The Mountain West announced from its board of directors meetings, which wrapped up today, that it will apply for an automatic qualifier spot in the Bowl Championship Series the next two seasons.
The conference voted to submit a request for an exemption from the BCS, giving its champion a automatic berth in a BCS bowl. The MW says it met the threshold to request an exemption, based on its performance in the four-year evaluation period from 2008-11.
This is from the BCS’ site:
The process is as follows:
* The evaluation includes the following for each conference
(1) Average Ranking of Highest-Ranked Team, the ranking of the highest-ranked team in the final BCS Standings each year (if a conference does not place a team in the final BCS Standings, then its highest-ranked team is determined by the conference member that has the highest average ranking in the computer rankings used in the BCS Standings),
(2) Average Conference Ranking, the final regular-season rankings of all conference teams in the computer rankings used by the BCS each year, and
(3) Top 25 Performance Ranking, the number of teams in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings each year, with adjustments to account for differences in the number of members of each conference.
A conference will become the seventh automatic qualifier if it finishes among the top six conferences in both No. 1 and No. 2 and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 50 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3.
* Further, a conference will be eligible to apply to the Presidential Oversight Committee for an exemption if it finishes among the top six in both No. 1 and No. 2 and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 33.3 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3, OR
If it finishes among the top seven in either No. 1 or No. 2 and among the top five in the other and if its ranking in No. 3 is equal to or greater than 33.3 percent of the conference with the highest ranking in No. 3.
No. 3 above, the “Top 25 Performance Rating,” will be calculated as follows: Points will be awarded to the conferences based on their teams’ finishes in the top 25 of the final BCS Standings each year. Points will be awarded as follows:
Teams finishing 1-6: 4 points for each team Teams finishing 7-12: 3 points for each team Teams finishing 13-18: 2 points for each team Teams finishing 19-25: 1 point for each team
The point totals will be adjusted to account for the size of the conference, as follows:
12 or more members | no adjustment
10 or 11 members | points increased by 12.5 percent
9 or fewer members | points increased by 25 percent
* The computations will be made according to the conference’s membership on Dec. 4, 2011.
If the BCS continues under the same or a similar format, conferences will be evaluated on their performances during the 2010 to 2013 regular seasons to determine which conferences without bowl contracts will have automatic qualification for the bowls that will conclude the 2014-2017 regular seasons.
The Mountain West also announced that following NCAA legislation that allows for a full scholarship athlete to get an extra $2,000 in athletic aid “must be pursued within the context of cost containment and equity considerations,” although this won’t apply to Air Force because it doesn’t have athletic scholarships and all of its cadets are paid a stipend.
The MW said no decisions have been made on furthering its relationship with Conference USA. The two conferences, which agreed to a football-only alliance in October, both lost members to the Big East last week, and a full merger could be an option.