The Rant: Blame Alabama and Oklahoma for MWC's New Proposal
The Crimson Tide and the Sooners are the BCS conference teams that have lost in bowl games to mid-majors Utah of the Mountain West Conference and Boise State of the Western Athletic Conference.
They're the reason that MWC commissioner Craig Thompson, who The Rant happens to think is a smart, savvy guy, is delusionally pushing the MWC as an equal partner to the BCS conferences.
Thompson's latest move came Tuesday at the BCS commissioners meeting in Pasadena, Calif. where he proposed an eight-team playoff (with two extra teams to play in a BCS bowl, the other eight to play for the national title), a selection committee to seed teams, and a recalibration of revenue sharing.
To BCS coordinator and ACC commissioner John Swafford's credit, he didn't laugh in Thompson's face, particularly about the recalibration of revenue sharing.
"Out of respect to the colleagues within the room, and to the various conferences," Swafford said, "it should not be dismissed out of hand."
That's true. All the commissioners can take it back to their conferences and dismiss Thompson's proposal in the privacy of their individual annual league business meetings.
Thompson, like most of America, can't accept the fact that until university presidents believe a playoff doesn't hurt the current bowl system or supposedly affect class time for players (not even a valid argument), there will not be a playoff.
Thompson's idea of having a committee seed teams is not a new one, but it is a good one. If it's good enough for the NCAA basketball tourney picking and seeding 64 teams, it should be good enough to select and seed eight teams, 16 teams, whatever needed for a playoff.
The problem is that Thompson is pushing this because he believes that since his league and the WAC won two bowl games in the last few years against BCS teams that didn't take the MWC and the WAC seriously, that the MWC and other mid-majors should deserve an equal share of revenue.
If Utah or Boise State were members of the SEC or Big 12 or Big Ten, or any other BCS conferences that was extremely physical and very fast, the Utes and the Broncos would break down over the course of a season.
They don't face the same caliber or same size athlete as in a BCS conference and don't play before 80,000 to 100,000 people every weekend in the true pressure cooker of college football. They don't face year-round scrutiny or the brutal recruiting battles.
The MWC and the WAC have touch football defenses, offenses that hand the ball off only in warm-ups, and the visibility of people designated for witness protection.
Because it's not equal play with the BCS conferences, the MWC or any other mid-major conference doesn't deserve equal pay.
Nice try, Craig.
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