On December 4th, 2011, the BCS will evaluate each mid-major conference to determine if one shall become the seventh conference to automatically send a team to the BCS and claim a large portion of the bowl money.
As it stands now, the Mountain West is on track for BCS consideration beginning the 2012 season.
There are three criteria the BCS will analyze to determine a conference's worthiness. For our purposes we will ignore the third criterion (number of teams in the BCS Top 25) because the six BCS conferences and Mountain West all have adequate numbers in this category.
The first criterion is the ranking of the top team in the BCS. The seasons 2008-2011 will be averaged. Below are the averages from the first two seasons.
No. 1 SEC (1.5)
No. 2 Big 12 (1.5)
No. 3 MWC (5.0)
No. 4 Pac-10 (6.0)
No. 5 Big East (7.5)
No. 5 WAC (7.5)
No. 7 Big Ten (8.0)
No. 8 ACC (11.5)
The second criterion is the average computer ranking of every team in the conference, calculated by the six BCS computers.
No. 1 SEC (38.7)
No. 2 ACC (40.6)
No. 3 Big East (43.1)
No. 4 Big 12 (46.6)
No. 5 Pac-10 (48.7)
No. 6 Big Ten (50.7)
No. 7 MWC (59.2)
No. 8 WAC (72.8)
In order to qualify, a mid-major conference must finish in the Top 6 of both categories. If a conference finishes in the top five in one category and the top seven in the other, then a "Presidential Oversight Committee" will be the final judge on inclusion.
So even if the Mountain West does not hurdle the Big Ten into sixth place in the computer criterion, the political pressure will all but guarantee the Mountain West's inclusion for the 2012 and 2013 football seasons.
But, there are a few ways in which the Mountain West could miss out on this golden opportunity.