MWC, Boise St. best be careful

Remember that line about being careful what you wish for?
Well, Boise State and the MWC might want to think long and hard about it.
Speculation — and really, it’s been little more than that — for the past several months (heck, it’s been years!) has had Boise State getting an invitation to the Mountain West Conference based on the strength of its football team.
The theory is that adding the Broncos would strengthen the MWC’s case when arguing for status as an automatic qualifying conference in the BCS picture.
The recent developments and rumors of the Pac 10 inviting six schools is a massive game-changer. But that move probably won’t directly involve BYU or Utah. So, for the sake of this little blog entry, I’ll focus on the MWC/WAC stuff.
Colorado State football coach Steve Fairchild joined what has largely been media-driven speculation when he tweeted: “Boise would give us TWO top 5 teams. Just as excited as any FB fan to see if the MWC presidents can make this happen.”
Let’s take a closer look at this and ask, again, if the MWC and Boise might want to be careful what they wish for.
Adding Boise State would, indeed, add a Top 5 football team to the conference — until the Broncos lost.
Does anyone truly think the MWC would ever get more than one team ranked in the Top 5? Preseason, perhaps. But at the end of the year? After TCU, Utah, BYU and Boise State beat each other up and — at best — you end up with one undefeated school?
Do the Broncos, a team that has made a huge name for itself regionally and nationally, honestly believe they’ll be in contention for a BCS berth or a Top 10 ranking after a loss to BYU, TCU or Utah?
Ask Oklahoma how that works out. The Sooners were Top 5 last year when they played BYU. They lost and plummeted.
BYU, then shot up the rankings — until they lost to Florida State and subsequently free fell down the rankings.
It’s almost understandable why the MWC wants Boise State. It certainly does create a stronger conference on the top end. The problem is New Mexico, UNLV, San Diego State, Wyoming, Colorado State and sometimes Air Force are hardly impressive.
Believe me, I know bad football when I see it — I cover Utah State and the WAC — and the MWC has an abundance of bad football.
So, while the Mountain West may stand to benefit in the short run by adding Boise State — especially if the Big 12 dissolves — Boise State may not benefit as much as it thinks it will.
There may be a financial bonus for the Broncos, but there will also be a huge risk.
Right now, the Broncos are living large as the big fish in a little pond. BSU is an annual contender for a BCS bowl and that will never change as long as they stay in the WAC.
If BSU jumps to the Mountain West, they will be fighting it out with three other schools for one BCS spot — if anyone thinks the MWC is going to get two BCS berths they are living in a dreamland and fooling themselves.
There is no guarantee of ever becoming an automatic qualifying conference, even without the Big 12 in the picture — you know the powers that be will rewrite the rules the minute the Big 12 is raided, giving that automatic spot to the newly formed conferences.
So, MWC and Boise State, do you really want this marriage of convenience?
Are the benefits really that great?
A weakened WAC may remove some competition for the MWC in the short term for an at-large BCS berth. But to make a case that the BCS conferences are not the super conferences they want to be, the MWC would be best served by having a strong (or at least semi-strong) WAC as a friendly rival in battles against the BCS.
Be careful what you wish for, Boise State and MWC.
You just might get it.

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