One can dream. From San Diego California to Fort Collins Colorado there was a hope, albeit slim, that BCS officials would find it in their heart of hearts to grant the Mountain West as an automatic qualifier. In no uncertain words the answer from the powers that be was an equivocal no. The mid-major’s in the American West will have to get to college football‘s biggest stage the old fashioned way; going undefeated.
Tuesday the BCS committee rejected AQ status to best conference outside of the big six majors. The decision is brutal blow for the kid without a date to the dance, but not one that should discourage fans of Mountain West schools.
Ever since the inception of the BCS, there have been seven so called BCS busters, schools from mid-major conferences that steal a bid. Out of the seven four were from the Mountain West with the other three all coming from the WAC. Boise State crashed the party twice and Hawaii appeared in the Sugar Bowl in 2007. Both BSU and UH are in the Mountain West this season.
With the BCS about to lose four teams to the playoff system in 2014 it makes sense that there would be room for a conference that consistently produces a quality champion. However, it wasn’t the past that the BCS committee was considering, but rather the future. BSU is likely jumping ship for the Big East in 2012 and TCU has already upgraded to the Big 12. Moving forward the Mountain West is left with a whole lot of uncertainty and no elite program to hang their hat on.
Will one of the programs left be able to step up and into the national stage as the Broncos and Horned Frogs have done? That remains to be seen. What is certain is that there is a race to join BCS conference “in-crowd.” The bad news for the Mountain West was not a surprise. What the rejection signaled, however, was the mid-major ship is sinking. The dominoes have already begun to fall on college football’s realignment.
The BCS committee recognizes the Mountain West is moving in the wrong direction losing its top two programs over two seasons. A merger with Conference USA is no sure thing.
But hey, it doesn’t hurt to ask right? The worst anyone can say is no. Besides, there’s always the Las Vegas Bowl.