Blog Entry

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:54 am

DALLAS – While the Mountain West finally knows exactly who will be playing in the league this season, the MWC may have to wait seven more months before knowing if it will be an automatic qualifying BCS league in the next two seasons.

In December, the Mountain West applied for a BCS exemption, which would allow the league champion to receive an automatic bid to one of the BCS bowls. The exemption must be voted on by the 12-member Presidential Oversight Committee, with nine votes needed for approval.

That committee, which consists of a president from each of the 11 Football Bowl Subdivision conferences and Notre Dame’s president, doesn’t appear in any rush to rule on the Mountain West’s AQ status.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock told Wednesday that the BCS will continue to try to get the Presidential Oversight Committee together on a conference call, but Hancock said there is no immediate deadline when the committee would vote and one may not be conducted until the start of the season, in late August or early September.

On Dec. 13, 2011, the Mountain West filed an exemption, claiming it met the necessary requirements to earn its champion an automatic berth to one of the five BCS bowls.

In its four-page letter to the Oversight Committee, the Mountain West stated that “important factors are at the core of the Committee’s consideration of this request for an exemption – precedent and performance. The BCS has a well-established history of granting automatic qualification exemptions. Equally important, the performance of the Mountain West during the evaluation period has clearly been deserving of automatic-qualifying status.”

The Mountain West claims the Big East was granted BCS access and kept its AQ without meeting qualification standards in February 2004 “apparently based on reputation and relationships, rather than demonstrated performance.”

Despite having only seven members for the 2004 season, after the departures of Miami and Virginia Tech to the ACC, the Big East retained its AQ status from 2004-07.

“It is only appropriate that the Mountain West's exemption request be considered in that context and a consistency of approach be maintained,” the league wrote to the committee.

Because the Mountain West, along with Conference USA, is dissolving and forming a new league in 2013, Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson told the Presidential Oversight Committee recently requested information regarding those plans for the new conference.

“We are in the process of answering,” Thompson said.

Because the Mountain West will be an entirely different league in 2013, Hancock said he doesn’t know if the MWC would receive AQ status in both the 2012 and 2013 seasons.

“No one knows about that,” Hancock said. “They might or might not. That would have to be revisited.”

The Mountain West met two of the three criteria for an exemption and were just outside at No. 7 in the third (needing to be ranked among the top six conferences in overall strength of the league based on the computer polls). The ACC and Big East also fell short of the threshold to retain their automatic qualification status after the four-year evaluation cycle (2008-2011), but aren’t being evaluated against these same standards. In fact, the Big East’s numbers wouldn’t even qualify it to request an exemption. 

Thompson said Wednesday he would characterize the Mountain West’s chances “as neutral right now.”

“TCU and West Virginia’s moves (to the Big 12 from the Mountain West and Big East, respectively) really effects three leagues, although two have AQ status,” Thompson said. “That shows the volatility of the college landscape.”

That landscape continues shifting and changing – sometimes on a weekly basis. While the Big East wouldn’t pay Boise State’s exit fees to leave the Mountain West this season, the Mountain West won’t technically exist next season. It will have totally new membership and a new name.

The Big East, which is close to adding Temple for the 2012 season, also will have a new look with anywhere from 11 to 13 members in 2013, depending if Pittsburgh and Syracuse leave early for the ACC. The Big 12, currently set for 10 members in 2012, could decide to expand for the 2013 season.

And who knows what else might happen involving conference realignment in the next 12-18 months?

One thing is certain: if the Mountain West is granted an exemption for the next two seasons, it would be mean one fewer team would qualify for an at-large spot in one of the five BCS bowls during the next two seasons.

If the MWC earns an exemption, the champions from the Pac-12, Big Ten, SEC, ACC, Big 12, Big East and MWC would all earn automatic berths to the BCS bowls. The remaining three spots would be filled by at-large selections, reducing the number of conferences with potentially two BCS bowl teams from four to three.


Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:56 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Lots of King Dicks on the boards, as always. Now, I enjoy proposing and disposing of things that aren't even remotely mine by right, but I try to leave those around without reason to doubt my connection to reality. Alas, some of you are not so unwilling to leave your relations, even complete strangers, with good and sufficient cause to order a commital hearing. You are aware, please God, that the BCS represents the collective property rights of the members of a voluntary association, are you not? That it isn't for you or me to tell them how they MUST conduct their business. That orders are best left to lawful authority, which none of you are (I'm guessing.)

It's THEIR ball, they being not all and sundry, but rather those whose clout brings the eyeballs that bring the bucks. Reality check: Do you really imagine that little Boise State and Tulane are among them? If your answer is yes to either, then hie thee to a mental health professional. Swiftly.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:35 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

exsgt33, It's the AQ conferences freaking ball! Do you also demand to carve your hosts Thanksgiving turkey and sleep in their master bedroom?

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:32 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

exsgt33 wrote: "No Conference should have AQ status.  The whole "have" & "have not" conferences in BCS is garbage. 16, 18, 20 team playoff is the only answer. If you win your conference and are ranked in the Top 20 you are in.  The rest of the field will be filled with the highest ranked teams." Is that what you told the Colonel, Sarge, when he did something that you considered stupid? It isn't your thing, nor is it mine. It's a voluntary association that continues as seems mete to its participants. The AQ conferences and ND got together, explored its opportunities, and entered temporary contracts with one another, the networks, and the several bowl committees. Out of the goodness of their hearts, or whatever, they also allowed a little bit to slop over to the other folks. A taste, nothing more. You don't get to carve the turkey when you're a guest, except in the unlikely event that you're invited to do so, nor do you get to call dibs on the master bedroom.

Answering questions that only exist inside your own head is rather pointless, even if there are millions of people who seem to agree with you. Especially when millions of people will continue to watch Michigan and Florida often, while all but a few thousand or tens of thousands will do so for many of the others.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:14 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Undertow1959, since the BCS was a means to an end, that end being the further and mutual enrichment of the schools who voluntarily came together for said purpose, you're building a house of cards. There is no "deserving" involved, this is about monetizing their assets for their advantage. They never intended to function as a benevolent society for the aid of poor orphans and Louisiana Tech. There's no need for the Little Sisters of the Poor to continue to participate; they're free to make their own arrangements with all and sundry who will have them.

Since: Dec 1, 2009
Posted on: February 29, 2012 4:06 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

MWC-UNLV-FAN: Born yesterday, were you, son? What else could possibly explain your leaving yourself open to the following rejoinder? TARK THE SHARK 'Nuff said. (Look it up if you have to do so.)

Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:18 pm

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

People still don't get it.  AQ is only a part of what motivated Boise State and SDSU to make this move.  Even if the MWC is granted a waiver for the next two years, BSU and SDSU are still going to go.  Why?  media revenue and exposure.  Maybe the Big East has a joke of a media deal by BCS conference standards but it is far better than anything the Mountain West or Conference USA has produced.  The best media exposure a Mountain West team gets is 3-4 non-conference games on ESPN.  The rest are carved up between a combination of CBS Sports, Versus (now NBC Sports) and the Mtn network.  In otherwords no one sees Mountain West football teams conference games.  C-USA tried a fox deal with an early exit from their ESPN contract (currently in dispute) and gets great exposure for a few games and then drops off the face of the earth for the rest.  The bottom line is that as dumb as the Big East's moves have been they pale in comparison to the moves of Craig Thompson and Britton Banowsky.  While it is true that the merger has potential to improve their exposure, virtually all of the media markets that would've given them credibility are gone.  The only way Boise State would bail on the Big East at this point would be if the Big 12 came knocking (and let's face it that's not going to happen anytime soon).

Since: Nov 19, 2006
Posted on: February 24, 2012 10:51 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

With Temple joining the Big East, this could be a very important decision.  The Big East would keep it's AQ status with, or without Boise State and San Diego State.  Obviously it would be much better for those two schools tostay in the MWC, especially if the MWC gets an AQ status, and then all of this AQ status is laid to rest in 2014, as many expect.  I think all of us want to see the best teams in the BCS games.  That is why I favor a rule that would eliminate any AQ Conference from getting an automatic BCS Bowl Bid if their Champion lost 3 or more games.

Since: Feb 11, 2009
Posted on: February 24, 2012 3:37 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Something needs to give on this automatic qualifier thing.  First of all, the Big East is two leagues, put together for the purposes of two different sports.  It's time to get a little consistency there - you're either in the conference for all sports or you're not in the conference.  Undoubtedly, if the MWC were granted automatic qualifier status, you wouldn't see BSu making any kind of jump but rather staying with the MWC where they can participate in all sports.  There's really nothing wrong with an conference having AQ status, if the conference is deemed worthy by the on-field pay of their champions.  And if there is some sort of playoff system put in place, it should only include conference champions.  As long as we're talking about keeping conferences strong, we might as well make the regular season mean something. 

Since: Feb 27, 2011
Posted on: February 24, 2012 1:23 am

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Hilariously, the MWC has "shut up, and played ball." They won on the field, and are more qualified, even by the ridiculously uneven rules, to have AQ status. TCU, Boise State, etc. have all shown that the MWC should be in. Of course, the apologists for the aristocrats think it's just fine to hand the award trophy to their favorite rich kid for being rich. No worries, the ratings for the "don't worry about the games" farce will continue to tank, while the hungry underdogs will continue to get stronger. Good luck trying to sweep the ocean back, BCS. Your days are numbered.

If the BCS boys are smart, they'll grant the MWC the AQ status, which might keep Boise State right where it is, and then they'll have one less conference (the Big East) to deal with. 

Since: Apr 12, 2008
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:06 pm

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

One of the points that some may be missing, is that although Boise State and SDSU have declared their intentions to leave for the Big East, there is nothing binding or holding them to that decision.

They can simply change their minds before entrance.  With the addition of Fresno State, Nevada, and Hawaii a case is still to be made for the Mountain West.  You saw TCU backtrack and leave for greener pastures. 

This to me is an equel reason, along with the buyout clause to the MWC, as to why BSU didn't choose to leave for next Fall.

With the difficulties that BSU is having in finding a home for the remaining sports, I wouldn't write off BSU simply choosing to stay in the Mountain West.

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