By Dave Belcher
Moapa Valley Progress
During the past few weeks, the college football world has been on edge with conference expansions and rumors thereof. First, it was the PAC 10 and the rumor of Texas, Texas A.M., Texas Tech, Oklahoma State and Oklahoma moving in from the Big 12. Then the panic ensued. What would happen in this conference if they got so and so or what would it be like if these teams left and became part of that one? BCS automatic bids, would they change hands or stay the same? Is this the beginning of the super conferences with sixteen teams each? How about the destruction of the Big 12?
The Mountain West Conference (MWC) was tempted to offer Boise State the chance to move into the conference. The MWC which is trying so hard to be noticed and receive the golden ticket to the BSC bowls, I mean the BCS bowls. The MWC decided to sit back and wait. Nothing happened, no move was made.
Colorado was invited and joins the Pac 10 making it the PAC11.
Rumors/dreams continued to circulate about Texas, Texas AM, Texas Tech joining the PAC 11 who all have to be in the same conference by State law.
Add Oklahoma and Oklahoma State you would have a PAC 16 conference that would rival the powerful SEC who also has 16 teams.
There are two schools that everyone wants to add. Texas and Notre Dame. The money that these two schools can bring to a conference is millions.
Notre Dame is independent and has a television contract of twenty or so million a year keeping it all too them selves. If they join they have to share. ND is also guaranteed a BCS bowl bid if they finish in the BCS top 12. If these conferences combine making four or even six, sixteen team super conferences, ND could find them selves out of the picture and the BCS.
ND’s TV contract will expire and the fear of a renewal could be in doubt with the lack of wins they have sustained over recent years. Under pressure the MWC thinks twice and invites Boise State a few days later.
Boise State accepts and gives the MWC 10 teams boosting their chance for a BCS automatic bid. The feeling begins to tickle fannies in the MWC moving thoughts and motivating a strong discussion in adding even more schools like, the rest of the BIG 12: Missouri, Kansas, Kansas State, Iowa State and Baylor.
Then the dreams of an automatic bid into the biggest farce in any American sports Championship series, tournament or any other title they can conjure up when awarding a Championship. The addition of BSU gives the MWC two teams with two BCS bowl wins each. Utah, being the other. BSU beating Oklahoma in the famous statue of liberty Fiesta Bowl game and watched as Ian Johnson proposed to a cheerleader after the game on national television, (isn’t that a dream a few players have thought of) making the few women who watched the game “woo” as romance was added giving the game the other memorable moment.
Then last year BSU beat the MWC’s TCU in the BCS’s Fiesta Bowl in the battle of BCS busters which served as the pacifier placed in the mouths of critics crying for justice and mid major conferences the opportunity at winning the National Championship. Why? Two BCS busters made it.
“POP” a couple days later the dream for the PAC 11 becomes a fantasy when Texas announces it will not join the PAC which means Texas AM and Texas Tech stay in the Big 12 also. Oklahoma and Oklahoma State announced they are staying, meaning that the Big 12 will remain in tact as the Big 11.
Wait, there is already a Big 11, no there is a Big 10 with 11 members which means two Big 11 Conferences and a PAC 11.
Hold on to your buffaloes, Colorado won’t be the last to join the PAC 11. Utah crushes the MWC’s dream further creating a bed wetting nightmare when they accept the PAC 11s offer and the Utes become the 12th member of the new PAC 12 Conference. BYU fanatics how does that feel to be overlooked by the PAC 12 as they take arch rival Utah? OUCH! Hurts as bad as Virgin Valley beating Moapa in the State football championship.
Why not BYU in the PAC? Well, BYU has no BCS appearances. The football program has been awesome the past three decades. They just haven’t been able to go undefeated and win the MWC championship at the right time. Another reason: the BYU rule, no games to be played on Sundays. That’s Basketball mainly.
Want another reason? I was in Southern California a couple weeks ago. People were questioning this Utah invite over BYU. The reason Utah over BYU. The “Y” brings in large numbers to venues on the road, but they don’t buy beer. Why does that matter? Guess who happens to be a huge sponsor in college athletics? Beer companies. The guess is 30 to 50 thousand dollars or more a game lost in beer revenue. Yea, a radio station in L.A. did the math. At five bucks or more a cup. Three cups on average per person, per game. Five to ten thousand BYU fans at games not buying beer. There you have it. On the other hand, Utah who doesn’t travel nearly as well as BYU means, the seats BYU had would now be filled with beer drinkers keeping the beer flowing, tills ringing and sponsors happy. Silly huh? Remember, it’s all about money! So Y invite the “Y”?
Now the MWC should put on some “Depends” and rubber sheets on the bed because it may not be over. They could very easily lose another school. TCU would jump ship faster than the MWC could say “Plleeaassee Sttaayy with us” by entering the Big 11 making it the Big 12 again if invited. This would give the MWC 8 members, one less football power and no chance at a BCS bowl automatic bid.
Now as the dust settles, we see the one conference who gets a cleat in the shorts again: THE MOUNTAIN WEST!