The Big East was bound to provide the BCS with a champion seemingly undeserving of its automatic bid. However now that four-loss UConn has emerged as the Big East Champion, it's time to start asking the obvious question...are they the worst team ever to compete in the Bowl Championship Series?
First off, there's the fact that they are only the 2nd four-loss team in the history of the BCS. Not a great start.
They are, for the time being, unranked. If that holds, it will be a first. Again, not a great sign.
This season they only scored ten points on's Michigan defense, lost to the MAC's Temple, lost to 4-8 Rutgers and got shutout by 6-6 Louisville. Once again, really not good.
So we know what UConn has to offer, let's compare to some of the other contenders (pre-bowl records):
1998 Syracuse (8-3) - Syracuse got crushed in the Orange Bowl by Florida. To be fair, one of those losses was to eventual-champion Tennessee and they defeated Michigan in the Big House.
1999Stanford (8-3) - Ty Willingham's squad opened the season with a 69-17 shellacking by Texas and also go on to lose to San Jose State. Wisconsin bested them in the Rose Bowl 17-9.
2000 Purdue (8-3) - Nothing too glaring about Purdue's season. All the losses seem respectable and they lucked out with a bad Big Ten season. They lost to Washington in the Rose Bowl.
2002 Florida State (9-4) - The Seminoles began the year 4-0 but ended it 5-5, including a 26-13 loss in the Sugar Bowl. Their losses were mostly from OOC and the ACC was terrible, hence their auto-bid. This one could give UConn a run...
2004 Pitt (8-3) - In the Big East's first full season without Miami, Virginia Tech and Boston College, it was supposed to showcase it's next generation of star teams. It instead sent a Pitt team that only beat Furman by three points to the Fiesta Bowl to get decimated by Utah.
And the winner is...probably UConn. We'll know more once the Huskies play, and likely lose, their bowl game. Then we can put them in the proper context amongst the lamest of the best.