It looks as if the Mountain West Conference will become the seventh conference to receive an automatic BCS bid two years from now. Amidst a four-year evaluation process that began in 2008 and 2009, the MWC is the leading candidate to receive the seventh spot due in large part to Utah qualifying for a BCS game in 2008 and TCU following suit last season. Like almost everything that has to do with BCS rankings, it remains unknown what exactly all of the criteria are that the Mountain West Conference needs to fulfill over the next two years in order to secure the bid.
While I agree with the notion that some teams in the MWC have been very, very good over the last couple years, (Utah and TCU were undefeated in 2008 and 2009, respectively) the rest of the conference is weak. Utah, TCU, and BYU will probably be competitive year after year, but beyond that teams like Wyoming, New Mexico, Colorado State and San Diego State make the MWC one of the more top-heavy conferences in the country. I’ll admit if there has to be a seventh team added that will receive an automatic bid, the MWC is probably as good an option as any conference, but is it really necessary to create a situation in which seven out of ten BCS bids are automatic?
It’s no secret that the computer system that is the BCS standings is flawed. In fact, that’s one of the furthest things from a secret in all of sports. Leaving only three spots open for all of the other teams in college football to grab in order to gain a BCS berth is asking for trouble. Some of the conferences (Big East) have a hard enough time fielding a team that’s worthy of their BCS bid some years. Yes, Utah beat perennial powerhouse Alabama in 2008 to finish the season ranked No. 2 in the country, but don’t expect teams from the MWC to be that stellar every year. The way the automatic bids are designed now, with six conferences receiving a bid and the other four spots up for grabs, leaves a good amount of flexibility for “Cinderella” stories and teams from small conferences to climb to the top. The NCAA should leave it that way.
Two years into evaluation, MWC in good spot [ESPN College FB Nation Blog]