November is a month for politicking for positioning for college football coaches and athletic directors to get their team in the voters mind and hopefully that will help them improve their stock. Most remember when former Texas head coach Mack Brown took to any and every media opportunity to pimp the Longhorns, and it worked and got his team into a BCS bowl game.
Well, politicking is back once again. Marshall athletic director Mike Hamrick did his best to pump up Conference USA to help his undefeated Thundering Herd football team get into a New Year's Day bowl game.
I get it, Hamrick is doing his due diligence to help out Marshall and Conference USA, but if that was true then Marshall's strength of schedule would not be one of the worst in all of FBS.
Lets head to BCF Toys to take a look at the strength of schedule of these two leagues. First up is Conference USA in the dark blue. The Mountain West is in purple, but the second chart makes it more clear.
Then go over and look at Football Outsiders F/+ rankings and it gets even more clear as to what league is better.
|San Diego State||80||5-5|
|San Jose State||97||3-7|
The Mountain West has three teams ranked 100 or lower while Conference USA has four, Marshall is the only top 50 team in its league while the Mountain West has three and Utah State and Nevada are in the 50s. The average F/+ rating for Conference USA is 83.43, and the Mountain West average rating is 76.33.
From these metrics the Mountain West is a better league but Conference USA has the better team in Marshall. Also, it is reasonable close overall for these two leagues, but the Mountain West is more top heavy with better teams. There is no disrespect to Marshall's Hamrick for trying to prop up his league and in return his Thundering Herd team, but odds are that the playoff committee are buying that statement, and if they even see it.