Ranking Every College Football Team’s Bowl Performance In The BCS Era, Statistically

Flickr/Katford

Flickr/Katford

We’re down to just one final season of college football in the BCS era, as fans will finally get to see a 4-team playoff system beginning in 2014. As such, we figured we’d take a look at the postseason history since 1998 and compile some data from every bowl game played in that time frame. Our goal was to see which teams have consistently performed the best using a different type of metric – overall point differential.

We realize the obvious flaw in the idea here – bowl games pit teams against like opponents, meaning the playing field is anything but level. It also penalizes teams that made bowl games and underperformed, as opposed to those that weren’t even bowl eligible. But we thought it’d be interesting to see how each program has performed against “equal” competition in the postseason from a purely statistical standpoint. If anything, it makes it obvious which fan bases head into the off-season optimistic.

Here’s what we learned:

  • Georgia has the most bowl game wins in the BCS era with 11, and also has the highest point differential at +125
  • Of teams that have played in at least one bowl game, Notre Dame has the worst point differential at -107
  • Utah has the most impressive overall record at 10-1, and comes in fourth in point differential at +97
  • Five of the top fifteen teams play in the SEC

The Data:

Rank School W L Win % Pts. F Pts. A +/-
1 Georgia 11 4 73.33% 456 331 125
2 LSU 8 5 61.54% 380 260 120
3 USC 7 4 63.64% 334 222 112
4 Utah 10 1 90.91% 278 181 97
5 Florida St. 9 6 60% 396 305 91
6 Boise St. 9 4 69.23% 425 335 90
7 SMU 3 1 75% 130 42 88
8 Rutgers 5 2 71.43% 240 158 82
9 Tulsa 5 3 62.5% 276 197 79
10 Marshall 7 1 87.5% 251 174 77
11 Maryland 5 2 71.43% 224 148 76
12 Alabama 7 5 58.33% 311 247 64
13 Florida 8 7 53.33% 464 400 64
14 Mississippi 7 1 87.5% 264 201 63
15 Texas Tech 8 5 61.54% 438 383 55
16 TCU 9 5 64.29% 313 263 50
17 Wake Forest 4 2 66.67% 144 96 48
18 Oklahoma St. 6 4 60% 324 276 48
19 Oregon St. 6 4 60% 273 231 42
20 NC State 6 4 60% 279 240 39
21 Nebraska 6 7 46.15% 327 288 39
22 Texas 10 4 71.43% 430 392 38
23 Brigham Young 6 5 54.55% 287 251 36
24 Troy 2 3 40% 178 146 32
25 Virginia Tech 7 8 46.67% 389 357 32
26 Miami (OH) 2 1 66.67% 97 66 31
27 Auburn 8 3 72.73% 248 219 29
28 Illinois 3 2 60% 172 145 27
29 Boston College 8 4 66.67% 318 291 27
30 Oregon 7 7 50% 423 396 27
31 Missouri 5 4 55.56% 270 244 26
32 Utah St. 1 1 50% 64 39 25
33 Miami (FL) 6 6 50% 287 262 25
34 South Florida 4 2 66.67% 144 120 24
35 Kansas 3 1 75% 134 111 23
36 California 5 3 62.5% 266 243 23
37 Tulane 2 0 100% 77 55 22
38 Mississippi St. 5 2 71.43% 176 154 22
39 Florida Atlantic 2 0 100% 68 48 20
40 So. Mississippi 7 6 53.85% 334 314 20
41 Rice 2 1 66.67% 88 69 19
42 Air Force 4 5 44.44% 275 257 18
43 Connecticut 3 2 60% 127 109 18
44 San Jose St. 2 0 100% 49 32 17
45 UNLV 1 0 100% 31 14 17
46 C. Michigan 3 2 60% 168 151 17
47 Iowa 6 4 60% 247 232 15
48 Temple 1 1 50% 58 45 13
49 La-Lafayette 2 0 100% 75 64 11
50 Penn St. 5 5 50% 210 199 11
51 Baylor 2 1 66.67% 130 120 10
52 Vanderbilt 2 1 66.67% 78 69 9
53 Stanford 2 4 33.33% 148 139 9
54 Idaho 2 0 100% 85 77 8
55 Colorado 3 4 42.86% 224 217 7
56 Ohio St. 7 6 53.85% 325 318 7
57 Army 1 0 100% 16 14 2
58 South Carolina 5 4 55.56% 227 227 0
59 Syracuse 4 2 66.67% 144 146 -2
60 W. Kentucky 0 1 0% 21 24 -3
61 Kent St. 0 1 0% 13 17 -4
62 Central Florida 2 3 40% 123 127 -4
63 San Diego St. 1 3 25% 84 89 -5
64 Washington St. 2 1 66.67% 75 81 -6
65 Akron 0 1 0% 31 38 -7
66 Fl. International 1 1 50% 44 52 -8
67 Cincinnati 5 5 50% 249 260 -11
68 Wyoming 2 1 66.67% 74 86 -12
69 Duke 0 1 0% 34 48 -14
70 Oklahoma 7 7 50% 339 353 -14
71 Indiana 0 1 0% 33 49 -16
72 North Carolina 3 4 42.86% 161 178 -17
73 Buffalo 0 1 0% 20 38 -18
74 UAB 0 1 0% 40 59 -19
75 Colorado St. 3 4 42.86% 178 198 -20
76 MTSU 1 2 33.33% 77 98 -21
77 Minnesota 3 7 30% 267 290 -23
78 Kentucky 3 4 42.86% 138 161 -23
79 Wisconsin 7 7 50% 304 327 -23
80 Louisiana Tech 1 2 33.33% 65 90 -25
81 Arkansas St. 1 2 33.33% 56 82 -26
82 Georgia Tech 5 10 33.33% 355 381 -26
83 Ohio 2 3 40% 107 134 -27
84 Northern Illinois 3 4 42.86% 142 170 -28
85 Washington 2 6 25% 247 276 -29
86 Pittsburgh 4 6 40% 193 223 -30
87 Tennessee 5 6 45.45% 237 267 -30
88 La-Monroe 0 1 0% 14 45 -31
89 UCLA 3 8 27.27% 271 302 -31
90 W. Michigan 0 3 0% 70 102 -32
91 Navy 3 6 33.33% 251 286 -35
92 Iowa St. 3 5 37.5% 151 188 -37
93 Arkansas 4 7 36.36% 212 254 -42
94 Toledo 3 4 42.86% 192 235 -43
95 Louisville 5 7 41.67% 328 371 -43
96 Memphis 2 3 40% 141 185 -44
97 Arizona 3 2 60% 113 158 -45
98 Bowling Green 2 3 40% 149 194 -45
99 Hawaii 4 4 50% 271 317 -46
100 North Texas 1 3 25% 71 122 -51
101 West Virginia 6 7 46.15% 394 446 -52
102 Houston 2 5 28.57% 194 249 -55
103 New Mexico 1 4 20% 81 136 -55
104 Fresno St. 4 8 33.33% 323 379 -56
105 Virginia 3 6 33.33% 259 315 -56
106 Michigan St. 4 5 44.44% 205 270 -65
107 Arizona St. 3 6 33.33% 263 328 -65
108 Nevada 3 5 37.5% 199 265 -66
109 East Carolina 2 7 22.22% 253 320 -67
110 Kansas St. 3 7 30% 235 303 -68
111 Michigan 6 7 46.15% 369 438 -69
112 Purdue 4 7 36.36% 306 376 -70
113 Clemson 5 8 38.46% 303 376 -73
114 Ball St. 0 3 0% 60 135 -75
115 Northwestern 1 7 12.5% 231 310 -79
116 UTEP 0 4 0% 88 168 -80
117 Texas A&M 3 8 27.27% 235 327 -92
118 Notre Dame 2 8 20% 208 315 -107

 

You can also check out our statistical piece on the most overrated teams in the BCS era here.

Unis

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Matt is a Co-Founder at College Spun. He can be reached at matt@collegespun.com.