The Mountain West Conference, Where Screwjobs Happen

James PenaContributor IJanuary 5, 2009

Say what you want about how the current system is fair, BCS supporters. Nobody is willing to listen anymore.

After Utah's dismantling of Alabama Friday night for the perfect season, the mainstream media can no longer afford to ignore the glaring injustice the bowl system has done to the Mountain West.

The Utes made asses of everyone in the media who has ever supported the theory the BCS is the best way to determine a National Champion by bringing to light many of the flaws in the system, especially the notion of the MWC not being worthy of even an automatic at-large bid like the Big East has.

The media's love affair with the BCS conferences took a hit, as shown on Sunday's edition of The Sports Reporters on ESPN.

With the other three panelists saying Utah got cheated, Bob Ryan was not willing to concede Utah deserved a shot at the national title, and even went as far as claiming the MWC was not a strong conference.

Just ask Nick Saban how making that claim worked for him. 

But Ryan is not alone in his view of the Mountain West. Dan Wetzel of Yahoo! Sports published a column today about how some of the voters in the Harris poll never even saw Utah play and voter David Housel even admitted he was wrong in voting the Utes tenth.

Another Harris voter, Lance Mcllhenny said he was wrong in thinking "that the Mountain West is not as tough a conference."

The perception in the media that the MWC is still a mid-major has become outdated and has proved to be horribly wrong this season.

The oft-blamed computers even acknowledged this as the Anderson & Hester computer rankings had Utah in a virtual tie with Oklahoma for the top spot based on the strength of their conference schedule.

The facts even support the Mountain West's need to be considered a power conference.

Three MWC teams finished in the top 16 in the final BCS standings. The ACC and Big East had just one more team combined that even finished with a BCS ranking.

The allegedly mighty Pac-10 couldn't even compete, going 1-6 against the Mountain West, including a loss by Oregon State, the only team to beat USC, to Utah.

These facts are very strong and are very much out in the open. However, two major facts remain overlooked which prove the MWC is a force to be reckoned with.

The number of bowl-eligible teams was comparable to three of the BCS conferences.

Five of the nine teams in the MWC were bowl eligible, making up 55 percent of the conference. The Pac-10 only had half of its conference eligible, the Big 10 had almost the same percentage at six out of eleven teams with six wins, and the Big 12 could not fair much better as seven of their teams, or 58 percent of the conference, was able to go to bowl games.

When half the BCS can only send a team or two more to bowls than the Mountain West, it is a sure sign things need to change.

But here's the white elephant ESPN does not want you to see for sure.

The Mountain West's three teams which finished the season ranked in the BCS standings also finished the regular season with double-digit win totals.

That is more than the ACC, SEC, Big 10, and Big East had combined, one more than the Big 10, and the same amount as the Big 12.

With this mountain of evidence, can anyone deny that the MWC can in fact run with the supposed big dogs of the BCS? Hopefully the BCS itself will see this when it is finished with it's four year evaluation of automatic bids.

Because if not, the mainstream media (that would be you, ESPN), lapdogs of the BCS since it began, will grow tired of the charade and tell the BCS to take a hike.