Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Why Boise State Should Join the Mountain West Conference and Join (Save) the BCS

First of all, my sincere apologies. This is a music blog and here I go talking about football of all things. I guess it's okay when no one reads your blog anyway.

I've been meaning to write this for some time, but was spurred on finally by a fantastic article by Rick Reilly, which you can find here.

We've heard every year that the BCS system is flawed and there is typically an argument by the team who just missed (or was never considered for) the national title game. I hope to avoid rehashing the tired arguments that you've already heard here.

My interest lies chiefly with the Mountain West Conference. This is a conference that 5 years ago had very little respect in the nation and was very solidly located middle of the road, or maybe even closer to the end of the road, when it came to overall conference power. However, this is no longer the case. The MWC has steadily become a force to be reckoned with. This year is a great example, with Utah (arguably one of the best teams in the nation), TCU, Air Force, and Brigham Young all putting up great seasons.

Are they as strong as the Big 12 or SEC? No, probably not.
Are they as strong as the Pac-10 or Big-10? Overall, maybe not, but Utah and TCU could have competed very well in these conferences.
Are they as strong as the ACC or Big East? Yes. Most definitely. And these are automatic BCS berth conferences, to boot.

So why has the Mountain West been left out? Well, this falls under the category, I think, of the MWC being comprised of schools that have not traditionally been football powerhouses. Also, the population of the mountain west states has historically been much smaller than those in the eastern U.S. However, consider that last year, 5 of the top 10 fastest growing states in the U.S. were in the geographic mountain west region, and guess what, Utah tops that list.

Will the BCS get "fixed" any time soon? I don't know, but as far as Utah is concerned, the BCS is already fixed.

My solution is that the Mountain West needs to be changed ever so slightly and then included as a BCS conference, from which the winner will then have the opportunity to play for the national title. The WAC, Conference USA, Sun Belt, and MAC can't really make the same argument, so I think the argument is best focused on creating a strong conference of mountain west schools.

The primary change is that Boise State needs to be added to the MWC. Boise St. was undefeated this regular season, and then lost by 1 point in their bowl against TCU, the second place MWC school. Boise State and Utah are the 2 non-BCS schools that have won BCS bowl games. Utah has, in fact, won both BCS bowl games they have played in. Further, Boise State has been a consistently good program for the past decade, and a stronger conference is just the ticket for them to make the jump and silence the skeptics. According to some reports, they have already been invited to the Mountain West, so to an extent, they may control the BCS destiny of the top mountain west teams.

The other main change is the MWC must improve their strength of schedule for the next few years in order to gain the long term respect they need. These schools have beaten a number of BCS conference teams, but the biggest argument against them has always been their weak schedules. Add one more big conference team to the schedule, combined with the conference round robin of Utah, Boise St., TCU, Air Force, BYU, and even Colorado State, and you've got a conference that certainly deserves the same respect as the ACC and Big East. At the very least, the MWC winner should be allowed to play the winner of the ACC or Big East the last week of the season to determine their BCS status.

While I hate to discuss kicking schools out of the MWC, San Diego State is a weak link these days, and could be replaced by a school like Nevada, Tulsa or Rice, which would only strengthen the conference even more, and provide further justification for their inclusion as an automatic BCS berth school. Wyoming, UNLV and New Mexico are down as well, but showing promise, having beaten Tennessee, Arizona, and Arizona State this year, respectively.

My apologies to Hawai'i, but I just can't justify adding you into this conversation at this point.

1 comment:

utesfan100 said...

I stumbled across your blog searching for when the next time the MWC will discuss the issue of expansion. I believe the date is June 6th.

Some compelling numbers for Boise State can be found here.

The MWC with Boise State and a couple of more years like 2008 would warrant BCS talk.

Personally, I think the real fix to the BCS would look like this.