Fiesta Bowl Could Lose BCS Status, It's Time For The Mountain West To Make A Move

With the release of the internal findings that lead to Fiesta Bowl CEO John Junker to be fired, the BCS itself is now looking into their status as a BCS game:

Bill Hancock, executive director of the Bowl Championship Series, said the Fiesta Bowl could be removed from the elite group that hosts a national championship game every four years.

"The BCS group takes this matter very seriously and will consider whether they keep a BCS bowl game, and we will consider other appropriate sanctions," Hancock told The Arizona Republic. "If the bowl does remain a BCS bowl its handling of thing will be closely monitored going forward.

I wonder if the other bowls -- specifically the Orange Bowl who hosted an elaborate three-day cruise -- will be getting their affairs in order and cut back on the excessive spending, or at least make it look like it is for the bowl game.

Here is more from the BCS regarding the Fiesta Bowl's status as a BCS game:

"We are deeply disappointed and troubled to learn of these findings related to the Fiesta Bowl.

Unprofessional, unethical or improper behavior is unacceptable. There is no place for such activities in higher education or in collegiate sports. It is expected that all parties contracted with the BCS will live up to the highest standards. We do not wish to be associated with entities that believe otherwise.

The fact that Fiesta Bowl officials have turned a spotlight on their bowl's activities is a sign that many individuals within the organization feel the same way. It is appropriate that the Fiesta Bowl conducted this investigation. The Fiesta Bowl volunteers and many others in the Phoenix area have worked hard through the years to build a tradition and provide lifetime memories for thousands of student-athletes.

Nevertheless, the BCS takes this matter seriously and will consider whether the Fiesta Bowl should remain a BCS bowl game or other appropriate sanctions. To make that determination, we are taking these actions:

1. We have appointed a task force to evaluate the bowl's findings and its recommendations.

2. We have asked the bowl to demonstrate why it should remain a BCS bowl game. The task force will evaluate the bowl's response, along with the full slate of reforms instituted by the bowl.

3. If the bowl remains a part of the BCS, its handling of this matter will be closely monitored going forward.

It is imperative that Fiesta Bowl officials take all necessary steps to fully address and correct the problems they have reported. The task force will begin its deliberations immediately.

If, and it's a big if, the Fiesta Bowl loses their status as a BCS Bowl game, or even being a bowl game could help the Mountain West. First off, if the bowl is demoted the logical choice for their replacement would to promote the Cotton Bowl to BCS status. Currently, the Cotton Bowl usually takes the first teams from the Big 12 and SEC who are not in a BCS game. So, the Fiesta Bowl could keep that tradition alive, but I am not so sure the SEC would want to take on the Fiesta Bowl as a tie-in; the Big 12 most likely would want to keep their tie-in and drop perhaps the Pinstripe Bowl or another low level bowl game since they are now a 10-team league.

As a non-BCS bowl game the Fiesta may not want to keep their second spot as an at-large team which means they would want to create a regional tie since attendance is a big key to these bowl games. The Fiesta Bowl would first be smart to try to reach a deal with Notre Dam, because they will always travel. Then they may go after the Pac-12 team and even possibly a Mountain West team. The Pac-12 would be the second choice -- or alternate with Notre Dame -- since their bowl lineup is terrible and with two new teams the league will probably want another bowl tie-in, and a high quality bowl game. The Fiesta Bowl would want to keep their New Year's Day status and outside of the Rose Bowl the Pac-12 does not have a bowl game on New Year's Day.

The last choice would be the Mountain West and most likely would want to send their champion there instead of the pre-Christmas Las Vegas Bowl. The teams would travel since all the schools are out west, but the only downside would be if the champion goes to a BCS Bowl game because with the league being watered down with TCU, Utah and BYU leaving the second team may not be as high a quality opponent that the Fiesta Bowl would want.

Either way Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson needs to start making phone calls to the Fiesta Bowl to help improve the league's bowl status, however I am not holding breath for this to happen.

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