College Football Realignment: Merged Conference USA-Mountain West Worthy of BCS?

Sean LansingContributor IOctober 15, 2011

Boise St. is the cream of the proposed 22-team crop.
Boise St. is the cream of the proposed 22-team crop.Otto Kitsinger III/Getty Images

This week, Conference USA and the Mountain West Conference joined college football’s realignment frenzy by voting to form a 22-team football league.

The move comes amid rumors that Boise State, Air Force, Central Florida, Houston and SMU are set to join independent Navy in the Big East.

If the two conferences merge and the aforementioned teams stick around, will the new 22-team league deserve an automatic bid to the BCS?

For starters, let’s look at the elite teams.

Unfortunately for this new “super conference,” TCU is already bolting for the Big 12, leaving them with just one major program—Boise State.

Take a quick look up and down the roster of this new league, and it doesn't take long to realize that the Broncos should dominate.

Houston is a team on the rise, and if Kevin Sumlin doesn't leave for greener pastures, he could help the Cougars achieve Boise-like status.

But that is it.

Once you get beyond the Broncos and Cougars, you have 20 also-rans. They might pull off some really good seasons now and then, but they are incapable of fielding an elite program to consistently challenge Boise and other BCS teams.

There is no doubt C-USA and the MWC should be applauded for being proactive and trying to stay ahead of the curve.

The college football world has gone mad with realignment, shuffling and super conferences dominating the headlines.

Unfortunately, this new league is too late.

Two of the three best teams these two conferences had to offer are already gone. BYU went independent, and TCU jumped to the Big East. Now, Boise State and Houston are likely to follow the Horned Frogs east.

If just the Broncos and the Cougars leave and the rest of C-USA and MWC remain as a result of this merger, we'll have Central Florida, SMU and San Diego State battling it out every year to see which seven or eight-win team earns an automatic berth to the BCS.

A conference with Boise State, TCU and BYU would certainly deserve a chance at AQ status.

But a conference without one, or any, of those schools is nothing more than a mid-major, and it should stay that way.