Survival of the Fittest: Adding the Mountain West Conference
As many fans of college football know, there has been a lively discussion regarding the Mountain West Conference being given official recognition as a BCS Conference.
Some groups have ridiculed the idea, asserting that the MWC has not earned their stripes over a period of time. Others have called for realignment as a solution, as in adding the WAC.
I prefer a more primal, cut and dried method for adding the MWC, which is as ancient as the laws of nature itself: survival of the fittest.
I say that we keep the current number of BCS conferences (six) and implement a three-year term of membership.
After one term expires, we sort them according to their bowl records over said period. Whomever ends up at the bottom of the list gets voted off of the island, so to speak, by having their BCS membership terminated.
This opens the door for schools like Utah, who beat Alabama, to earn their way in. Incidentally, it gives their conference a boost with a bowl win and a better figure at the end of the year when membership is being reviewed.
And yes, this also means that Notre Dame would have to join a conference.
The remaining FBS conferences (not to be confused with Div. II-now-FCS schools) would then have their overall records compiled over the same three-year term. Whomever has the best record gets the recently-vacated BCS rank for the next three years.
The BCS officials, given their use of statistics and arcane formulas, could even add a multiplier to boost non-conference wins, especially if a victory comes against a current BCS school, to stave off any grievances regarding "better" wins and "good" losses.
This approach addresses several of the current problems:
1) It keeps things honest by blending the votes and on-the-field results. One big upset, or a winter hot streak won't be enough to game the system. Everyone must perform at a high level in the regular season to earn a bowl bid. By the same token, one down year won't be the end of the world for a team or conference.
2) The regular season drama stays, and pageantry is honored. The voters are still involved, upsets will inevitably move mountains, frauds will be exposed, champions will be forged: to top it all off, everyone controls their share of destiny, and can still contribute in the end with a bowl win.
3) All bowl games become more relevant. Each and every bowl game is validated as never before, with every win and loss counting towards each given conference's final tally. The Gordon's Fish Sticks bowl that is just as important for schools and conferences trying to get into the big party.
4) Consistency and excellence on the gridiron is rewarded. Teams will be rewarded, eventually, if they can keep the pace up. Teams that make a habit of beating the big boys will become one of them by their own hand. Teams that work to dominate their opponents will stay at the top.
5) The little guy gets a shot, and redemption is never too far away. Since the last-place team is given a gold watch and a clock after three years, we get a fresh injection of schools, talent, and coaching on a regular basis. There is also a permanent chance at redemption for any conference that has fallen out of the rankings.
In conclusion, we need evolution, not revolution, to form a more fair solution for college football. Honoring the pageantry while rewarding on-the-field results is necessary for college football to evolve beyond where we stand.
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