Washington State blog CougCenter doesn’t see any winners in today’s conference reshuffling that saw BYU leave the MWC while Nevada and Fresno State jumped ship from the WAC to the MWC.
None of this means the MWC is in better shape than it was a few days ago. In losing BYU and Utah, the MWC likely also lost the automatic qualifier tag they were oh-so-close to picking up. Adding BSU helps, but Nevada and Fresno State do little to bolster the MWC’s position in the AQ bid formula. Without a bid, the MWC seems destined to keep a middling TV contract and small streams of revenue comparatively.
In the end, nobody wins this round of conference realignment. Following in the steps of the Pac-10 and trying to dissolve competitors conferences hurts these mid-majors. Once on the doorstep of legitimacy, the MWC found itself scrambling to replace two cornerstone programs. The WAC lost it’s best football program while serving as little more than a placeholder BYU before losing two more members and being crippled.
Syracuse blog Troy Nunes Is An Absolute Magician says there is a winner in the demise of the MWC…The Big East Conference.
The Big East doesn’t do anything proactively to protect itself…but then again it looks like it doesn’t have to.
Fact: The Mountain West has been considered a better football conference than the Big East for the past five years. You can probably give me stats and bowl games and attendance numbers that say otherwise but perception is reality.
Big East officials like to talk about how even and strong the conference is from top to bottom. But parity doesn’t get people excited. You know what does? Being elite. Going undefeated. Being ranked among the best teams in the nation. And that’s where the MWC (and new member Boise State) has been drop-kicking the Big East for the last few years.
Mountain West Connection wonders if Fresno and Nevada’s move to the MWC might end up bolstering the conference so much that BYU renegs on its independence? Was this just a ploy to get the conference to make the jump to 12 teams and improve its TV deal? That remains to be seen.
BCS Evolution looks at how the realignment affects the MWC's and WAC's chances of joining the BCS. The MWC is still in decent shape but the WAC has pretty much dropped to the back of the line.
Let's be perfectly clear on this point. Fresno State and Nevada have very little impact on the MWC's BCS numbers. I will have the final numbers up once the final announcements settle and the rumors die down.
BYU, Fresno State nor Nevada were higher than Boise State in either of the past two years, so the highest ranked team metric will be unchanged. The MWC would lose some computer strength, but still gain on their next closest conference, the WAC, in the average ranking metric. The WAC would likely fall behind C-USA. In the top 25 performance metric the MWC would fall from #1 to #5, but be near 70% of the top team, well over the 50% cutoff.
The MWC would still be in the spot of being eligible for an exemption to an automatic qualification with a diminished, yet still strong, case.
More updates and reaction to come on Thursday.