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A Double Whammy

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Can you survive an FCS loss?

…..or kiss your bowl eligibility good-bye?

==============================================================

Bust this: I notice last year that both KState and Oregon State survived early season loses to FCS and ended the season as bowl eligible. I don’t recall may team doing that in the past. Is this result against the norm? Scott Eshleman @BobDeal11

CONFIRMED

In major college football, if the team has more talent than the opponent they will win even despite a sub-par effort.  It is spring and with little to talk about, fans often turn to scheduling as their poster child for complaints.  While I fully support a rule requiring all major conference teams play only mid-majors or better, FCS teams have seen some small measure of success against the big boys.  Last year there were four upsets by FCS teams. Of those four major conference teams, two made it to bowl eligibility.  It turns out that those two make up 28% of the teams that lost to an FCS school, yet still made it to six wins. 

Dating back to 1978 there have been a total of 61 wins, out of 950 tries, picked up by an FCS teams over one of the major conference teams (SEC, PAC-12, Big 12, B1G, ACC).  The teams that gave up those 61 wins were able to gain bowl eligibility seven times or about 11.5%.  Judging by the season results of those seven teams, I am guessing most fans (save the Hokies) would be too thrilled about the final tally.

  • ·        Pitt Panthers 2012 (6-7 record)
  • ·        TCU 2001 (6-6)
  • ·        Oregon St 2013 (7-6)
  • ·        Penn St 1983 (8-4)
  • ·        Kansas St 2013 (8-5)
  • ·        Michigan 2007 (9-4)
  • ·        Virginia Tech 2010 (11-3)

The numbers say if your team comes up against an FCS team in September and loses that game… 90% of the time you need to go ahead and throw those season tickets on Stub Hub!

Conferences: FCS Loss Metrics

Another angle to look at this question is from a conference standpoint.  This can be a good indicator of whether or not a loss to an FCS is a fluke or if it means the FBS team is just terrible.

Conference Breakdown

 

Wins

Losses

Bowl Seasons

Bowl %

Overall Win %

ACC

287

29

2

6.9%

90.8%

Big 12

150

17

2

11.8%

89.8%

B1G

136

10

2

20.0%

93.2%

Pac 12

85

11

1

9.1%

98.8%

SEC

192

7

0

0.0%

96.5%

Thoughts on the Data:

  • The SEC is not the conference to point a finger at for feasting on FCS teams.
  • The PAC 12 can points as many fingers as its wants about other conferences playing FCS teams
  • The ACC/SEC combine for a 5% bowl eligibility success rate after losing to an FCS team.

While it is not a groundbreaking revelation to say that if your team loses to an FCS school, they suck.  Chance are they do suck and the season is toast.  Although a massive long shot, it is always fun to see outliers like Michigan and Virginia Tech turn the page and still make something of their season. 

I can, with a strong sense of security, say that if your team loses to and FCS team in 2014, you need to write off your season as an FCS loss is a harbinger of a lost season.  The next question or predictability or odds, as it may be, is the percentage of head coaches that lose to and FCS team and are employed in the same position, one, two, three years later?

 

NCAA Big 5 FBS Conferences vs. FCS Opponents

Team

Conference

Wins

Losses

%

Most Recent

Bowl

Boston College

ACC

20

1

0.952

1978

No

Clemson

ACC

26

0

1.000

 

Duke

ACC

12

3

1.000

2011

No

Florida St.

ACC

18

0

1.000

 

Georgia Tech

ACC

26

1

0.946

1983

No

Louisville

ACC

26

7

0.788

1987

No

Miami (FL)

ACC

17

1

0.944

1979

No

North Carolina

ACC

17

1

0.944

1999

No

North Carolina St.

ACC

29

3

0.906

1987

No

Pittsburgh

ACC

11

1

0.917

2012

Yes (6-7)

Syracuse

ACC

9

0

1.000

 

Virginia

ACC

21

3

0.875

2009

No

Virginia Tech

ACC

26

2

0.929

2010

Yes (11-3)

Wake Forest

ACC

29

6

0.819

2000

No

Baylor

Big 12

18

0

1.000

 

Iowa St.

Big 12

22

5

0.846

2013

No

Kansas

Big 12

22

2

0.917

2010

No

Kansas St.

Big 12

23

7

0.793

2013

Yes (8-5)

Oklahoma

Big 12

6

0

1.000

 

Oklahoma St.

Big 12

21

0

1.000

 

Texas

Big 12

4

0

1.000

 

Texas Christian

Big 12

9

2

0.818

2001

Yes (6-6)

Texas Tech

Big 12

15

1

0.938

1988

No

West Virginia

Big 12

10

0

1.000

 

Illinois

B1G

12

0

1.000

 

Indiana

B1G

9

1

0.900

2006

No

Iowa

B1G

10

0

1.000

 

Maryland

B1G

12

0

1.000

 

Michigan

B1G

2

1

0.667

2007

Yes (9-4)

Michigan St.

B1G

3

0

1.000

 

Minnesota

B1G

13

3

0.813

2011

No

Nebraska

B1G

9

0

1.000

 

Northwestern

B1G

8

2

0.800

2006

No

Ohio St.

B1G

2

0

1.000

 

Penn St.

B1G

7

1

0.875

1983

Yes (8-4)

Purdue

B1G

8

0

1.000

 

Rutgers

B1G

31

2

0.912

2004

No

Wisconsin

B1G

10

0

1.000

 

Arizona

Pac-12

9

0

1.000

 

Arizona St.

Pac-12

11

0

1.000

 

California

Pac-12

6

0

1.000

 

Colorado

Pac-12

1

2

0.333

2012

No

Oregon

Pac-12

9

0

1.000

 

Oregon St.

Pac-12

15

6

0.750

2013

Yes (7-6)

USC

Pac-12

0

0

 

Stanford

Pac-12

2

1

0.667

2005

No

UCLA

Pac-12

0

0

 

Washington

Pac-12

2

0

1.000

 

Washington St.

Pac-12

17

0

1.000

 

Utah

Pac-12

13

2

0.867

1993

Yes (7-6)

Alabama

SEC

9

0

1.000

 

Arkansas

SEC

10

1

0.909

1992

No

Auburn

SEC

18

0

1.000

 

Florida

SEC

15

1

0.936

2013

No

Georgia

SEC

14

0

1.000

 

Kentucky

SEC

14

1

0.967

2013

No

LSU

SEC

9

0

1.000

 

Mississippi

SEC

20

1

0.932

2010

No

Mississippi St.

SEC

16

1

0.941

2004

No

Missouri

SEC

12

0

1.000

 

South Carolina

SEC

20

2

0.909

1990

No (6-5)

Tennessee

SEC

4

0

1.000

 

Texas A&M

SEC

18

0

1.000

 

Vanderbilt

SEC

13

0

1.000

 

 

 

1 Comment

  1. Jeff

    August 25, 2014 at 8:39 pm

    Hello Dave. Great stuff Can’t wait for the season to start. I wanted to know if you have any ideas for some sleeper teams for this year. In that I mean the following-
    I am in a fewest losses pool. It works like this- pick 4 teams and pay $5 per loss. I’m in with 9 others and we draft in a specific order (1-10, 10-1, etc) Im looking for some teams that are not top 20 (or 30) teams that will have low loss totals. After the top 10 are selected it is a treasure hunt to find the GOLD of the mid major teams that are likley to have low loss totals. Can you suggest a few.

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