By The Numbers: Conference Title Games

By The Numbers: Conference Title Games

There is a great deal of discussion online about how much value a championship game would bring to the Sun Belt. Not in dollars but in positioning for the access bowl where the top G5 champ will play in a top bowl game.

While these discussions bring out a lot of opinions, they are woefully short on data to support the opinions put forward.

So what data do we want? The best would be to look at each game and see how often the higher rated team loses. Finding the appropriate power rating data for the various services the CFP Selection Committee is likely to rely on is a big task. To simplify the quickest way is to look simply at conference title games where at least one team involved was ranked and then see whether the ranked team won or lost.

Conference

Higher Ranked Wins

Lower Ranked Wins

ACC

6

3

Big Ten

0

3

Big XII

10

5

C-USA

1

2

MAC

2

5

MWC

1

0

Pac-12

3

0

SEC

16

6

WAC

3

0

Totals

42

19

 

Overall, the higher rated team wins 68.9% of the time. But outside of the five power conferences if one of the participants is ranked, the better ranked team wins only 50% of the time, while in the power conferences the higher rated team wins about 75% of the time.

How does the game site impact the outcome?

The higher ranked team is 3-4 when the championship is played at a neutral site. When the game is at home the higher ranked team is 3-1. Three times the higher ranked team has had to play on the road and they've gone 1-2

A championship can help your strongest team but at least 25% of the time and possibly more often the game will hurt, but with the other four G5 leagues holding title games there is also the possibility that their title games will clear the path to be the top G5 league champion.

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