College Football Relegation From 2005-2012: Where Nevada Makes It To The Pac-12

Relegation week is going strong at SB Nation.

On Wednesday the relegation series divided up teams by tiers ranging from the BCS leagues all the way down to the NAIA level. The latest series is how the top four tiers would fare from 2005-2012, the reason for only four tiers is because it includes all of the FCS schools and anything below that is nearly impossible to predict with lack of stats.

Bill Connelly's articles are worth the read and I highly recommending reading them. The Western tier that includes the Mountain West was one of the more active leagues in promoting and demoting teams.

I'll highlight the Western tier by year to get an idea, all the fun begins after the jump, also the leagues go back to how they looked with the first year in 2005 with some small changes when conference realignment reared its ugly head.

2005

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, UCLA, USC, Washington, Washington State

Champion: USC
Demoted to Mountain West: Washington

It is probably poetic that a Ty Willingham team is one of the first to ever get demoted. The Apple Cup emerges as one of two major rivalry games to determine which team gets sent down.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV, Utah, Wyoming
Promoted to Pac-10: TCU
Demoted to WAC: UNLV

While the connection between MAC and Big Ten or SEC and Sun Belt gets awkward and mismatched sometimes, it is pretty seamless when it comes to the Pac-10 and Mountain West. And as we will see, it makes the Pac-10 a really, really strong conference.

WAC

Membership: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State
Promoted to Mountain West: Boise State
Demoted to Big Sky: New Mexico State

And New Mexico State gets a demotion they maybe should have volunteered for in real life a while ago.

Big Sky

Membership: Eastern Washington, Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Eastern Washington

2006

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, TCU, UCLA, USC, Washington State
Champion: USC
Demoted to Mountain West: Stanford

TCU easily survives its first season in Tier 1, while Stanford, 1-11 in real 2006, joins Washington (the only team the Cardinal actually beat in real 2006) in Tier 2.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Boise State, BYU, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Promoted to Pac-10: Boise State
Demoted to WAC: Colorado State

In Alternate 2006, Boise State perhaps doesn't get a BCS bowl bid (depending on the new playoff and bowl rules), but they do win a better prize: Pac-10 membership.

WAC

Membership: Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Hawaii, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State
Promoted to Mountain West: Hawaii
Demoted to Big Sky: Utah State

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho State, Montana, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Montana

Another predictable promotion.

2007

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, California, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, UCLA, USC, Washington State
Champion: USC
Demoted to Mountain West: Washington State

It goes without saying that Boise State and TCU fare perfectly well in a suddenly great Pac-10 conference. Meanwhile, like Baylor and Minnesota, Washington State earns a rather predictable demotion.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, BYU, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State, Stanford, Utah, Washington, Wyoming
Promoted to Pac-10: BYU
Demoted to WAC: Wyoming

And the third of what will soon become four predictable promotions takes place in the MWC, with a strong BYU squad making the jump. Utah, you're up next.

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Montana, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV
Promoted to Mountain West: Fresno State
Demoted to Big Sky: Idaho

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Utah State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Utah State

2008

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, California, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, UCLA, USC
Champion: USC
Demoted to Mountain West: UCLA

The dead weight here is almost nonexistent. That's a bad thing for Rick Neuheisel's first UCLA squad.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Fresno State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San DIego State, Stanford, Utah, Washington, Washington State
Promoted to Pac-10: Utah
Demoted to WAC: Washington State

And there's Predictable MWC Promotion No. 4, combined with what is, sadly, a rather predictable demotion as well. It is impossible to overstate how bad Wazzu's 2008-09 squads were.

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Louisiana Tech, Montana, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Wyoming
Promoted to Mountain West: Montana
Demoted to Big Sky: Wyoming

Montana makes it two promotions in two years.

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho, Idaho State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Weber State

2009

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, California, Oregon, Oregon State, TCU, USC, Utah
Champion: Boise State
Demoted to Mountain West: Arizona State

Once again, a reasonably decent team is demoted from a loaded Pac-10.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Fresno State, Hawaii, Montana, New Mexico, San Diego State, Stanford, UCLA, Washington
Promoted to Pac-10: Stanford
Demoted to WAC: New Mexico

Jim Harbaugh's Cardinal make a predictable jump back to the big-time. It will be a while before they face relegation again. Meanwhile, New Mexico's awful 2009 squad earns an easy demotion while Montana proves itself capable of staying in Tier 2 after two promotions in two years.

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Washington State, Weber State
Promoted to Mountain West: Nevada
Demoted to Big Sky: Weber State

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho, Idaho State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Wyoming
Promoted to WAC: Wyoming

2010

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Boise State, BYU, California, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, TCU, USC, Utah
Champion: Oregon
Demoted to Mountain West: BYU

Perhaps the deepest conference in the country ends up relegating yet another solid team while Oregon, Boise State and TCU face off in an incredible conference title race.

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Arizona State, Fresno State, Hawaii, Montana, Nevada, San Diego State, UCLA, Washington
Promoted to Pac-10: Nevada
Demoted to WAC: Montana

Another conference with little dead weight, the MWC at least temporarily says goodbye to a solid Montana squad.

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Louisiana Tech, New Mexico, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Washington State, Wyoming
Promoted to Mountain West: Eastern Washington
Demoted to Big Sky: New Mexico

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho, Idaho State, Montana State, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Idaho

2011

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Boise State, BYU, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, TCU, USC, Utah
Champion: Oregon
Demoted to Mountain West: Arizona

Another wonderful conference title race goes to Oregon, while Mike Stoops' final Arizona squad is relegated (in favor of an in-state rival, no less).

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Arizona State, Eastern Washington, Fresno State, Hawaii, San Diego State, UCLA, Washington
Promoted to Pac-10: Arizona State
Demoted to WAC: Eastern Washington

The Mountain West is down to two original members, and what was a disappointing Arizona State squad in the Pac-12 is an exciting, promotion-worthy squad in Tier 2. The Sun Devils barely hold off Washington for the title and bump.

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Montana, San Jose State, UNLV, Utah State, Washington State, Wyoming
Promoted to Mountain West: Louisiana Tech
Demoted to Big Sky: UNLV

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho State, Montana State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, Weber State
Promoted to WAC: Montana State

2012

Bold/italicized teams are not in original conference.

This year is a bit different with TCU still leaving to stay in the Big 12, so Arizona does not move down and the WAC bumps up two teams to the MWC to give the league eight teams. Due to recent success I put Wyoming up to the 2012 MWC.

Pac-10

Membership: Arizona, Arizona State, Boise State, BYU, California, Colorado, Nevada, Oregon, Oregon State, Stanford, USC, Utah

Mountain West

Membership: Air Force, Fresno State, Hawaii, Louisiana Tech, San Diego State, UCLA, Washington, Wyoming

WAC

Membership: Colorado State, Eastern Washington, Idaho, Montana, Montana State, San Jose State, Utah State, Washington State

Big Sky

Membership: Idaho State, New Mexico, New Mexico State, Northern Arizona, Northern Colorado, Portland State, Sacramento State, UNLV, Weber State

So for those who made it through this, congratulations. Of course go visit the whole the thing that includes everything!

Some of my own notes on this is that there was no surprise to see Boise State, Utah, TCU and BYU move up into higher leagues, however I was surprised to see Nevada climb all the way to the Pac-12.

Only three of the original Mountain West teams remained in that league in 2012 from what was there in 2005, but when looking at realignment it is pretty close to what we see in reality.

On the other I am surprised that UNLV held ont to their spot on the WAC as long as they did, and New Mexico did not fall off until Mike Locksley came to be the head coach.

Also, Washington State has truly been a horrible program, so it will be interesting to see what Mike Leach can do in 2012.

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