The 2 Point Conversion

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Amid College Chaos, MWC Flies Under the Radar


The Big 12 has 10 teams. The Big 10 has 12. The Pac-10 could soon change the game of college football forever if they establish a 16 team mega-conference. Clearly, the Big 12 is the big loser in this changing of the guard if Texas, Oklahoma and company do indeed join the Pac 10. The biggest winner may not be the Pac-10 however, but the Mountain West Conference.

With the Big 12 likely being extinct for the 2011 season, there is an opening for an annual spot at the Fiesta Bowl. The MWC is already making moves to seize it having annexed Boise State from the WAC. Next, they could be targeting Big 12 schools whose opportunities to abandon ship have passed them by. This group is headlined by Kansas and Missouri, although it also includes Kansas State, Iowa State, and Baylor. TCU is vehemently opposed to Baylor joining the MWC, and Iowa State and “mountain” should not be in the same sentence together. However, Kansas and Mizzou are very attractive candidates that can ensure the legitimacy of the conference long-term. Kansas is a basketball powerhouse and can add competition to New Mexico and BYU, who were each players in the March Madness Tournament. Missouri also is a top 50 team in both football and basketball most years, and adding the Jayhawks and Tigers would pour another rivalry into the conference as well as toughen up the schedules for Utah, TCU, BYU, and Boise State. If TCU or Boise State played head-to-head, won at Lawrence and again at Columbia, they could have been playing Alabama in a much tougher game a few months ago.

The MWC needed to add some quality competition, or else their big dogs (Utah, TCU, BYU) would have eventually moved on to somewhere else where they could challenge for a national championship. They have twelve teams now, four of which finished in the top 18 last season, which is better than the SEC, Big 12, Pac 10, ACC, and Big East. While they are not competitive top-to-bottom, expect them to continue adding teams like Fresno State or Hawaii 0r try to lure teams away from the Pac-16 that may be unhappy with the new format, say Arizona State.

A tougher conference leads to better recruits, even for UNLV and New Mexico, who may become much better because of the additions of the Broncos, Jayhawks, and Tigers. With as many and as good of contenders as you will find in the country with the exceptions of the SEC and maybe the Pac-16, I advise you not to sleep on the Mountain West Conference. In 2011, TCU, Utah, Boise State, and BYU may finally get their chance to prove their worth against the nation’s best teams.

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June 12, 2010 - Posted by | NFL Draft 2011

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