Saturday’s UT had a thorough treatise on the criteria the BCS uses to consider adding another conference to its cartel.
Previously I have noted the financial discrepancy between the haves and have not’s which would make any mathematically-oriented observer wonder if college football can survive with half of the teams being unable to compete financially.
So, here are the three criteria the Mountain West needs to conquer:
Average rank of highest ranked team
Average ranking of all teams in conference
Number and ranking of teams in top 25
For the first two, the MWC must be in the top 6, for the third in the top 50%. (There are 11 conferences, 6 are currently in)
Lets look at this a couple of ways:
First, and most blatantly, to have those standards be accompanied by qualifiers is like saying that in order to win the MVP, Adrian Gonzales has to be in the top 6 in batting average, RBIs and home runs. Obviously, his rank in those categories need only be measured against all the other sluggers in that particular year. Unless, of course, Major League Baseball only wanted to have an MVP on rare occasions. Hmmmmm.
When you compare the Mountain West to the other conferences in the cartel, over the first two years of this 4-year evaluation process, you get The SEC way ahead with the Big-12 solidly in second and then the MWC, Pac-10 and Big East tied for third, then the Big 10 and ACC.
The other thing is that all three of these criteria are based upon rankings. And while the science that goes into these is reasonably sophisticated, the BCS bias permeates by virtue of the fact that the richer teams begin the season with higher rankings and then they get more home games and thus a greater inherent advantage. When you factor in the actual head-to-head contests (see Utah’s bowl record the past 9 years) you get a truer result.
The cartel, however, knows how to keep its edge. That would explain why undefeated TCU played undefeated Boise State this past year in the Fiesta Bowl. The cartel cannot have the WAC or MWC conference knocking off any of its big boys!
But there really is one more kicker. And that relates to what might happen if they let us in. Is it really good enough for SDSU to cross over into the land of milk and honey because the Horned Frogs, Utes, Cougars and Falcons have great programs? Does the cartel become okay should we happen to be in it? Or is the inherent dysfunction associated with the fact that 40 to 50 of the 119 Division 1-A schools will still be attempting to compete with a twenty-million-dollar annual handicap mitigated if we aren’t one of them?