I think all will agree that the Mountain West Conference is presently the strongest of all of the non-automatically qualifying leagues in college football.
Sure, other schools occasionally provide a few teams capable of winning a lot of games, but the MWC is in perhaps the best position to gain an automatic bid for a few simple reasons.
1. In the states of Nevada, Utah, Wyoming, & New Mexico. They own the dominant programs in those respective states. Other than Boise State and Hawaii, all non-BCS programs are down in the pecking order in terms of financial backing, fan support, and media coverage in their own market, which could explain why there is no other leagues are threatening to crack the BCS.
2. The Cotton Bowl is making a huge push to rejoin the elite bowl games, and who better to pursue than the Big 12. If the Big 12 does move to the Cotton Bowl, then it would make sense for the Fiesta Bowl to pursue the MWC as they would be a larger draw in their backyard than either the ACC or Big East.
3. The MWC has shown the ability to schedule and beat teams from BCS conferences as well as have success in the BCS games.
4. The Big East, although having a few good years after the departure of Miami, BC, and VT, is starting to look like it's slowly descending into mediocrity.
With all of these factors in their favor, I think that if the MWC adds Boise State, Fresno State, and another strong team to get them to 12 (UTEP, Nevada, Hawaii, or perhaps San Jose State to grab a toehold in the SF market), the conference will have five or more schools that could and should be ranked throughout the year (BYU, Utah, Fresno State, Boise State, TCU and maybe CSU).
That lineup would be stronger than the Big East and just as good as the Big 12 North. The BCS committee will almost be forced to invite the MWC based on the overall strength of the conference.
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