the Aggies.

  • The Big 12 South posted very good results with Oklahoma and Oklahoma State scoring wins and covers in explosive fashion. Baylor didn't look very good in a loss to Illinois. But, Texas A&M beat Baylor in Waco, so nobody will use the Bears as an indicator. Texas A&M beat Oklahoma, and lost a nailbiter to Oklahoma State before they changed quarterbacks.
  • The Big 12 North has laid an egg. Champion Nebraska barely showed up in a loss as a big favorite to Washington. Runner-up Missouri was upset by Iowa after getting blown off the line of scrimmage. Kansas State was outscored by previously anemic Syracuse in the new Pinstripe Bowl.

Are you going to think of A&M as coming from the 2-4 Big 12, or from the 2-1 Big 12 South?

I strongly suggest you use DIVISIONS to evaluate teams rather than just conferences.

Let's see what that does for the remaining games:

Middle Tennessee: Sun Belt
Miami of Ohio: MAC East

The only other MAC East team to play in a bowl was Ohio, and they were buried by Troy.

Texas A&M: Big 12 South

This game may look even better than you thought originally. Good teams from power divisions, even if the overall conferences have some blemishes.

Pittsburgh: Big East
Kentucky: SEC East

Kentucky is representing the weaker of the two SEC divisions. Pittsburgh is dealing with a coaching soap opera though, so handle this one with caution.

Nevada: Big West
Boston College: ACC Atlantic

The Atlantic Division of the ACC already has victories for Florida State, Maryland, and NC State. Clemson took a loss. This is the stronger half of the ACC in terms of bowl results. Losers from the coastal include Virginia Tech, Miami, and Georgia Tech, with North Carolina barely forcing overtime to get a win. Boston College is from the more successful half of an ACC that's 3-4-1 straight up at the end of regulation. All the straight up winners in regulation are from the Atlantic.

Auburn: SEC West
Pac 10: Oregon

Stanford sure impressed for the Pac 10 this past Monday Night vs. Virginia Tech. Oregon beat THAT team! Alabama did the same in dramatic fashion over Michigan State back on 1/1/11. Auburn beat THAT team on the ROAD! Truly a matchup of superpowers.

I can't post my official selections for those remaining college football games, or for this week's WILDCARD games in the NFL (which I'll discuss in more depth on Friday) here in my web articles. You can purchase my top plays here at the website with your credit card. All of my PERFECT PLAYS, MILLIONAIRE'S CLUB PLAYS, and GAME OF THE YEAR selections are just a few clicks away online. I have a package that takes you through the rest of football...including the Super Bowl next month. If you're having trouble finding the package that best suits your needs, call the office at 1-877-766-8946. Be sure to ask about my red hot basketball when you call.

When it comes to picking a handicapper...you don't have to worry about conference strengths or divisional strengths. You're dealing with THE KING OF LAS VEGAS! Nobody's bigger or better than that! It's time for you to go to W.A.R. alongside WAYNE ALLYN ROOT!


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