Boise's just 1 path toward BCS access
MAYBE the entire WAC should take a dive like the birds that famously, but falsely, crash-land onto the Boise blue. It almost makes sense. Take LaTech (somebody, please?). If you're willing to play money games at Nebraska, Texas A&M and Clemson -- a light sked by Bulldog standards, by the way -- isn't the next logical step to tank it for the good of the conference and the budget? What's more important? Winning football games or making enough money to pay for new volleyball nets?
Well, Boise State hasn't needed much help in dominating the league. And not all of the WAC's dreams of a seat at the adult table divvying up the big bowl bucks depend on it blasting the rest of the conference into oblivion and surviving its non-league schedule unscathed.
If the No. 25 Broncos buck their way up the rankings high enough, they're in and the entire conference wins financially.
Or so the story goes.
There's another route, but we won't know if it's a dead-end until the completion of the 2007 season.
This is the third of a four-year evaluation period at the end of which a conference not among the six behemoths (ACC, Big Ten, Pac-10, SEC, Big 12 and the Big East) can receive a battlefield promotion into the upper echelon ... and the automatic Bowl Championship Series bid that goes with it.
Of course, that would mean the defrocking of a current club member.
WAC commissioner Karl Benson is convinced the guys in the suits mean it when they say the Big East -- or, in theory, any other major conference -- can lose its place if a mid-major mans up.
If that is indeed true, last weekend was a good one for the WAC, since its members took three out of four games against Mountain West opponents (including Hawaii's 42-13 nuking of UNLV, in which the Warriors could've named the score). Good stuff for the league, especially after Boise State and San Jose State beat Pac-10 members Oregon State and Stanford the week prior.
But Benson, normally Mr. Optimism, is quick to point out that nonconference wins are just a minor factor in "a very complicated formula."
Boise trampling the Beavers while the nation watches and Dick Tomey claiming South Bay supremacy were heart-warming. But it's just a blip in the big picture. Just like the WACings of UNLV, Wyoming and Colorado State.
"The evaluation is year-end and not what happens on any given Saturday," Benson said. "Obviously one of our goals is to be rated higher than the Mountain West. But it's not just going to happen based on the outcome of one Saturday."
And don't forget the other day's results also had Fresno State on the wrong end of Washington and Utah pounding Utah State.
Some say any tale involving a mid-major getting a real piece of the BCS action has as much reality to it as the one about Mr. Rogers being a Navy SEAL.
But, then again, it's a wonderful day in the neighborhood whenever the WAC can take three out of four from the runaway rascals of the Mountain West.
is a Star-Bulletin sportswriter who covers University of Hawaii football and other topics. His column appears periodically.
Reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org