Wow, a lot has happened since we figured out what our standing was in our quest for the BCS. Utah left for the Pac-10, Boise State joined us and now BYU has left the building. Now there has been a lot of confusion over just exactly was the case of the Mountain West getting their BCS Automatic Qualification. Let's start with where we were before Utah left for the Pac-10 and Boise State was added. Here is a fantastic table showing the exact location of each conference:
So without Boise State and with Utah, we were 3rd in two of the prongs and 7th in the other. That made us eligible for an exemption and we would probably have it be granted with the location of the ACC in the qualification process. The ACC would not qualify for even exemption but they would still keep their AQ because of their Bowl Tie-In with the orange bowl. It would be impossible for Bill Hancock to say that a conference that does not qualify is a BCS Conference while a conference that qualifies is not one.
On to what happened after the expansionfest went on...
By July 1, 2010, we knew that Boise State was taking the place of Utah... This was essentially a swap considering that Utah and BSU had almost identical values when it came to the BCS. So at that point, the Mountain West was still in a very good position to get a BCS AQ, contrary to what some have said in threads on this site. Many people have said that the reason BYU left was because once Utah left, there was no chance for a BCS AQ. The facts just prove that wrong.
Then the second round of expansion happened over the past few weeks and the result was BYU independence. According to our BCS expert over at BCS Evolution, the MWC was still in contention for the BCS AQ even after the Cougars left. We are still 5th in both of the categories that we were previously 3rd and 7th in the other category making us still available for the exemption. The ACC still hasn't changed its stance from where they were because they didn't lose or gain anyone. That means we are still in the driver's seat.
Now the question is whether or not the MWC can stay ahead of the ACC with BYU now also gone. Boise State and TCU are essentially TCU and Utah, so we really only lose BYU. The Cougars were to bring in some much needed value for the next two years that the rest of the league now must make up. I think it is very possible. Air Force is expected to have 9 or 10 wins this season and could easily finish the season as the third top 25 team in the conference.
As for the rest of the conference, both TCU and Boise State are expected to go to a BCS Bowl and Boise State could possibly go to the National Championship. They should both finish the season in the top 5. Wyoming could get 8 or 9 wins this season and finish around 40. San Diego State is going to be a bowl team again. UNLV has a new coach and looked what happened to Wyoming last season when they got a new coach. Colorado State has a promising future with Pete Thomas. And New Mexico is well... New Mexico.
The point is that the rest of the league should pick up the slack that BYU has left behind.
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