Before the 2010 college football season began, there was a buzz around the nation whether or not a non-automatic qualifying team deserved a spot not only in a BCS bowl, but a chance to play for the national championship.
Here we are, halfway through the season, and of the seven remaining undefeated teams, three are from the non Big Six. Boise State, Utah and TCU are all currently in the top 10 in the latest BCS rankings.
Those who favor the previously mentioned universities believe they have a legitimate case for playing in the BCS championship.
Those who oppose their place in the BCS talks claim that their conferences are weak and even playing a hard non-conference schedule doesn't put them in the same caliber as those who play for the ACC, Big East Big Ten, Big XII, Pac-10 or SEC.
Regardless of your opinion, this year should be the last of the talks for a while. When Utah joins the Pac-10 next year, they will solidify their conference schedule and have an opportunity to prove they can compete with the college football powerhouses like USC or Oregon, or will fall flat on their faces and have at best a .500 season.
Boise State will join TCU in the Mountain West with other top mid-majors Air Force, Nevada and Fresno State. Brigham Young will be going independent (probably in hopes of eventually getting an invite to join a Big Six Conference).
Depending on the layout of the schedule, it is presumed that these schools will have to compete against each other at some point during the season.
It is possible that one team could emerge undefeated and have a strong case for a BCS bowl, but only one, not two, three or even four. The new Mountain West won't be as good as a Big Six conference, but should be better than the WAC, and a little better than the current Mountain West.
Whatever the case, it will be refreshing next year to be able to see not only less focus on certain mid-major programs, but also see if they are quality teams or just play in a sub-par conference.