It's been promising its fanbase that it would fight for BCS equality and now, four years after Utah upset Alabama in the Sugar Bowl, which started the Mountain West's quest, the conference has decided to request BCS automatic qualifying status for the 2012 and 2013 seasons.
The only problem with that is that the teams that made the Mountain West the attractive conference it became have all packed their bags for leagues that already have automatic qualification.
The Mountain West could still expand or combine leagues with Conference USA to become more attractive, but after the Big East picked apart both conferences, the "moneymaker" schools both conferences once possessed are a thing of the past.
Boise State and TCU have been the conference's show horses for the past three years. In 2009, TCU finished No. 4 in the BCS standings and Boise State No. 6 and they played in the Fiesta Bowl. In 2010, TCU finished third and Boise State finished 10th in the BCS standings and TCU beat Wisconsin in the Rose Bowl. This year, Boise State finished seventh and TCU finished 18th in the BCS.
The Mountain West did manage to fulfill three of the tenets laid out by the BCS:
1. Finishing among the top five FBS conferences in Average Ranking of Highest-Ranked Team; and
2. Finishing among the top seven FBS conferences in Average Conference Ranking; and
3. Having its Top 25 Performance Ranking equal to or greater than 33.3 percent of the conference with the highest Top 25 Performance Ranking, the SEC.
It's also important to note that the current BCS bowl system is on shaky ground as coaches and school officials call for a plus-one model similar to the Final Four in the NCAA hoops tournament.
There is a precedent for an exemption: The Big East received one for the 2008-09 and 2009-10 seasons, though that may have had as much to do with keeping six automatic qualifying conferences as it did with taking a leap of faith on the Big East. It's unlikely the BCS' Presidential Oversight Committee will take a similar leap of faith again.
- Boise State