Skip to content

Mountain West inclusion to BCS? Don’t hold your breath


For those who are of the mindset that the Mountain West conference is equally deserving of a spot at the grown-ups table in college football, prepare to — once again — be disappointed.

For those who relish in the status quo, feel free to keep your hand firmly placed on the head of your metaphorical kid brother as he continues to violently swing at air.

According to information obtained by the San Diego Union-Tribune, the BCS pundits are currently three-quarters of the way through a four-year evaluation period (2008-2011) to determine the continued membership of their exclusive, no-girls-allowed club.

The process, which uses a three-pronged statistical smorgasbord of numbers, evaluates the status of the six current “power conferences” and whether any additional conferences should be included.

And, as of today, it would appear the Mountain West will still be on the outside looking in come 2012.

The reason is because each conference, in order to maintain BCS membership, must achieve a minimum rank in each of the three performance-based criteria established by the BCS. The statistical criteria includes: average rank of highest-ranked team (must be in top six), average computer ranking of all teams in conference (must be in top six) and number and ranking of teams in Top 25, adjusted for league size (must be in top 50 percent).

Trust me, that was just as confusing to write as I’m sure it was to read.

So, to visualize how the Mountain West fared against other BCS conferences, click HERE. Go ahead, I’ll give you a minute to look it over.

The numbers show the Mountain West ranks among the top six conferences in college football in two of the three categories, but fails to rank in the top six in “average computer ranking measuring the overall strength of the league”.

In order to receive an automatic bid as a BCS conference, the Mountain West would have to meet all three statistical criteria. The MWC could also win an appeal with the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee “if it is in the top six in the first two criteria, or top five in one and top seven in the other, AND within 33.3 percent of top conference in the third.”


This is not about pushing for the MWC out of some unfounded need for equality. This is about what’s doing best for the sport. The numbers used to come up with this “criteria” are petty. They’re the bouncer at a night club who allows some people in while others wait, all in the hope of improving their own self image. They’re the opposite of the big picture. More than anything, they’re truly beyond explanation and logic. I imagine if someone were to try and pitch these numbers to a CEO of a major company, it would go something like this:

There are too many if’s, and’s or but’s — most of it determined by somebody not strapping on the shoulder pads each Saturday — in the current postseason format. If a team can play, they’ve earned the opportunity to compete for a greater goal.

And that’s what is best for the sport.

Permalink 10 Comments Feed for comments Latest Stories in: Air Force Falcons, BYU Cougars, Colorado State Rams, Mountain West Conference, New Mexico Lobos, Rumor Mill, San Diego State Aztecs, TCU Horned Frogs, Top Posts, UNLV Rebels, Utah Utes, Wyoming Cowboys
10 Responses to “Mountain West inclusion to BCS? Don’t hold your breath”
  1. WingT says: May 16, 2011 9:17 PM

    “Mountain West inclusion to BCS? Don’t hold your breath”

    This is very upsetting news Ben. I am all torn up. #sarcasm :)

  2. teke184 says: May 16, 2011 9:25 PM

    If this were a MWC which had Boise, Utah, TCU, BYU, Nevada, Fresno State, and so forth, I could see a BCS bid because that conference is certainly better than the current Big East, pre-TCU, and probably better than the ACC has been since Miami went into the toilet.

    Unfortunately for the MWC, Utah, TCU, and BYU leaving means that they take a lot of the firepower for that argument with them.

    At this point, I’d be more interested in seeing the Big East stripped of their bid and adding another At-Large team.

  3. WingT says: May 16, 2011 9:29 PM

    Why not just increase the number of conferences that get automatic bids?

  4. Ben Kercheval says: May 16, 2011 9:38 PM

    It’s cool, WingT. I finally just came down off my anger high. :)

    In with Jesus, out with Satan.

  5. reents says: May 16, 2011 11:24 PM

    Good, The BCS has the best conferences as it is right now.

  6. Slim Charles says: May 16, 2011 11:46 PM

    Boy, what a great systeHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA

    Seriously, when it takes that long to explain something as simple “Duh, this is how we tell what team be the goodest” there’s a big problem.

  7. frug says: May 17, 2011 12:14 AM

    Trust me, that was just as confusing to write as I’m sure it was to read.

    So you are saying it wasn’t remotely difficult to write? You can argue about the fairness of the rules, but there is nothing convoluted about them. It is simply a quantification of A) the strength of the conference’s best team B) the number of top teams it has and C) the depth of the league.

    Now I will admit that the rules were created to preserve the status of the current AQs, especially since the qualification criteria aren’t actually rules but guidelines (the current AQs still have the right to chose their own members regardless of the evaluation process). Plus, the ACC has a separate contract with the Orange Bowl to serve as the tie in for the league’s champion.

    My personal opinions (not that anyone cares)? A MWC headed by Utah, BYU, TCU and BSU and supported by solid mid-level programs like Air Force, Fresno State and Hawaii would certainly be deserving of AQ status (particularly if Nevada’s success last year was a breakthrough and not a fluke). Now though? BSU and some decent second and third tier teams can’t offset the presence of terrible programs like New Mexico and Wyoming.

    I also feel like the Big East is hanging by a thread. They typically have one at least one top ten team (especially if you give them credit for TCU) and their worst teams are nowhere near as bad as any of the non-AQs, so they clearly a step above the Sun Belt, WAC, MAC, CUSA and (probably) the reformed MWC, but it would hardly be an injustice if they were to lose their AQ status.

  8. thefiesty1 says: May 17, 2011 12:35 AM

    The Mountain West plays much better football than the Big East and even the ACC. But, NO conference should get an automatic bid, not to mention ND, if they are ranked high enough. Just use the bowls for a real playoff.

  9. edgy says: May 17, 2011 11:16 AM

    I always knew that the last one was going to hurt them and what’s funny is that they rank ahead of the Big Least in 2 of the 3 categories and the Big Least is 6th in the category that they’re lacking in, to their 7th. They also beat the ACC in 2 of the 3 categories so that’s also something that they will probably point out in their appeal.

  10. olskool711 says: May 17, 2011 4:47 PM


    I thought we were getting rid of that scam and instituting a playoff.

    …Must have been dreaming.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to leave a comment. Not a member? Register now!