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The Countdown

A bottom-to-top assessment of the F.B.S. landscape heading into the 2012 season.

Need to Know

B.C.S. Implications of M.W.C. Tiebreaker

So the Mountain West tiebreaker procedures don’t really matter? Not quite. Cue Kellen — not Moore, I believe — who left this comment below yesterday’s story:

If, say, Boise State and Air Force both went undefeated in conference play and were both in the B.C.S. eligibility zone, the tiebreaker would be significant, as one of the two teams would be relegated to “at large” status while the other received the non-A.Q. B.C.S. berth.

Anyone interested in revisiting the B.C.S. selection procedures? It’ll be like checking in with an old friend. The pertinent section goes as follows:

The champion of Conference USA, the Mid-American Conference, the Mountain West Conference, the Sun Belt Conference, or the Western Athletic Conference will earn an automatic berth in a B.C.S. bowl game if either:

A. Such team is ranked in the top 12 of the final B.C.S. Standings, or;

B. Such team is ranked in the top 16 of the final B.C.S. Standings and its ranking in the final B.C.S. Standings is higher than that of a champion of a conference that has an annual automatic berth in one of the B.C.S. bowls.

There you go. If for no other reason, the potential B.C.S. implications should force the Mountain West to have some sort of backup plan in place should two teams that don’t meet during the regular season — Boise State and Air Force, for example — end up tied atop the final conference standings.

What would the Mountain West do if it got to that point? I’d venture a guess that the conference would give the crown to the team with the highest ranking in the final B.C.S. standings, thereby ensuring that at least one M.W.C. team reaches a B.C.S. bowl.

As an aside, this seems like one year where the Mountain West won’t factor too heavily into the B.C.S. hunt. Boise State will be rebuilding, even if rebuilding in Boise means 10 wins, not 12. Nevada will be better, but the Wolf Pack would still need to navigate through California, South Florida, the Broncos and the rest of the M.W.C. slate in order to break into the B.C.S. conversation.

That doesn’t matter: the conference should still have a procedure in place in case this scenario does come to pass. I’ve reached out to the league for comment, but with the M.W.C. basketball tournament in full swing, I don’t expect to get any ruling on the tiebreaking procedures until early next week.

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  1. Jeremy says:

    Reading the BCS clause and the MWC tiebreaker clause it seems that it has to go to the higher ranked team in the BCS.

    Unless, the MWC smartens up and adds a tiebreaking procedure for a tie.

  2. BobJ says:

    Does anyone know why conferences with ten teams do not play a full schedule?

  3. Brett6 says:

    Well..here we go. Boise State is tied for first and only needs to climb a few spots to be eligible for the automatic bid. – assuming they have the tiebreaker over San Diego State and Fresno State.

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