Posted on: August 18, 2010 6:05 pm
The Mountain West just announced on its Twitter account that it had offered invitations to Nevada and Fresno.
Earlier in the day, the Salt Lake City Tribune reported that BYU would leave the MWC and go independent in football and move its other sports to the WAC. The MWC's move seems to confirm that report. The league is attempting to stay alive by adding the Bulldogs and Wolf Pack.
It looks now like the two leagues are trying to put each other out of business. The old 16-team WAC was almost killed when half the teams broke off in 1999 to form the Mountain West.
If both schools leave for the MWC then the WAC is on the clock. The addition of Nevada and Fresno don't do much for the MWC's BCS numbers but that's hardly the point right now. It's all about survival now. The MWC has lost power teams Utah and BYU in the last few weeks.
As of now, none of this impacts BCS leagues causing the Big Bang (superconferences). The WAC will likely have to retrench with the likes of Montana (moving up from Division I-AA).
How the MWC might look in 2011
San Diego State
Posted on: August 18, 2010 3:42 pm
Edited on: August 18, 2010 4:26 pm
BYU football has gone independent in football, the Salt Lake City Tribune is reporting.
Essentially, one of the country's foremost football factories was forced into a decision by the dynamics of the BCS era: Was it easier chasing a BCS bowl by winning the Mountain West or by finishing in the top 14 in the BCS?
The key words are "eligibility" and "automatic". Non-BCS league champions get an automatic berth by finished in the top 12 or top 16 if it finishes above a BCS conference champion. Any team that does not win its conference (and independents besides Notre Dame) is eligible for a BCS bowl if it finishes in the top 14. BYU finished with its highest final BCS ranking last season, 14th, and was eligible. But, it was upstaged by Florida, Iowa and Boise who were all ranked higher and were taken by BCS bowls.
Top 14 only guarantees eligibility for BYU as an independent. Other than that, it would have to finish No. 1 or No. 2 to play in a BCS bowl.
So what's better, conference or independence? BYU may have answered the question by breaking up the Mountain West and keeping all the money for itself. No one knows for sure if the MWC is breaking up but it is certainly on life support with only eight teams and little around it to bolster those automatic BCS hopes.
At the root of BYU's decision is the need for more television exposure. The league's decision to get off ESPN a few years ago and start its own network has had questionable results. The decision, ironically driven by the BYU president at the time, was based on Mountain West teams playing a lot of weekday games. The conference presidents wanted to play more on Saturday even if it meant leaving ESPN. The four-year-old mtn. has yet to turn a profit.
As an independent, BYU can create its own TV-friendly schedule. The school also has its own HD network, BYU TV.
The paper is also reporting that Boise State could return to the WAC. There is no buyout for Boise leaving the Mountain West at this point. Certainly the Mountain West's bid to get automatic BCS access in 2012 and 2013 is all but dead.
Once Utah went to the Pac-10 that put the Mountain West in bad shape for its BCS bid. Each program charts a path of least resistance to what it considers "success." BYU has won a national championship, ironically, in the old bowl system. In the BCS era, it has been upstaged by Utah and TCU in its own conference and Boise State from its region.
If it is going to keep falling short of a BCS bowl, it might as well keep all the money while doing it. BYU reportedly will place all its other sports in the WAC.
Boise was a de facto independent in the WAC because it was so far above its conference competition. The top-12 automatic spot for non-BCS conference champions goes only to the highest-ranked team, even if more than one are in the top 12.
Look for BYU to schedule other independents (including Notre Dame) plus Utah. It can still play its old WAC rivals as well. Heck, a similar schedule has worked for Boise.
Posted on: August 18, 2010 10:58 am
So far it's only anonymously sourced, but there are multiple rumors and reports that BYU is considering leaving the Mountain West to become an independent.
BYU would be prompted to leave the 11-year-old league after Utah bolted to the Pac-10 this summer. BYU may feel that the conference will ultimately be diminished financially and competitively without Utah. With a worldwide following, BYU could keep all its revenue becoming a mini-Notre Dame: Playing football independently and putting its other sports in the WAC.
BYU pulling out would severely damage the Mountain West which thought this summer it hard shored up its BCS chances by grabbing Boise State (beginning in 2011). With Utah leaving for the Pac-10, the Mountain West would be down to eight teams. BYU was not invited to the Pac-10 because it made little sense for the league to get two teams from the Salt Lake City market. Also, there were academic concerns about BYU compared to other Pac-10 institutions. It is neither a member of the elite Association of American Universities nor a highly rated Carnegie research institution. Seven of the 10 current Pac-10 members are both. The other three are either one or the other. Utah, for example, is rated by Carnegie.
The MWC is hoping for automatic BCS qualifier status in 2012 and 2013. The Mountain West is currently being evaluated (along with all other I-A leagues) on a four-year rotating basis. The BCS is halfway through that evaluation process.
"You've got to solve the non-football side of the equation," Swarbrick said, "but it can work. I don't know if there will be others but it wouldn't shock me because the landscape is so fluid."
Swarbrick added he had not spoken to any particular school about it becoming an independent. There are currently only three independents in Division I-A -- Notre Dame, Army and Navy.
This is what BYU AD Tom Holmoe told the Salt Lake City Tribune in July:
"Independence is an option that obviously has been out there. We will look at everything. We have looked at everything. There are pros and cons to the Pac-10, the Big Ten, the Big 12, the Mountain West Conference and independence. With all these things there are pros and cons.
"So what you have to do is you have to weigh those and measure them against what? What is right for BYU. And not for what is right for BYU in the year 2010, but what is right for BYU into the future.
Posted on: June 11, 2010 1:23 pm
Edited on: June 11, 2010 1:57 pm
It's a few days late but Boise State will become the 10th member of the Mountain West Conference.
Posted on: June 7, 2010 12:32 pm
Edited on: June 8, 2010 11:49 am
(With expansion news changing by the nanosecond, I thought it would be a good idea to introduce a new feature to Dodds and Ends. Welcome to The Expand-o-meter, a daily summary of expansion-related stuff. Think of it as the blog equivalent to a pair of Sansabelt slacks. It expands and contracts according to the size of the bloated belly of college football. The E-O-M will last as long as expansion does or until vacation, whichever comes first.)
Days college athletics has been held hostage (since Big Ten announced expansion exploration on Dec. 15): 174
Who is having the best day: Mountain West which might reap a windfall if it gets leftover Big 12 teams. The MWC was meeting Monday and was expected to invite Boise State to bolster its BCS chances. According to reports, Boise will have to wait as the Mountain West waits to see how the national landscape shakes out.
Who is having the worst day: Big Ten. Rapid Pac-10 expansion is forcing Jim Delany's hand. JD is desperately trying to force the Irish into his league with Texas now out of play. For a brief moment there, it almost looked like the big guy almost lost his leverage.
Quote of the day: "No wonder Baylor is fighting so hard not to get left behind by Texas, Texas Tech and Texas A&M, they think this is the rapture." --a tweet from @Pac16Conference
Link of the day: End of the Big 12? Blame commissioner Dan Beebe for not pushing a playoff.
What's on tap: Watch for formal invitations this week to Big 12 schools from Pac-10 commissioner Larry Scott.
Posted on: May 17, 2010 7:16 pm
Edited on: May 17, 2010 9:50 pm
...for the Big Ten spring meetings
Delany: "Essentially these decisions are local ... The schools are serving stakeholders -- coaches, athletes and fans, in some respects, not stockholders. And so there is always a stakeholder to make a claim on resources. Whether it's to have the best law school or the best medical school, no one questions that kind of competition. No one questions that Harvard or Texas have a [big] endowment and don't share it with Hofstra and South Alabama.
"But intercollegiate athletics is sort of unique in that institutions that have certain advantages -- based on demographics or history or tradition or fan base -- somehow are seen as the source of resources for others that do not [have them].
"I don't think that's going to happen anytime soon, but there's certainly a lot of gnashing of teeth, like why doesn't the Rose bowl spread its revenue around to Boise State? Well, partially because we developed it. We built it, it's our tradition, and to the extent that it's successful, it's successful for our institutions. So that's essentially a home-rule approach. I think it's an honest approach. I don't think there's anything wrong with money, but life's a lot easier when you have than when you don't."
• Several reports state the Mountain West presidents will consider inviting Boise State from the WAC next month. The presidents will meet in early June with the Boise State issue high on the agenda.
The Mountain West is seeking to bolster its BCS profile and could get a huge boost by adding the Broncos. The conference could earn a temporary, automatic BCS bid in 2012 and 2013. On the other side of that is possible attrition. Boise State could be joining a league that could possibly lose any one or all of the following: Utah, TCU and BYU.
Boise would have to be invited by July 1 for its record to count toward that 2012-2013 BCS goal.
• The Fiesta Bowl and University of Phoenix Stadium are diving into the neutral site pool.
• Here is Big 12 revenue distribution as of 2007. Note that no two schools in the league equal what one Big Ten school per year these days, $22 million.
1. Texas, $10.2 million
Source: Omaha World-Herald
• The Chicago Tribune said last week that the $22 million in revenue earned each year by each Big Ten school could double by 2015-16. Also, according to the Trib, look for more weeknight games by the Big Ten. The league traditionally didn't play weeknight games but recently changed its stance because of the advantage of stand-alone game/commercials promoting the Big Ten. Both Ohio State and Indiana will kick off the season with games on the night of Sept. 2.
Posted on: February 10, 2010 10:30 pm
Edited on: February 11, 2010 2:02 pm
The Mountain West is on notice.
The Big East too.
Don’t forget the Big 12 which could be ripped asunder.
One or all of those conferences are going to be impacted if, as expected, the Pac-10 and Big Ten expand in the near future.
After writing about the big picture on Wednesday, we’re here to speculate freely about how other conferences might be impacted.
Mountain West: After leading his league to the brink of BCS automatic qualifying status, commissioner Craig Thompson has to be concerned.
A BYU-Utah defection to the Pac-10 makes a lot of sense. In basketball, the league has travel partners (Washington-Washington State, Arizona-Arizona State). The Utes and Cougars are bitter rivals but would be make ideal additions due to the far-flung nature of the league.
I still don’t know how the Pac-10 views the academic aspect of expansion, so I’m not sure how it views the combination of a state school (Utah) and what amounts to a private school (BYU). If there is a fallback, it could be San Diego State.
If the Big Ten were to take Missouri, that’s a potential three teams ripped from the Mountain West and could mean the end of the league. The three most likely replacements would be Boise State, Fresno State and Texas-El Paso.
The best non-BCS league could find itself teetering on the edge of existence, or at least relevance.
Big 12: The biggest hit comes if both Colorado (Pac-10) and Missouri (Big Ten) leave.
If Missouri or Colorado leave, the Big 12 would go get TCU from the Mountain West. While that would wound the MWC, the league would most likely then invite Boise State.
If both Colorado and Missouri left, the Big 12 would get TCU and, maybe, Houston? Either way, the Big 12’s TV stature would shrink.
Big East: The league was almost wiped out when the ACC expanded five years ago. What happens if Pittsburgh, Syracuse or Rutgers is taken by the Big Ten?
Most likely the Big East would raid Conference USA for Central Florida. That would get the league further into Florida. UCF is third-largest school in the country (53,000) behind Ohio State and Arizona State. There's got to be some football players in there somewhere. Plus, the school has made a huge commitment to facilities.
After the wounds caused by the ACC, another hit could cause the end of the Big East in football.
My latest look on how the Big Ten, Pac-10, Big 12 and MWC might look in the future.
Tags: ACC, Air Force, Arizona, Arizona State, Baylor, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Boie State, BYU, Cal, Central Florida, Colorado, Colorado State, Fresno State, Illinois, Indiana, Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Kansas State, Michigan, Michigan State, Minnesota, Missouri, Mountain West, Nebraska, New Mexico, Northwestern, Ohio State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Oregon State, Pac-10, Penn State, Purdue, San Diego State, Stanford, TCU, Texas, Texas A&M, Texas El-Paso, Texas Tech, UCLA, UNLV, USC, Utah, Washington, Washington State, Wisconsin, Wyoming
Posted on: October 18, 2009 6:27 pm
Coaches of the year at the halfway point (seven weeks down, seven weeks to go)
ACC: Paul Johnson, Georgia Tech. With the upset of Virginia Tech, Johnson is on track to win the league in his second season. Who says the triple option won’t work in major-college football. The Yellow Jackets completed one pass on Saturday.
Big East: Brian Kelly, Cincinnati. They were picking for the middle of the pack after losing 10 starters on defense. Kelly took a bunch of offensive players, made them linebackers and balanced a team that was going to score points with Tony Pike and Mardy Gilyard on offense. The question is how long can Cincinnati hold onto Kelly if he wins the Big East again, especially if Notre Dame opens up?
Conference USA: Kevin Sumlin, Houston. Not “Sumlan” as a wire story called him on Saturday. Be assured, the Cougars’ coach is known throughout the industry. After defeating three BCS-conference teams, Houston is the favorite to win Conference USA. Kelly should be up for every major job that opens.
MAC, Al Golden, Temple: The Owls have won four in a row for the first time since 1985 and are tied for the MAC East lead. The division could come down to a Nov. 27 date at Ohio. As late as 2006 this program had lost 20 in a row.
Pac-10: Chip Kelly, Oregon. In his first season as head coach, Kelly lost his best runner and his quarterback. All he did was win the next five after the opening-night loss to Boise. USC should be worried, very worried, when it goes to Eugene on Oct. 31.
SEC: Nick Saban, Alabama. Until Saturday, it might have been Steve Spurrier but Saban quashed that talk. In his third season, Saban has the Tide back among the elite. They control their road to the national championship; have a Heisman candidate (Ingram) and perhaps the nation’s nastiest defense.
Sun Belt: Charlie Weatherbie, Louisiana-Monroe. Among the lowest-paid coaches in I-A, Weatherbie has the Warhawks off a 3-0 conference start. That's the longest conference winning streak in 16 years. At a school that usually gets beaten down by guarantee games against BCS schools, Louisiana-Monroe is 4-2 overall.
WAC: Robb Akey, Idaho. The Vandals are 29th in the first BCS which should be cause for a street party in Moscow. Idaho is nine miles away from the BCS (Pullman, Wash., home of Washington State is that close), but miles away from a BCS bowl. Still, Akey has taken a program that was picked for the bottom of the WAC to contention with mighty Boise State. Halfway through the season the Vandals are bowl eligible. Their only bowl as a I-A program came 11 years ago.
National coach of the (half) season: Check back on Wednesday.
The right-now, no-hype, no-b.s., not-what-they-did last year Heisman rankings for this week:
1. Mark Ingram, RB, Alabama. Behind Tebow, the best player in the SEC.
Tags: ACC, Alabama, Big 12, Big East, Big Ten, Cincinnati, Conference USA, Florida, Georgia Tech, Houston, Idaho, Iowa, Louisiana-Monroe, MAC, Miami, Mountain West, Northern Iowa, Ohio, Ohio State, Oklahoma State, Oregon, Pac-10, Paul Johnson, Pittsburgh, SEC, Sun Belt, TCU, Temple, Virginia Tech, WAC, Washington State