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.