No Apologies for UConn's BCS Bid

As was expected, UConn earning the Big East's auto-bid to the BCS set off a firestorm of criticism around the nation. Fans and media members alike have been quick to point out the Huskies' four losses, and have been beating the "Big East doesn't deserve an auto-bid" drum since Saturday night. Nonsense.

Since conference realignment in 2005, when the Big East added Louisville, Cincinnati and South Florida, the Big East is 182-77 (.703), including bowls, in out of conference games. The conference is 45-0 vs FCS opponents. Big deal, right?

Tell that to Ole Miss, who dropped their season opener to Jacksonville State. And what about Minnesota losing to South Dakota, Kansas losing to North Dakota State, or ACC Champ Virginia Tech losing to James Madison?

Winning games against FCS opponents doesn't mean your conference is strong, but losing games to FCS opponents is most certainly noteworthy. The Big East is the only of the six BCS conferences not to have dropped a game to an FCS school over the past six seasons.

Even taking the Big East's wins against FCS opponents out of the equation, the league is a solid 137-77 (.640) out of conference. Vs BCS conference teams the league is 52-60 (.464). For comparison purposes, the ACC's record vs BCS conference teams is 66-80 (.452).

In bowl games the Big East is 17-9 overall and 9-9 vs BCS conference teams. A perfect 8-0 vs Non-BCS conference bowl teams. And then there's the BCS Bowls, you know, the ones that the Big East don't deserve to play in. 3-2. That's right, the league that doesn't deserve an auto-bid, is 3-2 in BCS Bowl games since conference realignment.

Again, just for the sake of comparison, let's check in on the ACC. 18-23 in bowl games overall, 13-21 in bowl games vs BCS teams and 1-4 in BCS Bowl games.

And what about the BCS formula? Surely all the people screaming for the Big East to lose its auto-bid are aware that not only does the Big East meet all three of the criteria needed to be considered for BCS Auto-Qualifying Status, it's not even ranked last amongst the six BCS conferences, right?

But UConn lost four games! A four loss team shouldn't be playing in the BCS, should it? I don't know, maybe we should ask the ACC, who's sent a four loss team to the BCS three times in their history. Florida State lost four games in both 2002 and 2005, and just as recently as 2008, Virginia Tech lost four games yet earned the ACC's bid. Shall we all run around calling for the ACC to lose their auto-bid now too?

Regardless of UConn's four losses, did you know that they are one of only ten BCS conference teams in the nation currently riding a five game or better winning streak? The others? Auburn, Arkansas, Boston College, Oregon, Ohio State, Stanford, Texas A&M, Virginia Tech and Wisconsin. Eight of the ten teams on a five game or better winning streak are heading to the BCS. Maybe there's something to that finishing strong thing...

Calling for the Big East to lose it's auto-bid is lazy, and those doing so should do some fact checking before they run off regurgitating what they heard some talking head say. The Big East is having a down year, but it most certainly belongs in the BCS.

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