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Conference Bowl Results and Shakin the Southland Bowl Mania Challenge Winners

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How did each conference do in their bowl games and which STS commenters performed the best in our ESPN Bowl Mania Challenge?

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Conference Bowl Performance

SEC 8-2
Pac-12 6-4
Conference USA 3-2
Big Ten 5-5
Mountain West 4-4
Sun Belt 2-2
ACC 4-5
Big 12 3-4
MAC 3-4
American Athletic 2-6
Independents 0-2

With coaching changes, injuries, and motivation differences, sometimes too much stock is put into bowl games results. Still, a few things are worth pointing out.

The AAC got a lot of love when Houston, Navy, Memphis, and Temple were all undefeated. Those teams went 2-2 and no other AAC team won a bowl. They're clearly a notch below the P5 conferences.

The SEC had a poor performance last bowl season, leading many to call them overrated. This year, the conference didn't look so hot (aside from Alabama). I argued that point saying Clemson, UNC, Notre Dame, and FSU were better than everyone in the SEC, save Bama. Now, I think we'd have to concede Ole Miss, LSU, and Arkansas have reasonable arguments over UNC, Notre Dame, and FSU - who all lost their bowls. It's at least up for debate now.

Bowl Mania Standings

A few of our frequent commenters performed admirably in our Bowl Mania challenge and deserve some credit. Revan is sitting in 10th place (of 37) with a good chance to jump up to 8th with a correct National Championship Pick.

Tommy.Bowden.Can.Suck.It (not a very nice name, is it?), is in third place and would be in second with a chance to take first had Oregon not blown a huge lead. He had 41 (max 42) on Oregon, which was looking pretty smart for a while. Fortunately for me, they blew it.

I'll toot my own horn for a moment now. I've clinched first place and sit in the top 5% across all of ESPN. Sorry guys but:

I'll tell you secret to success though... The S&P+. Our editor, Brian Goodison, pointed me to it and it is a treasure trove. WVU, Western Michigan, Marshall, Minnesota, Cal, and Stanford were all winners that the S&P+ drove me to select. Now that I've told you, winning next year will be much more difficult.

The S&P+ gained a lot of credibility in my book with those wins, as well as toasting the FPI on the Orange Bowl. ESPN's FPI favored Pittsburgh, Texas A&M, and Florida. I believe those were all different from the S&P+ rankings. Only three of the 37 participants in our bowl pick'em selected Florida. Ohh, FPI...

The FPI also gave Oklahoma a 62.8% chance to beat Clemson, while the S&P+ had Clemson ranked above the Sooners. Only eight members of our Bowl Mania group picked the Sooners.

We have had some ACC bias for Miami and UNC though. Less than half (14) picked Washington State to beat Miami, despite them being favored and only four picked Baylor, though they were at least the underdog.

Thanks for playing bowl mania with us! I hope you got a laugh and maybe even a little statistical insight with this post. Thank you for being a loyal reader. Have a great 2016!