MWC could get automatic bid

Updated: April 21, 2010, 10:23 PM ET
Associated Press

SCOTTSDALE, Ariz. -- The Mountain West Conference has performed so well the past two seasons that it could receive an automatic bid to the BCS in the 2012 and '13 seasons.

BCS executive director Bill Hancock was hesitant Wednesday to say the MWC, which has placed Utah and TCU in the Bowl Championship Series the last two seasons, was on course to become the seventh automatic qualifying conference.

But he did tell the conference commissioners and athletic directors gathered here this week for meetings that they should be aware of the strides the Mountain West has made toward earning an automatic bid.

The BCS rates non-automatic qualifying leagues using three criteria that measure the strength of its best teams and the league as a whole. The first two seasons of the four-year evaluation period were 2008 and '09, banner years for the MWC.

The Big East, Big 12, Big Ten, Atlantic Coast Conference, Pac-10 and Southeastern Conference currently receive automatic BCS bids.

"If they [the Mountain West Conference] meet the threshold, they'll be the seventh," Hancock said, though he added the way the other conferences perform over the next two seasons influences that threshold.

Hancock also said the BCS in the future would like to avoid playing its non-championship games on weekday nights because it hurts attendance.

He cited the fact that Iowa brought 28,000 fans in January to the Orange Bowl, which was played on a Tuesday.


Copyright 2010 by The Associated Press