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Mountain West considers overhaul of conference's football title game

Mountain vs. West may not cut it in the new era of the College Football Playoff.

Brian Losness-USA TODAY Sports

An interesting article from Dennis Dodd of CBS Sports this morning reports that the Mountain West Conference is batting around the idea of changing the format of the conference's football title game.

Rather than simply taking the top team from both the Mountain and West divisions, the discussion, which is expected to begin next Sunday, promotes an alternative which could be described as "best vs. 2nd-best", which opens up the possibility of a championship in which the top two teams hail from the same division. This change could take place as soon as the 2016 season.

It's designed to eliminate the potential pitfall of a top-ranked team, on the doorstep of a New Year's bowl bid, being upset by a considerably inferior opponent, thus shutting the conference out entirely of the money. This recalls last year's title game, in which the 6-6 Fresno State Bulldogs faced the 10-2 Boise State Broncos, and the possibility that the 'Dogs could've derailed a six-million dollar train.

So what would the last couple years have looked like if this were applied retroactively?

2014: Colorado State, looking to avenge its early-season defeat, travels to Boise State for a matchup in which either team, when it emerges as the victor, is likely to have an edge on Marshall.

2013: Actually, this one would have been the same. Fresno State and Utah State both finished 7-1 within conference play.

2012: Though the Mountain West had only 10 teams this season, applying a conference championship game here would mirror the steps that the Big 12 are currently considering for the sake of the Playoff. In this season, a three-way tie occurred between Boise, Fresno and San Diego State, and the three teams went 1-1 against each other. Without knowing the exact tiebreaker involved, I'll just go off of ESPN's standings and say that an Aztecs/Broncos rematch would've been very enticing.

Depending on your affinity for underdog stories, this could be a good idea or a bad idea. Upsets are bound to happen along the line, anyway -- look no further than Western Kentucky's victory over Marshall a year ago, or San Jose State's win vs. Fresno in 2013, but is clearing a path in the season's most important game the right thing to do? Let us know in the comments.