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Trending: Conference play for BCS schools
By: Nick Bracken - StatFox
Published: 10/21/2011  at  1:02:00 AM
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It is not hard to decipher between the better teams year-in and year-out in the BCS conferences, but understanding which teams are consistently successful against the spread can be vital to betting success. Many teams have created such a brand name for themselves that even when they arenít great, they are still receiving unbalanced lines due to a reputation. There are also habitual losers may be playing above their usual level, but are flying under the radar due to years of lackluster results and play.

So to prepare for the second half of the in-conference rich college football season, we did a study back to 2006 and figured out all the in-conference ATS records for every team in all six BCS conferences. We found some obvious successors and also some eye-opening results as well. These results include conference championship games, but Utah (63% ATS) was not included since this is the schoolís first season in a BCS conference, and the Utes are 0-3 ATS in Pac-12 play.

Best ATS Conference Records

1. Ohio State 29-13 (69%)
2. Virginia Tech 31-15 (67%)
3. Oregon State 31-16 (66%)
4. Connecticut 23-14 (62%)
5. Arkansas 26-17 (60%)
6. Texas A&M 25-17 (60%)

Despite the big reputation, OHIO STATE is a ridiculous 29-13 ATS against Big Ten opponents over the past six years. Over that span, the Buckeyes have won at least five out of the traditional eight conferences games each year, including six games in 2006 and 2009. OSU is 16-5 ATS (76%) in its past 21 games in Big Ten play.

VIRGINIA TECH is another big name school that comes in with the second-best ATS conference record at 31-15 (67%). Although the Hokies are just 1-2 in ACC play this year, they were an outstanding 8-1 ATS in 2010 with their only ATS loss being a home victory against Georgia Tech in which they did not cover a double-digit spread.

The Pac-12 (formerly known as the Pac-10), is represented on this list by OREGON STATE. The Beavers are 31-16 ATS (66%), which includes an incredible three-year stretch of 19-8 ATS (70%) from 2007 to 2009. OSU plays in the shadow of mighty Oregon, but with five straight seasons of five ATS wins in conference play, make sure you donít overlook the Beavers as well.

CONNECTICUT is the real surprise on this list, mounting a 62% ATS success rate, despite a mediocre 18-19 SU record in this span. The Huskies are 11-5 ATS (69%) since 2009, and have benefited from having virtually no football reputation. However, after last yearís Fiesta Bowl berth, the basketball school may finally see its football team get some more love from Vegas in the future.

ARKANSAS and TEXAS A&M are the final two programs with a 60% ATS record since 2006. The Razorbacks are a program on the rise, posting a whopping 11-2 ATS mark (85%) in their past 13 SEC games. The Aggies, who blew an 18-point halftime lead to Arkansas earlier this month, are also on the upswing, going 9-4 ATS (69%) in their past 13 games.

Worst ATS Conference Records

1. Miami Florida 15-27 (36%)
2. LSU 15-26 (37%)
3. Colorado 16-27 (37%)
4. Michigan 16-26 (38%)
5. Florida State 17-27 (39%)
6. Louisville 14-22 (39%)

MIAMI (FL) continues to disappoint bettors with five straight losing ATS seasons in ACC play. This former elite college program has been pretty mediocre over this time frame, but the general public hasnít caught on yet. The Canes are 2-1 ATS this year, but are still 6-11 ATS (35%) in the past 17 ACC contests.

LSU is a surprise on list with its 37% ATS mark in SEC play despite a 69% SU record (34-11) in this same time frame. The Tigers have been a stronger bet recently with a profitable 7-5 ATS record in the past two seasons. They went 5-17 ATS (23%) in the SEC from 2006 to 2008.

An example of a bad BCS team that still canít seem to cover after being given tons of points is COLORADO. The Buffaloes were bad enough in Big 12 play from 2006-2010 (15-24 ATS, 39%), but are 1-3 ATS so far in their first Pac-12 campaign. But considering their 12-32 SU mark (27%) in conference play since 2006, we werenít too surprised to see CU on this list.

Former powerhouse MICHIGAN was actually 11-4 ATS in 2006 and 2007, but then took an unbelievable nose-dive under the ďtutelageĒ of Rich Rodriguez, going 3-21 ATS (13%) against Big Ten opponents from 2008-2010. Brady Hoke hopes to get Michigan out of this funk, and has been successful thus far, going 2-1 ATS this season.

The final two teams winning less than 40% of their conference games ATS are FLORIDA STATE and LOUISVILLE. FSU no longer dominates the ACC like it once did, but bettors havenít fully caught on. The Seminoles have posted five straight non-winning ATS seasons in conference play, and have started 2011 with a 1-2 ATS mark. Louisville has four straight losing ATS seasons in Big East play and is 7-15 ATS (32%) when facing conference foes since 2008.

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