In what has been the most bizarre of offseasons, nothing should surprise any of us at this point, but the shenanigans in the Mountain West and WAC in the wake of BYU’s decision to leave the former to become an independent in football and play all other sports as a member of the latter have been something to behold.
In what should come as absolutely no surprise to anyone, the second of two schools offered official invitations to the Mountain West Conference has responded in the affirmative.
Citing multiple unnamed sources, the Reno Gazette-Journal is reporting that Nevada has accepted the Mountain West’s invitation and will leave the WAC following the 2010-2011 school year…
… With the addition of Fresno State, Nevada and Boise State — along with the definite loss of Utah and the potential loss of BYU — the MWC would become a ten-team league: the three new schools, plus current members Air Force, Colorado State, New Mexico, San Diego State, TCU, UNLV and Wyoming.
It’s like watching Mary’s Lemonade Stand attempt a hostile takeover of Jimmy’s Newspaper Route.
By the way, that Thompson presser didn’t really add much clarity to the situation. I guess we’ll have to wait to find out what the suddenly mysterious Gary Patterson claims to know:
This is all small potatoes for the brain trust at Boise State, though. School president Bob Kustra and athletic director Gene Bleymaier have found much bigger fish to fry.
“We’re doing a study of non-conference scheduling in Division I football. There is a fairly compelling case to be made that the Big Ten, Big 12, SEC and Pac-10 over the years have controlled the scheduling. All the large conferences … What Gene will tell you, there’s an overwhelming number of home games for the big guys but no home-and-home. We’ve been able to get a home-and-home with Oregon and Oregon State. We want to propose to the NCAA a mandated home-and-home scheduling arrangement for I-A non-conference football games. Why should Boise State go to Georgia, but more than likely they’re not going to return it?
“I think we’ve really dropped the ball as an organization. The NCAA could mandate this at any time. Oregon, Oregon State are return games. Ole Miss (next year), Washington, Arkansas and Arizona State are not. It’s so simple to legislate.
“We’ll play anybody in the country home-and-home. You’ve got to do a better job of scheduling. You want us to go play three non-conference games on the road and they don’t have to come here. Texas isn’t going to do that, Oklahoma isn’t going to do that, USC isn’t going to do that, Florida isn’t going to do that, Ohio State isn’t going to do that, nobody’s going to do that.”
My first thought upon reading that: who the hell do these guys think they are? There’s an old line SEC fans used to throw out to describe Florida – the arrogance of Notre Dame combined with the tradition of Vanderbilt. Well, these guys make the Gators look more humble than Mother Teresa. “Not only does Bleymaier believe his program is beyond having to play those one-and-done games, but he plans to introduce NCAA legislation to mandate return games.” Beyond having to play? Well, la-di-freakin’-da.
My second thought: for all the talk about antitrust violations these guys throw out when it comes to the BCS, they don’t have a clue about antitrust law. The NCAA isn’t looking to have its ass handed to it in antitrust court, fellas. They’ve been there and done that before.
Of course, it would likely never get that far, because five minutes after the NCAA announced such a rule, the Big Six conferences would take their ball and go home, for many of the reasons that Year2 cites in this post.
Of course, that’s when visionaries like Orrin Hatch can step in. Look for this in your nearest Congressional hearing soon.