June was a crazy month for NCAA football. It seemed that no matter where you looked, there were rumors, speculation, and general unrest regarding college football.

Rumors of conference expansion had been looming and gaining credibility since last year. The second the ’09/’10 season ended in January, the word was spreading that the Big 10 was looking to add at least 1 more team in order to have the minimum 12 team conference required by the NCAA to host a conference championship game.

The Big 10’s brother conference to the west, the PAC-10, joined the conversation shortly thereafter.

A conference championship game would not only add another revenue opportunity for the conferences, although it was most likely the central motivation behind the additions, but would also give the conference another shot at giving their champion a boost in the BCS rankings prior to the bowl selections.

The University of Utah and Colorado University were included in almost all PAC-10 expansion scenarios due to the type of institutions the PAC-10 would most likely look for.

On the surface, Utah fit the PAC-10 prototype for their work as a research institution, the Salt Lake City TV market they dominate, and their overall success the last 20 years in basketball, football, and other athletic programs.

Utah currently owns the nations longest bowl win streak (9) and boasts a perfect 2-0 BCS record, outscoring their opponents 66-24 in the 2 games.

Although basketball at the U this past season was anything but impressive, they have always been able to compete year in and year out with the best in and out of the conference.

But will that soon change?

Supporters of the Mountain West Conference will try to argue that the conference schedule in the MWC is more challenging than that of the PAC-10. To which I say, “nice try.”

Right now, sure, I would say that TCU is better than any other team from the PAC-10 conference and Washington State is worse (probably) than any in the MWC. That being said, the Mountain West Conference is TCU, Utah, BYU and company. The same cannot be said of the PAC-10 recently.

In the past, USC dominated the PAC-10 landscape and the race was for 2nd place in the conference. But over the last few years, teams such as Oregon, Oregon State, Cal, Stanford, and Washington have been on the rise to the point where now, you have 5-6 very competitive teams, each with very talented players.

Not only does the PAC-10 have a higher number of capable teams, but the fan bases and stadiums are more intense. Only 2 Universities in the PAC-10 have stadiums with capacities under 50K, whereas, the Mountain West has only 3 teams with stadiums over 50K.

The bottom line in this scenario is that the MWC had 4 teams finish in the bottom 40 (CBSSports.com full rankings) compared to the PAC-10’s lone bottom 40 team, Washington State.

Maybe the Utes won’t face 2 teams in the PAC-10 in one year as good as TCU and BYU were last year, but I can also assure you they won’t have the luxury of facing teams the likes of CSU, UNLV, Wyoming, New Mexico, and San Diego State week in and week out either.

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Comments
  1. homocidalpsychojunglecat says:

    Problem with your logic is that the last 2 years the MWC is 5-1 against Pac-10. Also, you just said that Utah made the move to the Pac-10 because their bad teams are better than the MWC’s bad teams, while at the same time saying the MWC’s best teams are better than the Pac-10’s best teams. That, to me, sounds like a poor justifcation for taking a step back in the ranks. The two best over-all teams in the Pac-10 just got significantly worse. USC for obvious reasons, and Oregon just kicked their star player (QB) off the team. That leaves them with Washington that didn’t even finish in the top 25 last year. Now that you mention it, the only 2 teams that finished in the top 25 last year from the Pac-10 will be lucky to finish in the top half of the Pac-10 this year. Pac- 10 is depserate for a winning team, the Utes are desperate to match BYU’s national title, they are a good fit.

    • Jason says:

      Uh, yeah “A step back in the ranks”. Oh crap “junglecat”, you better get on the horn with Chris Hill and explain that to him, cuz you got some statistical magic goin on.

      “Utes are DESPERATE to match BYU’s national title”. Yeah, I’m sure that gets talked about all the time at top rank meetings. I bet it was the prime motivation for accepting the invite. “Uhg, Kyle, we REALLY, really need to get a national title like BYU!” Dude, look at the overall bowl record. Also, what was that a quarter century ago?

      Get your jabs in now, because after this season, the whole “holy war” will be kind of a sad affair for BYU. It will be like Utah/USU. Yeah, Utah will take the Y serious, cuz it’s an in state rivalry, but really though. It won’t be pretty.

  2. Dan Condie says:

    I gotta say, there are so many things wrong with this comment I don’t know where to start. Regarding my bad justification for the PAC-10 being a better conference regardless of the MWC champ being better than the PAC-10 champ and the bottom feeder in the PAC-10 being worse than the bottom feeder in the MWC, let me put it this way, Boise St. beat TCU in the fiesta Bowl last season so by definition they are better than TCU. But the WAC is miles from being where the MWC is as far as overall talent. (and the MWC record against the PAC-10 is not 5-1 in the last 2 years (unless you conveniently forgot BYU’s loss to the worst bowl eligible team Arizona a couple years ago?
    Secondly, jeremiah masoli is NOT oregon’s star player. He’s a very good player but both lagarrett blount and lamichael james were more valuable players for oregon. Even oregon’s linemen were more valuable than masoli. USC will be down….sure. But USC’s worst recruit on the team is someone air force couldn’t touch (which is the 4th best team in the MWC since you think USC will drop below 4th in the PAC-10)
    Next, regarding utah being desperate to match BYU’s national championship. To that I say, every single bowl game utah has ever won against a team that was 6-5 or better, was just as impressive (if not, more so) than BYU’s national championship. AND, to that, I’ll add this…if the last time your team did something worth bragging about was before you were born, sucks to be a fan of THAT team. Applaud your spirit though.

    • homocidalpsychojunglecat says:

      Numbers don’t lie man, last time any other Pac-10 team got in the top 10 was in 2004. And USC is a circus right now being led by a clown named Lane Kiffin. It may suck to be a fan of my team, but at least we’re in a winning conference. Have fun losing in front of 50 thousand fans each week.

  3. Dan Condie says:

    Yeah and guess what! The Utes have finished in the top 5 twice since 2004 so don’t worry, we’ll be just fine. Bottom line is this…being a member of the PAC-10 is better for the Utes from any standpoint. They’ll be making 15 million dollars more just on TV revenue alone.
    Let’s be completely honest here. Utah and BYU were the money makers for the WAC back in the day between BYU football, and Utes basketball and gymnastics, no one else contributed and we broke off to rule the MWC…and we have…but utah has made a bigger splash on the national stage since we began a decade ago. You can talk consistency, specific stats, whatever you want to argue otherwise but the fact is that Utah has busted the BCS and proven worthy to be included.
    So good luck losing in front 50K people? How bout good luck ever getting another Utah recruit outside Utah county again.

    • homocidalpsychojunglecat says:

      I like your logic here, Boise St. beat TCU, therefore equals better than TCU (I disagree whole heartidly by the way) TCU beat Utah, therefore they are better than Utah. That means the addition of Boise State, and the loss of Utah (according to you) makes the MWC better. Hmmm, interesting.

      Good move fore the Utes… financially. Alot of your points are speculation, and they still have alot to prove. It’ll be interesting.

  4. Dan Condie says:

    My point is this…in the MWC, TCU, Utah, and BYU circle the game against the other 2 when it comes to conference play and (apart from air force) don’t really sweat the rest of the conference.
    The same can’t be said of the PAC-10. Maybe the most talented team in the PAC-10 isn’t as talented as TCU, but that will change with teams coming and going with their talent. But there are a good 5-6 teams with upset capabilities in the pac-10 and there just aren’t in the MWC. No 2 ways about it.

  5. Papa Condie says:

    “if the last time your team did something worth bragging about was before you were born, sucks to be a fan of THAT team”? Bam!!!! Classic comeback that should live in infamy!

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