How Important is Winning Your First BCS Bowl?

08/13/2009 § Leave a comment

I’ve been looking at the results of the BCS bowl games, and I’ve found some interesting stats.  It seems that winning in your first BCS bowl appearance provides a valuable boost, even moreso than you might first imagine.

So far, there have been 22 teams who won the first BCS bowl game they played in.  Of these 22 teams, 15 (68%) have returned to play in at least one more BCS bowl.  These 15 teams have a combined record of 38-18 (68%) in BCS bowl games.

On the other side, there have 19 teams who lost their first BCS bowl.  Of these 19 teams, only 5 (26%) have made it back to the BCS.  These 5 teams have a combined record of 2-15 (12%) in BCS bowl games.

Both groups include 3 teams from the past three seasons who I would say haven’t really had a fair amount of time to make it back to the BCS.  Also, each year it becomes more and more likely that a team will return after a long absence (Alabama took nine seasons to earn their second bid).

Obviously that would affect these numbers, but with 11 years of the BCS system in the books, I think it’s safe to say that (for some reason) winning your first BCS bowl game is crucial.

The teams who won their first BCS game but have yet to return:

Washington (8 seasons since first appearance)

Oregon State (8 seasons)

Oregon (7 seasons)

Auburn (4 seasons)

Louisville (2 seasons)

Boise State (2 seasons)

Kansas (1 season)

The teams who lost their first BCS game but made it back:

Florida State (1-5 in BCS bowls)

Virginia Tech (1-3)

Alabama (0-2)

Notre Dame (0-3)

Illinois (0-2)

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