Let’s get this little formality out front early. The Mountain West Conference is a better football conference than the Western Athletic Conference.
The top three of the MWC is good. Very good.
The WAC has Boise State and then a mess of mediocre-to-bad teams fighting out for second every year.
But, for some reason — perhaps because the MWC is often confused for the WAC and team from the Pac 10, Big 12 and other conference lump the two leagues together as a neusance — fans from the MWC have a massive chip on their shoulder. It makes them openly root against the WAC thinking if Boise State were to lose to Tulsa the decision makers in the BCS will suddenly hold the Mountain West in a better light.
Last year, the Mountain West stuck out a couple of middle fingers at the WAC, Conference USA and the other non-BCS conferences in its attempt to muscle its way into the BCS formula. They wanted in, but also wanted the rest of the outsiders excluded — they were better than ‘those guys’ apparently.
The BCS turned a deaf ear to the MWC, though.
And as New Mexico, San Diego State and UNLV are demonstrating, there was no good reason for the MWC to look arrogantly down its collective nose at the WAC or any other conference.
So Wednesday night, when Boise State trailed Tulsa early in the game, Mountain West fans were on the edge of their seat hoping for an upset.
The Mountain West, like the WAC, needs as many non-BCS teams as possible threatening to break into the club. What those conferences don’t need is one team each year becoming a ‘fluke’ squad lucking into the system.
In the long run, the WAC would benefit from TCU being a Top 5 team as much as the MWC benefits from Boise State being an ESPN darling.
A strong WAC is good for the MWC and a strong MWC is good for the WAC. When you hear talk about the MWC adding Boise State though expansion, it’s not because the MWC schools think the Broncos will be a good addition and make them better — it’s because they think adding the Broncos would destroy the WAC and eliminate competition for a BCS berth.
The MWC should take a look in the mirror, check itself and leave the arrogance to the kids in the SEC and Big 10.