After reading the comments here in response to my post and the posts from Dennis Dodd and Matt Hayes, who attended the Mountain West’s teleconference on its playoff proposal, I’ve got some more observations to add:
- When you’ve got guys like Dodd and Hayes dismissing your plan before the teleconference is even over, it’s fair to say that you need to fine tune your sales pitch.
- The whole proposal really is nothing more than an elaborate contraption to get the Mountain West a seat at the big boys’ table. You want proof of how jiggered up this is? Check out this point Hayes makes: “Under the proposal, the Pac-10 and Big Ten wouldn’t automatically qualify for the playoff because they played only 19 games against automatic qualifying conferences the last two years. Of course, at the bottom of the proposal, in small print, is an addendum that would give the two leagues a free pass in just such an instance.” What a joke.
- The nightmare scenario this proposal would generate isn’t very far fetched. Consider this train wreck: the final committee seedings show Boise State at #5, Notre Dame at #8 and the MWC champ at #16. Who gets left out of the playoffs? Not the MWC champ, partner.
- That the Mountain West thinks it will be able to sell the game between #9 and #10 as a BCS game to the networks, the bowl that pays for it and the fans that will be asked to buy tickets is nothing short of delusional. The game will be the college football equivalent of finishing second on Jeopardy, as in “tell them about the lovely parting gifts we have for them today…”, while the winner pockets fifty grand.
The Mountain West tries to couch the distribution of money to the BCS conferences from the postseason in terms of equability, but the reality is that it would expect equality. And that’s probably the biggest joke of all here. The conference has tried to justify its inclusion in the group by coming up with a metric about having a threshold winning percentage over a certain time period against automatically qualifying conference members that conveniently adds only the MWC to the BCS conference group, but how does it fare under some other yardsticks?
- The MWC only had one school finish in the top fifty in Division I in attendance last season, BYU. Here’s the breakdown in the other BCS conferences: Big Ten, 8; SEC, 10; Big XII, 11; Pac-10, 7; ACC, 9; Big East 3. Oh, and Notre Dame finished eleven spots ahead of BYU.
- TV revenue tells a similar story. It’s hard to dig up exact numbers, but let’s put it this way: The MWC as a conference roughly split as much money in 2007 as each SEC school will begin receiving in 2009.
- Sagarin’s lowest rated D-1 team in 2008 was North Texas at 171. Counting up 100 slots from there, here’s how the weakest teams in the BCS conferences broke down: Pac-10, 3; Big East, 2; Big Ten, 3; SEC, 1; Big XII, 3; ACC, 0. The nine-member MWC had five.
- Per Sagarin, the strongest strength of schedule in the MWC belonged to New Mexico, at #54. Here’s the number of BCS conference schools that had better numbers than that, by conference: SEC, 11; Pac-10, 9; Big XII, 11; Big Ten, 5; ACC, 12; Big East, 4. That’s right – every ACC team boasted a better SOS number than any team in the MWC.
Not too hot, in other words.
The best thing that could happen out of this proposal would be if the idiots in Congress jumped on it and used it as a vehicle to pressure the BCS conferences, which in turn would use that as justification to reorganize along the lines of a group of super conferences (say, eight ten-team conferences) and in so doing scoop up the cream of the MWC to add to the mix. I wonder what the president of effing San Diego State University (Sagarin #136, 83rd in attendance) would have to say about that.