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 CBSSports.com 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 CBSSports.com 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.

Comments

Since: Apr 5, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:59 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

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.



Since: Jun 5, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 8:44 pm
 

Shut up and play ball, MWC

I'm "still waiting" for a winning powerball ticket, too, but that doesn't mean it's actually going to happen, nor does it mean that I intrinsically deserve it.  
 
So, the rationale here seems to be "If we put together a big enough crapola conference, we deserve an automatic bid." The MAC has a championship game: maybe they should apply for a waiver, too.  I'm sure that a game between Eastern Michigan and Buffalo for a BCS berth would be really exciting.  

The bottom line: not only is the MWC a joke, but the new amalgamated CUSA/MWC will be less than the sum of its parts.  It's like they are trying to combine "annoying" and "pretentious" and have it total up to "tremendous."  

Sorry, boys: it just doesn't work that way.  
 



Since: Dec 30, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 7:14 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

They can take the ACC's autobid status away if they want to. But don't be surprised when the Orange Bowl invites an ACC team anyway. Money still talks and the ACC teams have plenty of it. They also make a lot of it - unfortunately the Big East and MWC cannot make that boast.



Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:38 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

First, I'll concede the ACC's horrendous BCS record. However, I would argue that conferences like the Big East and MWC would love to have the likes of Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech in their membership
Agreed. Miami has 5 national titles, Florida State has 2. Each school has multiple Heisman winners. Virginia Tech is consistently in the top 15 in football. It is unusual that the Florida schools in the ACC have had this dry spell (nearly 10 years). However, there should have been objective criteria in place to determine a conference's eligibility for AQ status. I can remember when the Pac-10 didn't have a top 25 team (this was a year or two before Carrol came to USC) so it is not limited to these two conferences.

I put the ACC with the Big Least since they have had a dismal record in BCS bowls over the past several years. The AQ status shouldn't have been guaranteed to any conference or any team (see Notre Dame---their mascot is also depicted in the dictionary under irrelavent). I don't see this trend continuing in the ACC, however, if your conference falls into the abyss for a few years-----or in the case of the Big Least, for nearly a decade, then you shouldn't be awarded AQ status and BCS money.



Since: Apr 23, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 6:18 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

First, I'll concede the ACC's horrendous BCS record. However, I would argue that conferences like the Big East and MWC would love to have the likes of Florida State, Miami, and Virginia Tech in their membership. FSU and Miami are sleeping giants and seem to be on their way to reclaiming their spots among the nation's elite while VT has won ten-plus games for something like 12 or 13 consecutive seasons. Sure, there are programs like Duke and Wake Forest in the conference, but even the mighty SEC has Vanderbilt.



Since: Mar 16, 2009
Posted on: February 23, 2012 5:10 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Agreed. I love this quote from the article as well:
In fact, the Big East’s numbers wouldn’t even qualify it to request an exemption.
That pretty much sums it up. Deathly afraid of the power the MWC was creating so they chose to "expand". The level of integrity in the AQ conferences is mind numbing, especially when you had bottom feeders like Ohio State/Tressel in the mix. Shame, shame.




Since: Oct 17, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:54 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

so the decision whether or not to allow the mwc a bigger piece of the pie is decided by those who want to keep the pie all to themselves?


yeah, good luck with that



Since: Jan 25, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 3:30 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

"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.”

Priceless. And True. If it hadn't been for West Virginia, the Big Least would have been winless in BCS bowls with the exception of that classic match up of Louisville over WAKE FOREST in 2007.

It is disappointing that other conferences can't petition the oversight commission to REMOVE a conference from AQ status. Like REMOVING the Big Least.......and the ACC. I would also get into the special deal that Notre Dame made for itself regarding AQ status, but Notre Dame has been irrelevant for so long it hardly matters.




Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 1:01 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Another reason the lawsuit wouldn't happen is that depsite not getting AQ status, the MWC would still be eligible for an at-large bid.  I don't think a court would side with the MWC considering they still have an avenue to be eligible. 



Since: Sep 22, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:54 pm
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

"Because the MWC qualifies for the AQ status and the Big East does not?  Not really much debate on the matter as the article above clearly states the Big East does not qualify.  Therefore, legally they have a VERY strong case.  Not to mention the new CUSA/MWC will be just as strong as the new Big East in football at the top.  That will become clear as the two leagues start start competition in 2 years.  Historically ECU, USM and Tulsa are the 3 best football schools out of both leagues.  Boise State is not going to be strong enough in this new league to carry it alone."

You are kidding me, right?  Cincy and Louisville are easily better overall in the last decade than at least two of those teams (ECU and Tulsa).  Furthermore consider that none of the teams you have mentioned have ever produced records good enough to make it to a BCS Bowl.  Boise State has been to two of them.  Furthermore you need to look at the entire picture.  In the proposed CUSA/MWC there are 8 teams that have overall records of under .500 (in other words, in their history they lose more often than they win)

New Mexico
UNLV
Colorado State
Wyoming
Tulane
UTEP
UAB
Rice

In the proposed Big East there are 4

Memphis
SMU
UConn
Temple

The point is that top to bottom the Big East is still stronger than the proposed merger


The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com