Wednesday, December 14, 2011

You're a little late, Mountain West

Full disclosure: I am totally against BCS autobids. I hate 8-4 Big East teams playing in the Fiesta Bowl just because the Big East is allegedly the equivalent of the SEC/Big Ten/etc. That said, if you're in the top six-ish in the polls, you should get to play in a BCS game. Autobids shouldn't really be necessary in that regard but might be. I can live with the latter given the current system.

The Mountain West wants the former:
The Mountain West Conference is making a pitch for automatic entry in college football's Bowl Championship Series the next two seasons.

School presidents and chancellors on the league's board of directors voted Monday to submit the request, which, if approved, would assure its champion a berth in the BCS' five-game lineup at the end of the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

The league can point, among other things, to four top-10 finishes and 10 top-25 finishes in the BCS team rankings in the last four years, ending with this one. Boise State was No. 7 and TCU No. 18 this season.

That was part of the competitive criteria the Mountain West had to meet to make the automatic-qualification request.
So the Mountain West has actually reached the competitive requirements for an autobid, which are based on various things like cumulative win percentage and top-10 finishes over a rolling four-year period. Awesome. That's more than the Big East has done over the last four years; I guarantee that's part of the argument.

Here's the rest of the argument:

2011: No. 6 Boise State
2010: No. 2 (!) TCU, No. 9 Boise State
2009: No. 4 Boise State, No. 6 TCU
2008: No. 2 Utah, No. 7 TCU

That's ... like ... impressive. The problem (besides counting two of Boise State's WAC seasons): None of those teams will be in the Mountain West after this year. Utah is already gone, Boise State is headed to the Big East and TCU is headed to the Big 12. Those teams' achievements over the last four years mean absolutely nothing in terms of the Mountain West's quality going forward.

It's also worth noting that this is only the second time in the past four years the Mountain West winner hasn't gotten into the BCS. This year's version of TCU lost two games early, fell off the radar and couldn't make it back into the top 14 to get an at-large bid (Boise State still would have been SOL because of the not-the-conference-champion thing.); the 2008 version also went 10-2 (including a conference loss to Utah) and ended up in the Poinsettia Bowl. The teams at the top have usually been good, but it's pretty hard to look at the Mountain West and think, "yeah, that conference is so consistently strong from top to bottom that the winner should be guaranteed a BCS berth even at 10-2." That's really what we're talking about here.

Remember when the Mountain West announced the merger that isn't really a merger with Conference USA? Long story short, those are still gonna be separate conferences and they'll have a championship-type thing between the winners, so the Conference USA teams don't count for Mountain West qualification purposes. Anyway, here's what the Mountain West will look like once TCU, Boise State, San Diego State and UCF are gone:

Air Force (pending a Big East decision), Colorado State, Fresno State (2012), Nevada (2012), New Mexico, UNLV, Wyoming.

This explains everything (just pretend the Mountain West is zero):

Perfect. There is absolutely no possible/conceivable/comprehensible way that pile of blah can justify deserving a BCS autobid. What a bunch of different-and-now-gone teams did the last four years means nothing. TCU doesn't count. Utah doesn't count. Boise State (and its one freakin' year in your conference) definitely doesn't count.

Like I said before, every legitimately deserving MWC champion the past four years has gotten in. Changing that just as the conference becomes the WAC would make no sense at all and therefore will probably happen since this is the BCS we're talking about.


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