Bowl season has been, to this point, less than spectacular. However, one interesting thing has emerged. Three of the five games thus far have featured Mountain West teams, and all three of those teams have won. Wyoming kicked off bowl season with a win over Fresno State in double overtime in the only great game to date. BYU handled Oregon State with ease in the oddly windy Las Vegas Bowl. Then, Utah beat Cal pretty solid as well.
The MWC has two more games left. Air Force plays Houston in the Armed Forces Bowl and, of course, TCU takes on Boise State in the Fiesta Bowl. If those two teams can pull off victories, it will be a great bowl season for the Mountain West to be sure. While they aren’t among the AQ conferences, most college football fans consider them just as good as, say, the ACC, if not better. This year, they might even be better than the likes of the Big East, Big Ten, and perhaps even the Big 12. Sure, they are a bit top heavy, but was any conference more top heavy than the Big 12 this year? Nobody is batting an eyelash there it seems.
Would a 5-0 bowl season do much for MWC? Probably not in concrete terms. They want to become an automatic qualifying conference, and while a successful bowl campaign wouldn’t hurt, I don’t know if it would expedite things at all. At the very least, it would likely convert most of those remaining non-believers who don’t think the Mountain West is, at the moment, as legitimate as some of the bigger name conferences.
Of course, there is no guarantee that Air Force or TCU will win. Then again, few people saw Wyoming beating Fresno State and yet it happened.
So, how do you feel about the Mountain West? Do you think they should get an automatic qualifier for the BCS bowl games? Do you put much stock into a conference’s bowl performance? It’s often used to deride the Big Ten, so maybe for once people could use it in a positive light.