No Love for BYU

Monday, 23 August 2010, 17:55 | Category : College, Football
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Since news about BYU’s interest in going independent came out, most national media appears to be against them.  Articles like this and another article from a news paper in Fort Worth (I saw it on the news but couldn’t find it online) dog on BYU for being “arrogant to the point of delusional.”  The Fort Worth (the home of TCU) article says that BYU hasn’t done anything except occasionally get in the way of MWC real powerhouses, TCU and Utah, and is probably scared of new member Boise St.  I openly admit that TCU is the team to beat in the MWC this year, but they are hardly a reason for BYU to run away.

BYU has been to the Las Vegas bowl the last 5 years, which is not that impressive of a bowl, but it is where the number 2 school in the MWC is invited.  So BYU has not been to a BCS bowl, but they are consistently at the top of the conference.  TCU’s program has improved over the years and has a lot to be proud of, but if they think a loss to another non-AQ school in their one BCS bowl appearance puts them on another level than BYU they’re wrong (just ask Hawaii). Talk about arrogance.

I don’t suspect TCU is going to disappear any time soon, but neither is BYU.  The last 4 years BYU has been ranked in the top 25 in the post season polls.  TCU was not ranked in ’07 and Utah was not ranked the 3 consecutive seasons between their BCS bowl births.  While I feel BYU has not played to their full potential the last several seasons, they have proven to be consistent and a continual threat in the MWC.

So to say BYU is not of value to the MWC (like I have seen in some articles) is naive.  Not to mention all of the other mens and womens sports that BYU has a significant or dominant presence in.  Those sports do not bring in the revenue that football does, but still important to the conference.  Also, BYU’s mens basketball team has ended 2 of the last 4 years ranked in the top 25 and received votes the other two years.  Neither TCU or Utah came close to that.  Not to mention, the MWC is doing what it can to keep BYU in the conference, so it appears BYU is valuable after all.

Conference Confusion: Part I

Thursday, 12 August 2010, 4:49 | Category : College, Football
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So if I understand this correctly, then XII=10 and Ten=12?  The landscape of Division I FBS has changed significantly this summer.  Two BCS conferences, the Big Ten and Pac-10, both increased the number of schools in their conference while the Big XII shrunk.

While the Pac-10 attempted to strip the Big XII clean this summer, the Mountain West (typically regarded as the top non-AQ conference) made an upgrade of its own by picking up Boise St.  In this past Fiesta Bowl, Boise St. defeated Mountain West’s TCU 17-10 for their second BCS bowl victory.  The addition of Boise St. appeared to be a good step forward for the MWC to become an automatic bid conference.  Unfortunately for the MWC, Utah isn’t waiting to upgrade.

As of next year, Utah will be a member of the Pac-10, joining Colorado (of the Big XII) as the newest members of the conference.  Utah is 7-3 in its last 10 meetings with the Pac-10, including its handling of Cal in last year’s Poinsettia Bowl.  Utah is the original

Utah defeats new Pac-10 rival, Cal.

“bowl buster” and the first non-AQ team to win two BCS bowls.  The supped-up Pac-10 will likely place its two new additions with the Arizona and LA schools.  This leaves the Bay Area and North West schools to make up the other division.  Losing Utah does hurt the MWC’s chances of becoming the seventh automatic bid conference, but the addition of Boise St. will help to ease the hurt.

For some time, I heard rumors that the Pac-10 has flirted with the idea of adding Utah and instate rival BYU (my alma mater), but that they had problems with BYU due to its religious affiliation.  While BYU has never reached a BCS bowl, they are consistantly at the top of the conference and ranked in the top 25 (in both football and basketball).  Since switching Utah for Boise St. probably leaves the MWC with about the same chance to become an automatic bid conference, this move in some ways helps BYU.  Whether the Byu-Utah rivalry will continue or not is to be determined.  If the Holy War does continue, BYU will have a guaranteed BCS opponent every year; not to mention the conference won’t beat itself up as much.  Regardless, it’ll be nice not to have to root for Utah when they’re not playing BYU anymore.

Expansion plans for the MWC and the Pac-10 did not go exactly as planned this summer.  In the middle of a four year trial, the MWC may wait out the next two years to see if they make the jump to a BCS conference before making any more additions.  Only time will tell if the se two conferences will choose to continue expanding.

Check Part II of this post for more on conference changes.

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