BCS Hears Mountain West Playoff Proposal, Kind of

JeremySenior Writer IApril 24, 2009

NEW ORLEANS - JANUARY 02:  (L-R) Quarterback Brian Johnson #3 and wide receiver Brent Casteel #5 of the Utah Utes celebrate after defeating the Alabama Crimson Tide 31-17 during the 75th Allstate Sugar Bowl at the Louisiana Superdome on January 2, 2009 in New Orleans, Louisiana.  (Photo by Chris Graythen/Getty Images)

The BCS had their annual meeting in Pasadena, just 15 miles from the 2010 championship site, this past week. On the agenda was the proposal that Mountain West commissioner Craig Thompson announced in March, discussing it for 90 minutes. 

To spend that much time on the topic was a surprise to most because even though it was on the agenda, the committee did not have to review the proposal. Nothing really happened at the meetings, but in regards to the Mountain West topic, the BCS coordinator John Swofford did speak to the media briefly:

“A selection committee? Yes, of a performance-based group replacing the computers and polls of the current formula.” But the sweeping change of a playoff system, he said, couldn’t be separated out. “Ultimately it will be in the presidents’ hands.” In June, the BCS commissioners are scheduled to pass any changes on to the presidents group when it meets.

To be blunt, this was to placate the Mountain West, and was more of a gesture than a real hard look at change in the BCS. The public, by far, is against the BCS, even people who follow teams from the current six automatic qualifiers.

So to say it is just the other five leagues and independents that cry is false.

Tweaks have been done, but none seem to work, because Oregon was left out, as was undefeated Auburn in 2004 and Kansas State in 1998—a team ranked fourth after they lost the Big XII title game, leaving them relegated to the Alamo Bowl.

Then there were the tweaks that allowed third and fourth ranked non-conference champions in, margin of victory was removed from the computer polls, and then the BCS relaxed the rules for non-automatic qualifiers to be ranked in the top 12 and not top six to get in.

The only part that was considered from the proposal was the use of a committee to select teams, which in turn might remove the computers in deciding who plays in the mythical college national championship. 

Nothing will change because of this; the only way there is change is if the Mountain West does well during their four-year cycle.

The BCS does have more meetings in Colorado Springs in the coming weeks, and the Mountain West has yet to sign the new BCS deal, but that is mostly symbolic. They will sign shortly.