Mountain West Could Join BCS Royalty Just In Time For Revolution

The Mountain West Conference could become a BCS AQ conference as early as the 2012 season, but AQ status likely won't officially matter for very much longer, and the MWC's teams are all set to join a new conference in 2013 anyway.

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Mountain West Could Become BCS AQ Conference In 2012

The Mountain West Conference could become a BCS AQ conference as early as the 2012 season.

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Mountain West Conference Needs Appeal To Become BCS League

Due to the obvious benefits associated with being a part of the Bowl Championship Series, the Mountain West Conference has been trying to become a BCS league for quite some time. The imminent departures of power schools Utah, BYU, and TCU put a serious dent in their quest for admission into sports' ultimate old boys network, the Mountain West is adding some new teams that will keep them in the hunt for a BCS spot.

Boise State, Hawaii, Fresno State, and Nevada all have strong football programs, and their additions will keep the Mountain West the seventh best football conference in college football at absolute worst. They have an outside shot at getting into the BCS with these new schools, but they'll have to get in upon appeal. There are three criteria that conferences have to meet to get an automatic seat at the BCS table, and the Mountain West would meet two of the three if their numbers were calculated with Boise State and TCU in the conference, but with Utah and BYU out.

1. The conference must finish among the top six in a listing of the average of each conference's highest ranked team at the end of each regular season.

2. The conference must finish among the top six in a listing of the average computer rankings of every conference's full roster of teams at the end of each regular season.

3. The conference must accumulate a score of at least 50 percent of the highest ranking conference's score in the Adjusted Top-25 Performance Ranking, which measures how many teams each conference placed in the BCS top 25 and adjusts for conference size.

Criteria No. 2 is the big hang-up for the Mountain West, as SB Nation's MWC blog Mountain West Connection explains:

Category two which is the average of all the teams in the league is what is holding the Mountain West down with struggling teams like Wyoming, UNLV and New Mexico.

Even with the bottom teams hurting the overall strength of the league, and looking just at the numbers the Mountain West is in a good position to gain a waiver because they are ahead of the Big East and ACC in two separate categories, but it will still come down to a petition to get in.

Of course, Congress might make sure that the BCS is not even a thing before the Mountain West gets a chance to play with the big boys, but that's a completely different animal. As long as the BCS exists, the Mountain West conference wants to be a part of it, and they have an excellent case for joining.

For more on the Mountain West Conference and this developing story, check out Mountain West Connection.

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BCS Rankings: What Happens If TCU Or Boise State Makes The BCS National Championship Game?

Sure, at this point it seems unlikely that either TCU or Boise State will get a chance to play in the BCS National Championship Game this year. Neither team has the strength of schedule to get it just by going undefeated, and both are likely to be less appealing than a one-loss SEC champion, be it Auburn or Alabama.

But what if Oregon loses, or both Auburn and Alabama fall out of the race? That's what BCS Evolution is wondering, too, and our BCS expert comes up with two possible narratives.

If TCU or Boise State go to the BCS championship game, the big conferences will want a playoff to weed them out in the early rounds.

The idea of this argument is that the major conferences support the current system to exclude potential outsiders from championship consideration. Based on this premise, if TCU or Boise State make the championship game the BCS will have failed this, and these conferences will have no reason to fight a playoff.

If TCU or Boise State go to the BCS championship game it will prove the system works, removing the need for a playoff.

This is certainly the angle (BCS executive director) Bill Hancock would take. This would put a serious dent in arguments that it is impossible for teams from outside the automatic qualifying conferences to earn their way to the championship game. This could be further argued by pointing out that the MWC is on pace to be considered for an automatic qualification for 2012 and 2013.

I would tend to agree with the former verdict — sure, the BCS tossing a bone to the scrappy mid-majors once in a while would quiet the playoff clamor, but the big conferences want the prestige and the cash that comes with national championships as often as possible.

You can vote on which verdict is right at BCS Evolution.

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