ACC Commissioner John Swofford turns heads the other day, telling USA Today Sports that he prefers the formation of a "super division" to a full split from the NCAA. The idea is for college football's five major conferences -- ACC, Big 12, Big Ten, PAC-12 and SEC -- to create a new band within the NCAA for football, breaking away from the rest of the FBS -- American Athletic Conference, Conference USA, MAC, Mountain West and the Sun Belt.
"That's a potential way of making a change that would basically retain the fundamental NCAA oversight and umbrella, if you will," Swofford said. "If the five conferences were to break off, I mean, that's a complicated move. You'd have to, in essence, duplicate the NCAA in some form or fashion, and then what does that mean for intercollegiate athletics? So if you've got another division, if that's the answer within the NCAA, you can maneuver and find an appropriate way, I think, to address those kinds of issues."
I think a new Division I-A band is a fait accompli. More when than if. The rather sizable gap between the five major conferences and the rest of the FBS only figures to grow wider over the years with the start of the College Football Playoff (the major conferences will earn 70% of the money generated from the playoff). The Power Five conferences are striking deals with each other; often at the expense of the non-power conferences. Non-power conference schools will have to continue to fight for access to the college football playoff all while falling further behind their power conference counterparts.
The question I have is where does that leave Boston College football? Where would a program with a Heisman Trophy and a claimed National Championship place among the ranks of the FBS "Super Division?" It's not a question with an easy answer and the answer varies based on the length of time studied.
There are plenty of different measures one could look at to reach an answer. I kept it simple, looking at winning percentage over the years. Where does BC rank out of the 65 teams that would make up the FBS's "Super Division" based on the last 5 years ... 10 ... 25 ... 50 ... and all-time. The results may surprise.
5 Years Out, 2008-2012
Boston College compiled a 30-34 record over the past five years for a winning percentage of .469. That places the Eagles 45th out of 65 programs and among this group of programs.
Surprising to see programs like UCLA and Tennessee so far down this list; a reminder that Boston College isn't the only moderately successful program historically to fall on hard times of late.
10 Years Out, 2003-2012
Ten years out, the Boston College football looks much better. The Eagles went 77-51 over the past decade for a winning percentage of .602.
Oh hai, Notre Dame!
25 Years Out, 1988-2012
The quarter-century mark is less kind to BC. Boston College compiled a record of 162-138-2 for a winning percentage of .540. That's good for 36th place of 65. More or less middle-of-the-pack.
At 25 years out, we start to factor in Boston College's time as an Eastern independent, which some could argue starts to skew the winning percentage a bit based on strength of schedule. Something to keep in mind.
50 Years Out, 1963-2012
Boston College went 313-249-3 in 570 games over the last 50 years. A winning percentage of .561 would rank the Eagles 26th among the ranks of the FBS "Super Division" historically. That's the best mark for BC of any of the time periods studied.
All-time, Boston College ranks 29th in the FBS Super Division. The Eagles' all-time record of 637-453-37 over 1,127 games is good for a winning percentage of .582.
Check out the table below to find out which program ranks DFL all-time. #TheRivalry.
Even the most recent two-year stretch of terrible football (6-18) wasn't enough to place Boston College among the bottom 1/5 of the FBS "Super Division" over the last five years. Historically, Boston College places somewhere in the 25-35 range which would put the Eagles in the lower-middle half of any new FBS Division. Whether BC can get back to that level of competition is another question completely.
Complete rankings below. Thanks to Stassen.com. Rank is approximate as ties for winning percentage were not broken. Also excludes vacated wins (see also: Penn State).
|1||Alabama||Louisiana State||Florida State||Nebraska||Michigan|
|2||Oregon||Ohio State||Florida||Ohio State||Notre Dame|
|3||Texas Christian||Southern Cal||Nebraska||Oklahoma||Oklahoma|
|4||Oklahoma||Oklahoma||Ohio State||Michigan||Ohio State|
|7||Oklahoma State||Florida||Oklahoma||Southern Cal||Nebraska|
|8||Ohio State||Oregon||Texas||Florida State||Southern Cal|
|10||Texas||Georgia||Virginia Tech||Georgia||Florida State|
|11||Virginia Tech||Utah||Georgia||Notre Dame||Penn State|
|12||Southern Cal||West Virginia||Southern Cal||Tennessee||Louisiana State|
|17||Georgia||Texas Tech||Louisiana State||Arkansas||Washington|
|18||South Carolina||Oklahoma State||West Virginia||Arizona State||Arizona State|
|19||West Virginia||Louisville||Texas A&M||Virginia Tech||Virginia Tech|
|20||Michigan State||Clemson||Clemson||West Virginia||West Virginia|
|21||Clemson||Florida State||Utah||Clemson||Texas A&M|
|22||Texas Tech||Michigan||Texas Christian||UCLA||Georgia Tech|
|23||Notre Dame||Missouri||Kansas State||Texas A&M||Clemson|
|25||Kansas State||Miami-Florida||Louisville||Texas Tech||Michigan State|
|26||Northwestern||South Carolina||Texas Tech||Boston College||Colorado|
|27||Georgia Tech||Boston College||Georgia Tech||North Carolina State||Utah|
|29||Iowa||Notre Dame||Iowa||Oregon||Boston College|
|32||Auburn||California||North Carolina State||North Carolina||Stanford|
|33||Texas A&M||Oregon State||Syracuse||Colorado||Wisconsin|
|34||Miami-Florida||Michigan State||UCLA||Michigan State||Minnesota|
|35||North Carolina State||Tennessee||Washington||Arizona||Arizona|
|36||Arizona||Pittsburgh||Boston College||Mississippi||Texas Tech|
|37||Oregon State||Kansas State||Arizona State||Louisville||North Carolina|
|38||Michigan||Texas A&M||Michigan State||Pittsburgh||California|
|41||Mississippi State||Arizona State||Oklahoma State||Oklahoma State||Missouri|
|42||California||North Carolina State||Arizona||Missouri||Texas Christian|
|43||Mississippi||UCLA||Penn State||South Carolina||Purdue|
|46||Arizona State||Maryland||North Carolina||Rutgers||Maryland|
|50||Wake Forest||Kansas||Mississippi State||Texas Christian||Rutgers|
|51||Kentucky||Arizona||Oregon State||Kansas State||North Carolina State|
|52||Purdue||Mississippi State||Washington State||Baylor||Oklahoma State|
|55||Iowa State||North Carolina||Illinois||Mississippi State||Vanderbilt|
|56||Maryland||Iowa State||Rutgers||Washington State||Kansas|
|59||Illinois||Colorado||Minnesota||Iowa State||Mississippi State|
|60||Duke||Washington||Baylor||Oregon State||Oregon State|
|61||Kansas||Washington State||Kentucky||Wake Forest||Iowa State|
|62||Penn State||Illinois||Indiana||Indiana||Kansas State|
|65||Washington State||Penn State||Duke||Vanderbilt||Wake Forest|