Friday, October 12, 2007

NSC Talks Expansion

by nsc


Expansion: The Mountain West Twelve

Now I realize that talking about expansion with respect to Fresno State is a topic that has been covered many times by Barkboard posters. However, I have never once written a blog on expansion and my ideas for it (which generally copy what many other Bulldog fans picture with respect to expansion). I believe the best move that can be made with respect to any type of expansion is for Fresno State and two other schools (Hawaii, Boise State) to leave the WAC and join the Mountain West Conference. I know many Bulldog fans hate the MWC for abandoning us the way they did but let me be the first to say that the WAC is a terrible conference. The WAC is not horrible because of the teams at the top or even the teams in the middle. The WAC is terrible because the bottom tier is so bad that three of the four generally end up in ESPN's bottom ten. Idaho, Utah State, La. Tech, and even NMSU have looked god awful this season. Aside La. Tech the other three schools generally are quite bad year in and year out. Below is how I would split up the two conferences with a championship game at the end of the season.

Western Division
Fresno State
Boise State
Hawaii
San Diego State
UNLV
New Mexico

Mountain Divison
BYU
Utah
Air Force
Colorado State
Wyoming
TCU

I am sure it is obvious that I made up the names for the two divisions. I chose to put New Mexico in the Western region because they do not share a true rival with any of the teams in the Mountain Division. You can make the argument that each team should have a true rival but if that were the case then TCU would have never been added as a school to this conference. Now realize that I am only proposing this type of expansion with respect to college football. I am not trying to relate this to any other sport nor do I have the desire to cover those sports. I feel like this conference above would not only help with recruiting but would also help with the big picture. If this twelve team conference were formed there would be that opportunity to create a BCS birth for the overall winner of the conference. I realize many of you want to see a playoff but this may be the one guaranteed way to get a mid major into a BCS game every single year. Sure our chances of making it are 1 out of 12 but isn't that far better than what the BCS offers us right now? At the same time we would not be forced to go undefeated to qualifiy for a BCS game.


In the end I realize this is a dream that I am proposing. I just know there is something better out there not only for the Bulldogs but for teams such as Boise State. Being in the WAC will continue to hurt us for many years to come. If the Mountain West were expanded you could then play all five teams in your division and have a rotation of three teams from the other division every year. Could you imagine a league schedule for Fresno State that included: San Diego State, Hawaii, Boise State, UNLV, New Mexico, BYU, TCU, and Wyoming? Now tell me that isn't a huge upgrade in scheduling within our own league. Like I said I realize it's a dream but does anyone else out there have any ideas or thoughts on what might be best for the Bulldogs down the line? Share them in the comments section here.

8 comments:

SF State Gators said...

Great post as always MDG. This is probably the most talked about topic ever, and always generates a lot of controversy. Only thing I could add is that, the MWC did leave for a reason, and bringing Fresno State, Boise State, and Hawaii would basically just reform the WAC that the MWC left in the late 90's, and they left that original conference for a reason- politics.

You propose a simple and elegant solution, which is why it won't happen, since the ADs and Presidents of these universities are not going to go for any solution that is simple and elegant. I also wonder if such a solution would really bring the Mountain Twelve an automatic BCS bid even if the champion has multiple losses- I don't think the BCS would do that. The CUSA is already pretty strong, and was even stronger with Louisville/Cincy, but no bid. It seems to me that, in a sense, the top-twelve rule the BCS has is almost an automatic bid; under the rules that they put into place last year, a mid major team would have qualified just about every year the BCS has been in existence. Finally, UNLV would probably want Nevada in the conference somehow, so that could be a problem as well.

But the biggest problem for me is the politics of it. They left for a reason, and the solution you propose has been fairly obvious to everyone but the conference presidents of the two conferences for about half a decade. My thinking is, the only thing that could precipitate a conference change would be one by the big-six. My best guess would be that the Big Ten makes a play for Missouri, which means the Big 12 would need to fill their spot, probably with TCU, which would then cause MWC expansion.

The other possibility would be a rule that the SEC/ACC could force on the Big Ten, Big East, and Pac Ten that they would have to have a conference playoff in order to get an automatic bid. This is something I think is seriously being considered since the SEC is not happy about being shut out of the NC every so often with the extra shot at a loss the conference champ has. This change would cause those conferences to look to the CUSA/WAC/MWC to move to 12. I think any of those are possibilities, but I don’t see any serious changes or moves just by the MWC on its own.

mdg said...

wish I took take credit but this is all NSC...

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what conference they end up in, Fresno State, Boise State, Nevada, SJSU, SDSU, Nevada, UNLV and Hawaii will be in it. The reason I mention UNLV and SDSU is because they make geographical sense to the other schools. I know it's wishful thinking but if UNLV and SDSU were to come back to the WAC (very unlikely) Nevada would automatically have their in-state rival and Fresno State could renew it's in-state rivalry with SDSU.

Realistically, I see the WAC becoming more stable with the exception of La Tech. Their days in the conference are numbered. The geographical joke that was and still is the WAC will force them to seek membership elsewhere. Most likely a more regional conference.

Keep in mind that western Division I-AA schools are contemplating or have discussed the possibility of moving up to I-A status. Portland State, Sac State and UC Davis come to mind. UCD made the jump from D-II to I-AA just 5 years ago and they just got a new on-campus stadium. That tells a lot about how far that program has come along.

But I won't hold my breath for those schools to come aboard. Like I said, wishful thinking. Below I've listed a rather ideal conference alignment for the WAC but this is just something to have fun with:

Fresno State
San Jose State
San Diego State
Hawaii
Nevada
UNLV
Idaho
Boise State
Utah State
New Mexico State

SpartanThunder said...

San Jose will not be left behind, as we have the west coasts largest television coverage (Bay Area).

Funny how we are always left out of conversations, but are always moving along with Fresno when moves are made.

We may lag behind in moving (move for move), but we do get pulled along.

We are going where Fresno goes....

SpartanThunder said...

San Jose will not be left behind, as we have the west coasts largest television coverage (Bay Area).

Funny how we are always left out of conversations, but are always moving along with Fresno when moves are made.

We may lag behind in moving (move for move), but we do get pulled along.

We are going where Fresno goes....

Anonymous said...

I don't see any reason that TCU and New Mexico couldn't be considered natural rivals of sorts. After all, the last time I looked, the states of Texas and New Mexico do border one another. Additionally, Southwest Airlines has direct flights from Dallas-Fort Worth airport to Albuquerque and vice versa. Thus, it's really easy to travel from one to the other. If you believe Hawaii has a natural rival in your hypothetical system, then TCU and New Mexico would certainly work.
Jim Fletcher

David said...

Around the MWC, the talk is of Fresno State, Boise State and Tulsa. This makes the most sense for the MWC and for these three schools. It gets FSU its annual date with SDSU. It gets BSU into the MWC. It gets Tulsa a travel partner in other sports and a conference rival. And, it strengthens the MWC to get a BCS spot with 5 top 25 teams.

This is what every fan of non-BCS college football should be rooting for right now.

Anonymous said...

If expansion were to happen, the MWC would extend invites to Boise St, Fresno, and Houston. Although Tulsa and Hawaii could be in the mix.

Why?

Boise St gets the invite only because of the perceived strength amd growth of their football program. [Warning: Boise St brings no TV market, and a lousy resume on other sports! And the Smurf turf would have to go!]

Fresno gets the invite because of the overall strength of all programs. But more important, Fresno gives the MWC another California tie-in. Amd let's not forget about the TV market that Fresno brings (not the largest, but respectable).

Houston likely gets the third invite. Houston gives the MWC a second probably the second best Texas school not already in a BCS conference. Houston brings an OK athletics program. And they bring a huge TV market.

Tulsa could get the invite... but it is a small school (so is TCU). But Tulsa also doesn't bring the additional Texas recruiting or the Houston TV market.

Hawaii is also a small possiblity. But the MWC teams already ditched Hawaii once (it wasn't personal... Hawaii is just a beast to Travel to).

MWC Eastern Division:
Houston
TCU
New Mexico
Air Force
Colorado St
Wyoming

MWC Western Division:
San Diego
Fresno
UNLV
Boise St
Utah
BYU