With another bowl season upon us, college football fans are looking for some kind of an angle in their office pool or want to drop some knowledge and impress their buddies while they’re watching the games.
Playbook decided to take a deeper dive into the records of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences to see which schools have won the most conference championships since the 2000 season and, further, which conference’s champions have done the best in their bowl games?
One note on our methodology: Some of the conferences don’t have championship games or have added them since 2000. Thus in some years, some conferences had co-champions, which we counted as a full championship for each team. That’s why, say, the Big East has 21 champions in this time span (9-12 in bowls), while the Big 12 has just 12 (5-7 in bowls).
Who's the best, then? Check out the graphic:
In this age of constant conference realignment, some schools have won titles in multiple conferences. The kings of this realm would have to be the TCU Horned Frogs, which have won six titles in three conferences since 2000. Louisville matches that with six titles in two conferences -- the Big East and Conference USA -- while Boise State has nine titles, eight in the WAC and one in the Mountain West. The Broncos can further expand their horizons with a championship when they enter the Big East next year.
In terms of bowl success, every college football fan knows the SEC is the best conference in the country these days, but if you want the stats to back it up, check it out. The SEC’s champions have won nine of 12 bowl games since 2000 and seven national championships, with Alabama gunning for No. 8 this season.
On the other end of the spectrum, the ACC champions have not fared as well, going 1-11 in their bowl games since 2000. Florida State has won four conference titles in that span and is 0-4 when playing as ACC champion in a bowl. The Seminoles are hoping to get one in the win column when they face BCS-busting Northern Illinois in the Orange Bowl.
Infographic by SportsData LLC.