I was reading an interesting article on the importance of conference affiliation, and it got me to thinking what has been the recent historical impact of Louisiana being or not being affiliated with a conference and the chance to play in a bowl game.

I don’t mean the absolute most recent impact. We all know that coach Bustle would not have taken the job if not for the Sunbelt conference affiliation and the chance to play in the New Orleans bowl.

What I wanted to look at was the win / loss record going back over the last two coaching records of Stokley and Baldwin era in and out of conferences.

What I found was being in a conference Wins games. It is that simple being in a conference with the chance to play in a bowl game wins games.

While Brian Mitchell showed you could win when not playing for a bowl game, the preponderance of the evidence shows teams rally when they have something to play for.

In the 10 seasons where coach Stokley had no conference bowl game tie in his teams averaged 4.3 wins per season. That number includes the 2 wins gained by Texas tech forfeiting their gams against Louisiana.

When Louisiana had a bowl tie in with Coach Stokley at the helm the Ragin’ Cajuns averaged 7 wins per season.

Jerry Baldwin without the aid of a bowl tie in could only muster 1.5 wins per season. With a bowl tie in he doubled the output to 3 wins per season.

I sure am glad Louisiana has the goal o the New Orleans bowl. Geaux Cajuns.

Here is the article that prompted this thread. A Utah State playing for nothing story