Blog Entry

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

Posted on: February 23, 2012 10:54 am
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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.

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Comments
tallndniceabbie
Since: Feb 23, 2012
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:05 pm
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Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 12:01 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. 
I'll state it agin, the MWC does not AUTOMATICALLY qualify for AQ status.  They meet the criteria to REQUEST A WAIVER, which must then be granted by the POC AT THEIR DISCRETION.  The Big East also does not AUTOMATICALLY qualify, but they were previously granted a waiver in 2005 and 2009 and that status can't change until 2014 due to the BCS contracts. 

The Big East is also not dissolving.  Look, if the MWC weren't losing their members that got them into their position and dissolving prior to the end of the current BCS cycle, I would be all for them getting AQ status.  But the ancillary facts of the matter have some factors to play in the POC's decision. 

As for the Alliance/Merger being as strong as the Big East in football, that's your opinion, not fact.  Time will tell if it holds true, but I doubt it. 



Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:49 am
 

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.




Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:30 am
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

IF they don't split up that pot you may have one of the largest lawsuits in the history of the NCAA on our hands.  The ACC and Big East better vote for the MWC to get that access.

I don't think so, or at least I don't think the lawsuit would stand a chance of winning.  The BCS rules are pretty clear that the MWC does not automatically qualify for AQ status and that the MWC would need to be granted by waiver from the POC to get AQ status.  The MWC has already lost TCU and is about to lose Boise, their best 2 teams and the reasons they were even qualified to request a waiver in the first place.  There's no guarantee the POC would grant that waiver.  None.  I'd compare it to BC's WR Momah who recently applied for a 6th year of eligibility with the NCAA and was denied.  Based on *some* precedent (Case Keenum), he could have qualified, but the waiver was not granted.

I think the MWC is just trying to pull as many strings as they can.  If the MWC really thought they could get AQ status for two years, why would they even think of dissolution before 2014?  I can't imagine that the BCS would really continue AQ status (if it even sticks around) for the Alliance/Merger once they lose their best teams, change their name, and infill with the CUSA/WAC/Sun Belt. 




Since: Sep 20, 2011
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:15 am
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

IF they don't split up that pot you may have one of the largest lawsuits in the history of the NCAA on our hands.  The ACC and Big East better vote for the MWC to get that access.




Since: Apr 11, 2007
Posted on: February 23, 2012 11:03 am
 

MWC continues to wait on AQ BCS exemption

With the MWC dissolving in 2013, I can't imagine the BCS Presidential Oversight Committee granting this waiver.  No way they are going to split up their pot with a conference that admittedly won't be around in a year. 


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