Thursday, August 19, 2010

What the new conference relaignments bring....

Assuming the Cougars of BYU go all Notre Dame on us, the Mountain West is going to look quite different. In addition to BYU's apparent move, Fresno State and Nevada agreed to join the Mountain West. Basically, what the Mountain West is attempting to do, in my opinion, is lock up an automatic BCS bid. With the departure of Utah to the PAC-10 and now BYU deciding to go independent in football, the strength of these non-BCS conferences has to be reevaluated. First, let's look at the additions and subtractions to the Mountain West:

Additions to the MWC: Boise State, Fresno St., and Nevada (all from WAC)
Subtractions from the MWC: Utah (Pac-10) and BYU (Independent)

This pretty much spells doom for the WAC, as the only teams left are: San Jose St., Hawaii, Idaho, New Mexico St., Louisiana Tech, and Utah State. And according to WAC commissioner Karl Benson, the conference would actually consider adding FCS (1-AA) teams to fill out its conference.

Personally, although this will give the Mountain West two top teams (Boise/TCU), I still don't think the conference is worthy of an automatic bid -- the loss of Utah and BYU is larger than the addition of the WAC schools.

The big winner in all of this is the PAC-10. Not because they added Utah and Colorado, but because they now get an extra game (conference championship), which probably means a newer, better TV deal, which means national title implications late in the season, and most importantly -- means more moo-la. I don't see Nebraska's move to the Big 10 as groundbreaking, because the Big 10 already makes significantly more money than what the PAC- 10 for a myriad of reasons. Assuming the Big 12 eventually finds two more teams, this means the only major conference without a championship game will be the Big East...which is already the red-headed stepchild of the BCS conferences.

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