The 2011 Mediocrity Bowl Series (MBS)

This year the bowl season has kicked off and college football fans and their universities are excited about their team’s bowl game. And why shouldn’t they be thrilled? Despite your team having a 6-6 record, it’s a bowl game and it means a chance to close out the season in winning fashion.

Is this what college football has deteriorated to?

With a total of 35 bowl games being played, (35!) and 12 already in the books, a quick breakdown is necessary to sort out what is going on here.

Mediocrity Defined

Of the 35 games and 70 teams, 13 teams have records of 6-6 and one (UCLA) has a losing record of 6-7, having to petition to get in to their bowl game. How can a team with a .500 record, the very definition of the word average, be considered for the postseason and rewarded with a berth in a bowl game?


Photo credit: Seth Perlman/AP via

Three of the games feature both teams with 6-6 records, and there is the one bowl game, The Fired Head Coaches Bowl, or officially titled Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl, pitting a 6-6 Illini team without fired head coach Ron Zook versus the 6-7 UCLA Bruins team without fired head coach Rick Neuheisel.

A UCLA win and this becomes the first ever bowl game where neither team ends the season with a winning record.

The other match-ups with 6-6 teams competing for their slice of the Mediocrity Bowl Series (MBS) includes:


If  a playoff system for college football is ever instituted, a new bracket pitting all the 6-6 teams could be created with the winner being crowned MBS Champion, perhaps against the winner of the 7-5 team bracket. But don’t even get me started on those 15 7-5 teams.

Do you think 6-6 teams deserve to play in a post season bowl game?

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Update: Of the first three 6-6 teams, 2 have won their bowl games and one has lost. Marshall beat Florida International 20-10, Purdue held off Western Michigan 37-32, while Arizona State lost 56-24 to #8 Boise State.

About Jim McGrew

A lifelong Chicago sports fan, Jim enjoys playing, writing about and watching sports. He can be reached at or on twitter at @MySports1.
Jim lives in the Chicago area and is married with 2 children.


  1. Josh Tinley says:

    The one 7-5 team that didn't go to a bowl, Western Kentucky, may have been the most deserving. The Hilltoppers won 7 of their last 8 and finished second in their conference. This, despite being the newest FBS team and winning only 4 games in the last three seasons combined. If we're going to let mediocre teams play in bowl games, I would rather see WKU than Illinois or UCLA. But I agree, the threshold should be higher. Maybe a team should have to finish in the top half of its conference; or maybe wins over FCS teams shouldn't count.

  2. Didn't know Bowl season had started. Most irrelevant thing in all sports, including the BCS where a team like Michigan (8 of 12 games at home, ZERO quality wins) plays in the Sugar. Yes, perhaps the two best teams meet for the title, but who outside the southeast wants to see that again? Yawn. Too bad. College football is WAY better than the NFL, but without a playoff, meaningless. I have not followed it in over a decade. D-2 football is solid, as is every other college sports, including baseball and especially hoops.

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  1. […] This year 70 of 120 Division I-FBS football teams are personification in 35 play games. Considering one of these games involves a 6–7 UCLA group and a 6–6 Illinois group on a 6-game losing streak, 35 is substantially too many. […]

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