Game on, eh?
With all the hullabaloo about expansion swirling around like ashes at a camp fire, it’s getting hard to keep track of who is who and what’s happening out there.
But, out of chaos comes opportunity.
This is an opportunity for the Froggies and the Mountain West to score…big time. How should they go about it?
A few weeks ago, I pondered this and came to the conclusion that the Mountain West should pick up Colorado, Boise, and Houston to become a twelve team league and possible BCS conference.
Well, Colorado is obviously off the table. And Boise is most definitely on it, with their acceptance to the league.
There may be a more tasty alternative than Houston.
The whole dang menu has changed given the disruption of the Big 12. It is t ime for the Mountain West to grab some tasty morsels. This will insure TCU and the other members a seat at the BCS feast, with its big ol’ pot of scrumptious moolah for the coaching staffs to burn through like Sherman in Georgia.
The Mountain West should cement their inclusion as a BCS league by expanding to 14 teams. Pronto.
Who should they take?
Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor. The four lost souls from the Big 12.
Missouri, another lost child, will most likely end up in the Big Ten. Or the PAC.
Those four schools, on the other hand, are like a newly divorced guy….ain’t got no home to go to, and having a hell of a hard time finding a date.
With small television markets and non-marquee football programs, all four teams will not be pursued heavily by the Big Ten or SEC.
They do make great sense for the mountain folk, however.
All are strong in hoops. Add them to the Mountain West, which boasts very good basketball at Utah, BYU, New Mexico and UNLV, and an up and coming program at San Diego State —and you have the makings of a hardwood power conference.
While none of these four has set the world on fire on the gridiron, they can hold their own. Their presence in the Mountain West would strengthen the league's geographical and cultural footprint into the Great Plains states.
Some will say the heck with Baylor, given that they stiffed the Frogs when the old SWC went bust in the mid nineties. But I say, let bygones be bygones. The Bears have very good sports in pretty much everything else except football, and provide another anchor in the Texas market.
Besides, it’s real fun to have the Frogs open a can of you know what on em’ once a year.
Kansas and Kansas State have made noises about not letting the Big 12 go down, and also about getting an invite from either the Big Ten or SEC.
The hoops programs are strong, especially for the Jayhawks. They just don’t bring enough to the table in terms of markets or football prowess, however.
The SEC is looking at Texas A&M, a host of schools in the ACC including Clemson and Florida State, and West Virginia.
The Big Ten, for their part, may stop at 12. But if they go further, they would do better to go East, taking teams that give them access to major markets like Pitt, Syracuse, or Rutgers.
The Big 12? It’s toast. Stick a fork in it. Turn out the lights, the party is over. Good bye, so long, farewell. Because after Oklahoma, Oklahoma State, Texas, and Texas Tech formally announce their move to the PAC, it is down to six —w hich just don’t cut it.
Maybe, just maybe, the Big Ten might pick up Iowa State to keep the Hawkeyes happy. I would not hold my breath, however.
At any rate, it’s time for the Mountain West to make their move. Since the league has their own television contract and network, they can offer a pretty lucrative deal that may make those four schools get over their hurt feelings.
Nothing like a big pile of money to work its therapeutic magic on those wounded egos.
Net, we would be looking at a Mountain West with a seven team East Division consisting of Baylor, TCU, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State, New Mexico. and Air Force. The seven team West Division would have BYU, Utah, San Diego State, UNLV, Wyoming, Colorado State, and Boise State.
And that should be strong enough to wrest that automatic BCS bid from the clutches of the PAC, who are already talking about two bids for their reconfigured league.
So it is time for the Mountain West to strike…now, while the iron is hot.