- The default for the game queries (Team Search and Team Record) is for all games from current division I-A teams (when both division I-A options are blank on the teams side). There is no default that can be used that makes sense for all types of queries. Further explanation is below in the Divisions section.
- By definition, "conference games" are not necessarily all game played against a team in your conference and "conference records" are not necessarily the win/loss record against all the teams you played from your conference. Conference games have to be designated as games that count toward a team’s conference record and will sometimes include games against teams not in that conference. Further explanation is below in the Conference Game section.
- The records are designed to show exactly as it would if you look at each team’s media guide. As such, the results you get will differ based on the team or conference that you are searching by. Further explanation is below in the Records Explained section.
- Forfeits are handled as each team or conference handles them and might differ in the overall record and the conference record. Teams are not required to take forfeit wins and might refuse them even if the other team takes a forfeit loss. Further explanation is below in the Forfeits section.
Divisions are taken straight from NCAA guides with a few exceptions. Starting in 1973, the NCAA created the three divisions and in 1978 split division I into I-A and I-AA (note that "division I" refers to both sub-divisions and is not a proper say to describe I-A). Prior to 1973, there are two classifications, "University Division" and "College Division".
The NCAA started these classifications in 1937. After 1945, the records from the NCAA guide are followed exactly, but prior to 1945, the classifications were not representative if a team were "University" class or not. Obviously World War II had a big impact and did not allow several teams to keep up to the NCAA standards for "University". In fact, almost every major program today dropped down during this period. Instead of using the NCAA’s rankings for this, if a team played a major schedule, they were put in the higher division. Generally, if they were University before and after the war, they ended up as University throughout. If they were not before and after, it was tougher. Prior to 1941, some teams that were really major schools did not meet all the NCAA requirements to be University but were truly major schools, they were marked as such.
Prior to 1937, it becomes tougher. The NCAA views a program as major prior to 37 if they played half or more of their games against major schools. This can be problematic if two schools are on the board and need each other to be "major" in order to push both up, or the exact date when a conference becomes "major". However, those are the rules used in classifying majors prior to 37.
Schools who are the top level are given a "M" prior to 1973, a "I" from 73-77 and a "I-A" after 78. Those who are not are given a "N" prior to 1937, a "C" from 37-72 and after 73, they are given the division they are in. NAIA schools are indicated with ‘NAI’ and schools that have no affiliation are indicated with just an "N".
Prior to a season, a conference will decide which games are "conference games" and which are not. Because a team played another member of the same conference does not mean it’s a "conference game" and because a team is playing a member not in their conference does not mean it’s not a "conference game".
The most obvious exceptions to the rule are conference championship games and bowl games. Conference championship games are not counted as a "conference game" and therefore do not show in a team’s "conference record". If two teams from the same conference play in a bowl game, it does not get added to their conference record and is not a conference game, usually. The one exception to that was when USC played Washington in the in the 1944 Rose Bowl, the PAC-10 counts that as a conference game for both teams.
Also, in cases where a team is not playing enough conference games to satisfy the league rules, a conference might assign a "designated conference game" or a "wildcard game" against a non-conference team to count toward a team’s "conference record". Most current I-A conferences have used this practice at some point of their history and it occurred most recently at the I-A level in 2004.
There have also been cases where two teams from the same conference will play a "non-conference" game during the regular season that doesn’t count toward a team’s conference record. Also, while it’s not occurred at the I-A level, it’s a fairly common practice for a game to count as a conference game for one team in the game, but not the other even though both belong to the same conference.
Sometimes a conference will sanction a forfeit in a game, but not adjust a team’s record accordingly. There have even been cases where a conference will sanction a forfeit against both teams, causing the results to be ‘vacated’, if it counts. In 2003, when William & Mary’s campus was hit with a hurricane and their game with Maine was unable to be played, The Atlantic 10 awarded a forfeit win to Maine while calling it a no-contest for William & Mary.
A lot of different things affect what is or isn’t a "conference game" and how they make up the "conference record". You can’t just calculate these things out by counting games against conference teams. To me showing conference records that do reflect where teams actually finished in a conference is pointless. Wherever I use "conference records", it will be the exact conference record as recorded by the conference, with any alterations the conference has made. If the record of a team against all the teams in their conference is wanted, there is an option included called
Use All Conf Opps that gives the totals against all members of the conference regardless of the actual conference record.
The Conf/Non filter option will filter out games based on whether the opponent shared a conference or not, not on whether it’s a true conference game. If you want that filter to show just conference games, click also on the Offical Conference Games option.
The information presented is usually the information that is found directly in a team’s guide. Incomplete information has been filled out from other sources in some cases, but in situations where there’s a disagreement between the parties involved, the information will be presented as it is seen in each team’s media guide. The opponents’ record shown is the record that each team views itself as having, and the conference record is what the conference had for each team. This will sometimes lead to oddball situations where the seemingly impossible can happen, such one team beating an "undefeated" team because both teams claim a victory.
There are several cases where a team or even the NCAA Record Book will show a team has won a conference, which the conference itself does not acknowledge. In those cases, the queries go with the conference record, as they are the ones to sanction conference championships, conference games and conference records. When a conference goes defunct, the conference records at the time it disbanded are what the quries use. Oklahoma lays claims to Big 8 and Southwest titles that neither conference saw fit to give them. As the conferences did not give them those titles, the queries don’t view them as titles either.
When a conference disbands, it is viewed as an old conference, unless another conference picks up its history. For instance, the old Pacific Coast Conference disbanded and a new conference formed to become the PAC-10. However, the PAC-10 enfolded the history of the PCC into their records and views the accomplishments of the PCC as a part of the history of the PAC-10. Therefore the queries view the PAC-10 as one conference back to 1915, exactly as the conference itself does. Nobody enfolded the history of the Big 8 or the Southwest into their old records, and so those are viewed is if the conference is defuncted as of 1995. There is an alternate conference option to combined the Big 8 and Big 12 record, if desired. The current NCAA manuals view the Big 8’s history back to 1907, but older NCAA manuals assign that history to the Missouri Valley. Currently, I view the Big 8’s history back to 1907.
Perhaps nothing is as confusing in old records as forfeits. One of the more annoying aspects of a forfeit is the habit of a team to say that while the forfeited those games, we are still going to count them as a win. As such, the queries will count them the same way. If the other team counts it as a forfeit win, the queries will also give them the win in order to match with both teams official records.
There are several cases where a team does forfeit a game and count it as a loss, but the opposing team doesn’t want to count it as a win. By NCAA rules, no team has to count a team as a forfeit win if they don’t want to and so therefore in those cases, the queries will have both teams losing the game (forfeits are designated by the result being a lowercase letter).
To make things even more confusing, if a conference sanctions a forfeit, it may only affect their conference record, but not their overall record. In 1972, Oklahoma officially viewed their record as 11-1-0, with a 3-4 conference record. The Big 8 adjusted the conference record of all teams involved in 3 games, but no team changed their overall record. The NCAA has taken the stance that they do not view these as being forfeited, but the Big 8 altered their conference records accordingly. Similarly, forfeits sanctioned by the NCAA may or may not be applied by a conference to a team’s conference record. In 1994, Michigan State’s official record is 0-11, but the Big Ten has retained their 4-4 conference mark. Even forfeits sanctioned by a conference might not be scored by a conference. The PAC-10 sanctioned several forfeits in the late 70s, which never altered any of the teams’ records.
I’ve taken pains to present the information as you’d find it in an official media guide. In some cases, the information is likely wrong, but unless it can be verified that it’s just a typo, the records will be left as the school or conference views it. Also note that sections of media guides that total up their information are notoriously wrong. Because the information does not match the totals in the media guide does not mean the totals do not match the information they have in their game by game section. Usually it means that records were corrected, without the totals being updated, or that they just failed to add it correctly in the first place. The information the queries give is totaled from the details.