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Mountain West Conference Expansion Checkup: How much do Fresno St, Houston or Nevada help?

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The MWC Expansion Checkup will happen every Friday and will feature topics of MWC Expansion.

In my first MWC Expansion post, I went over how Boise St. would get to the MWC. For those of you who haven't read it, I'll go over it again, because the rules apply almost the same to Boise St. as they do to Fresno St, Houston and Nevada. With the BCS Evaluation period ending in 2011, we are going to need these teams in the conference during that season. According to the BCS, if we have them in the conference during the 2011 season, we get all their stats for the BCS Evaluation Period. In order for Fresno St., Houston or Nevada to be able to be in the conference during the 2011 season, they have to have accepted an invite from the MWC by July 1, 2010 according to WAC and C-USA rules (Fresno St. and Nevada are currently in the WAC and Houston is currently in C-USA). WAC and C-USA rules state that in order to leave for another conference, they have to give at least one years notice. Also according to the WAC and C-USA, the deadline for notice is July 1st.

A few weeks back the BCS released its criteria to become an automatic qualifying conference. According to the criteria, the Mountain West Conference is currently third in category one, seventh in category two, and third in category three. In order to become the seventh BCS automatic qualifying conference you either have to be at least sixth in every category, or if you are at least third in two categories and seventh in the remaining one, you can make a petition for an exemption. We are currently in position for a petition to be on the safe side we should try to get category two to at least sixth, and can anyone really trust the BCS to anything remotely fair.  In order to do that we have to jump either the Pac-10 or Big 10 in category two to make it into the top six.

Category two is the final regular season rankings of all conference teams in the computer rankings used by the BCS each year. The way they compile this is with each year's final regular season computer rankings for each team and is then averaged together. The MWC is currently at 58.61, the Big 10 is currently at 50.91, and the Pac-10 is currently at 49.85. If the Mountain West is to jump either of those conferences, they are going to have to make major strides in the computer rankings, and the only real way to do that without expansion is through major non-conference success (so in-otherwords root for any MWC team during a non-conference game), and the bottom teams like San Diego State, UNLV, and New Mexico need to play much better.

The problem is this probably will not be enough to bring the average up 8 points. The only real way to get us close is through expansion. In the first MWC expansion post I said that Boise St. would make our stats in category two go up to 53.46. That does get us a lot closer, but that is not enough to jump the other conferences. Expanding to 12 teams instead of 10 could put us over the top.

Out of the 3 candidates I am discussing, Houston makes the most sense to help for the BCS because their BCS stats are somewhere in the low 40's, and that would probably bring us to around 52 or 51 in category two as a conference. They also were already ranked 23rd at the pre-season polls that were released a little while back. For a side note, Houston also made an NCAA Tournament appearance in basketball this past year and might be somewhat good in hoops. The cougars also are in a huge TV Market and might be able to turn some heads to The Mtn. if they make it to a BCS Bowl.

For money reasons, it would make more sense to add 12 insted of 11 because if the MWC adds 12, they are able to have a championship game, and that means a lot more money than if you have 11 teams. That is why you would add one more school even though both of the remaining candidates would bring down your BCS category two stat very slightly.

Fresno St. in my mind makes more sense than Nevada because they are in a bigger T.V. market, better recruiting market, and in my opinion they look like they will be better than Nevada over the next two years. Fresno St.'s current category two statistic is 54.83. That is less than the average of about 50 the Mountain West Conference will need in order to ensure BCS status. Fresno St. is in the state of California which is arguably the biggest recruiting market in the country. They also are in Fresno which is another big T.V. market, and if Fresno St. does well, they also could turn some heads to The Mtn.

Out of the 3 candidates, Nevada seems to make the least sense to me. They are not in a big recruiting market or T.V. market, their current category two stat is the same as Fresno St. at 54.83 and I am expecting them to play worse then Fresno St. in the next two years. Nevada would make much less sense than Fresno St. and I do not expect the MWC to add Nevada if they expand to 12 and if they did their research.

As a whole, adding Fresno St., Houston or Nevada get us practically on top of the line needed to ensure BCS status. Fresno St. and Houston also bring in huge recruiting and T.V. Markets.

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