Mountain West Commissioner Craig Thompson is a very confident man. He recently had an interview with the Denver Post talking about the league's chances of becoming the seventh league to have an automatic berth to a BCS bowl game. Thompson feels that Boise State is enough to overcome Utah and BYU's exit. That is hard to believe because replacing just Utah for Boise State is a slight bump for the Mountain West, but to lose BYU who had two years in the top 25 is hard for the league to overcome just by adding one team.
Perhaps Thompson is probably banking on that BYU had a down year this year -- and who's stats do not count -- plus the emergence of Air Force hovering around the top 25 as well as San Diego State will help bring up the bottom of the league.
Thompson is correct when the overall numbers will not change too much, but to say they increase seem far fetched. Currently In two of the three criteria for automatic-qualifying status, the Mountain West ranks in the top six of two. Those are for the highest-ranked champion and final top-25 finishes. However, because of the low BCS rankings of Colorado State, Wyoming, UNLV and New Mexico, the MWC will need a waiver for the category of overall league BCS rankings, well unless these bottom dwellers really pick up the pace next year. If the Mountain West is in the top six in two of the tree categories, it stands to reason another league will need a waiver too; such as the Big East or ACC.
The ACC is not going to lose their BCS bid due to their contract with the Orange Bowl and the Big East has already received an exemption in the past, and if one uses logic -- as Craig Thompson is -- the Mountain West should then get a BCS bid. Thompson then says what everyone thinks about when talking about the BCS:
"They can do whatever they want. Absolutely, it's been done before," Thompson said. "Historically the precedent has been set with the Big East receiving a waiver previously. They could receive a waiver again."
The Big East probably will need a waiver again due to this year's debacle in their league, and then include that the ACC is currently in the same boat as the Mountain West by only being in the top six in two of three criteria. However, BCS Executive Director Bill Hancock has said that the ACC will keep their bid due to having a contract with the ACC.Those two leagues will get the benefit of the doubt, but with the Mountain West being a completely different league with no BYU, Utah and TCU; the BCS can and most likely will deny the league their petition. Thompson is correct when he says the BCS can do whatever they want, and what they want is to keep the as much money as possible with the current six BCS leagues.
The only way the Mountain West is going to get a BCS bid is if they can get into the top six in all three categories, but that will be difficult to do. Had Nevada and Fresno State been able to join in 2011 that would have helped the leagues cause get closer to that goal. The main hurdle for the Mountain West is the overall ranking of their teams. Teams like New Mexico, Colorado State, UNLV and until this year San Diego State are anchors on that number. Unless those teams make a miracle run in the top 25 next year the Mountain West will be at the mercy of the BCS Cartel, and we all know how this story will end.
While the numbers state that the Mountain West does have a case to be made to get access to a BCS bowl because the Big East and ACC are currently in the same boat by being top six in two of the tree qualifications, but the latter two leagues will keep their bid. The BCS will say because TCU's numbers who will count toward the Mountain West will not be in their league and will be held against them which means no BCS status for the Mountain West.
There will be a heated legal battle on behalf of the Mountain West if the Big East and ACC keep their bids and have similar numbers to the Mountain West while the MWC is left out in the cold. It is good to see Craig Thompson being confident, but I do not see the Mountain West getting a BCS bid for the 2012 and 2013 seasons. I am actually excited to see how this all plays out after the 2011 season, well unless the BCS leagues decide to take their ball and go home while reverting to the old even more corrupt bowl system.
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