The BCS has their annual meetings this week, so it is a good time to see how the Mountain West has stacked up against the current AQ teams during the first two year of a four year cycle. At these BCS meetings Big 10 commissioner Jim Delaney is expected to make public the leagues expansion ideas. Also, in these meeting is the chance that qualifications of the BCS criteria are to be made public.
The midway point of the four year cycle has the Mountain West in good shape since the leagues top teams have done well, and here are the requirements for BCS consideration:
(1) The ranking of the highest-ranked team in the final BCS standings each year.
(2) The final regular-season rankings of all conference teams in the computer rankings used by the BCS each year.
(3) The number of teams in the top 25 of the final BCS standings each year.
Here is how the Mountain West teams fared in the top 25 BCS standings for the first two years.
I would prefer if the BCS formula would use the rankings after the bowl games since it is another non-conference opponent and can adjust strength of schedule. Plus, it makes the bowl games seem like they are even more of an exhibition game then they really are.
The downside of the Mountain West that they do not have any other team in the top 50 of the BCS rankings in either year. Since the computer rankings are a component and includes all 120 teams the bottom of the MWC teams bring the whole conference down.
Utah and TCU in their respective BCS years help qualification one with the highest rated team in the final BCS standings. Within the top 25 of the BCS of each year the Mountain West is on par with rest of the AQ leagues, especially in the 2008 year. Once you include Boise State if the Mountain West expands that would give the Mountain West another top ten team in each year which would equal the most of any league.
SEC - #2 Florida, #4 Alabama, #15 Georgia, #25 Mississippi
Big 10 - #8 Penn State, #10 Ohio State, #18 Michigan State, #23 Northwestern
Big 12 - #1 Oklahoma, #3 Texas, #13 Oklahoma State, #21 Missouri
Pac-10 - #5 Southern Cal, #17 Oregon
Big East - #12 Cincinnati, #20 Pittsburgh
ACC - #14 Georgia Tech, #19 Virginia Tech, #24 Boston College
SEC - #1 Alabama, #5 Florida, #12 LSU
Big 10 - #8 Ohio State, #10 Iowa, #13 Penn State, #25 Wisconsin
Big 12 - #2 Texas, #19 Oklahoma State, #22 Nebraska
Pac-10 - #7 Oregon, #18 Oregon State, #20 Arizona, #21 Stanford
Big East - #3 Cincinnati, #16 West Virginia, #17 Pittsburgh
ACC - #9 Georgia Tech, #11 Virginia Tech
Below is how the AQ leagues and the MWC compare in non-conference games against other AQ leagues.
Now if one wants a more in-depth look at this the BCS Guru is a stud with their math formulas in crunching the numbers in comparing BCS qualifications. Ill post the MWC chart and their chart with Boise State, but trust me go check the entire chart out here.
So even without Boise State the Mountain West looks to be on par with the other AQ leagues and one could make the argument that the MWC does not need Boise State to gain an auto bid to the BCS. However, to make the league sustainable as a BCS league and possibly having national title teams adding Boise State is the key. Having three and usually four teams in the top 25.