Mountain West presents eight-team playoff proposal

Many college football fans across the country screamed for change during the bowl season. The Mountain West Conference answered and will direct the battle against the current Bowl Championship Series system.

The conference presented an eight-team playoff proposal to the BCS, said Javan Hedlund, associate commissioner for communications of the Mountain West Conference. The nine university presidents known as the Mountain West Conference Board of Directors prompted the decision, Hedlund said.

The current system weighs the BCS rankings of teams in each league. According to the playoff proposal, a conference would qualify for an automatic bid if its teams’ winning percentage were at least .400 in games against the current automatic qualifying leagues over a two-year period.

The proposal eliminated BCS rankings and created a 12-member committee to choose the teams that receive at-large bids. The committee would also seed the eight teams chosen for the playoff.

The proposal also states that the four first-round playoff games would be played at the current BCS bowl games. The BCS bowls would also be given the opportunity to host the semifinals a week later. The championship game would be played a week later.

The final part of the proposed system asked that each conference and Notre Dame have equal representation on the BCS committee and for revenues to be given equally among all leagues.

The Mountain West has received positive feedback for the proposal from other conferences, Hedlund said.

Athletics director Danny Morrison said that the proposal created a necessary dialogue to address the need for change in the BCS as well as a playoff system.

The key element for the Mountain West is the success it has had in recent years, Morrison said. Since the conference had three teams finish in the top 25 with two teams in the top 10, the timing was perfect, Morrison said.

Morrison said the proposal was not because of poor performance by some BCS conferences but because of the success of Mountain West teams.

“The Mountain West Conference had a superb year this year, and we want to continue to have these kind of years as we move forward,” he said.

The Horned Frogs’ competition will continue to get tougher as the Mountain West becomes a greater challenger to the BCS conferences, Morrison said.

“I would say we’ve got a really challenging nonconference schedule,” Morrison said. “At the same time, the conference continues to get better and better as it gets deeper with all the teams improving.”

The Frogs are scheduled to play Texas State University and Southern Methodist University in Fort Worth next season and will travel to Virginia and South Carolina to take on the University of Virginia and Clemson University, respectively.