MWC Making a Splash

This bowl season has been pretty decent so far. Big upsets, thrilling drama, blowouts…you name it, there have been some fun games to watch. Of course, the games are completely meaningless as a postseason goes, but I digress. Anyone been paying attention to the Mountain West Conference this bowl season? You better, because they have been making quite a statement.

The first game of the bowl season was Wyoming vs Fresno State in New Mexico. No one gave Wyoming a chance. Fresno State had the country’s leading rusher, adn 8-4 record, and a third place finish in the WAC behind Nevada and Boise State. Wyoming was even ranked lower than all other bowl teams in the computer rankings. But Wyoming pulled it off in double over time.

Then in Las Vegas, BYU completely murdered Oregon State. This wasn’t even a game. It was utter domination. It should be worth noting that Cincinnati, USC and Oregon all had a much harder time with Oregon State than BYU did. 44-20 isn’t even an accurate measure of how close this game wasn’t. Runner up in the MWC made the runner up of the Pac-10 look like an ordinary Sun Belt team. And many have said the Pac-10 was the strongest conference top to bottom this year.

Then in San Diego, Utah and Cal played a great game. Cal jumped to an early 14-0 lead, but just like their season, it was a great start and a terrible finish. Utah went on to pummel them in every aspect of the game. This is a Cal team that beat Arizona and Stanford, the third and fourth place Pac-10 teams. From what I just saw, Utah, who only lost on the road at Oregon by a touchdown, looks like they could fit in just fine in the Pac-10.

So what have we learned? From Nevada’s disaster and Fresno State’s letdown we know the WAC is not as good as they advertise. Boise State will have the final say in that against TCU. We also know the Pac-10 is either not as good as advertised, or the MWC is much better than advertised. Either way, USC had better redeem the pac-10 tonight, or else no one will think the conference was that good.

The future of the MWC is good no matter what, as they already won 3 of the 5 bowl games. But Air Force has a small chance to take down Hosuton, a team ranked most of the year. And TCU is the big favorite over Boise State. Now imagine this. The MWC goes 5-0 in bowl games. They finish with two top 10 teams again. They invite Boise State into the conference beginning 2011. How could they not get an auto bid?

And BYU could very well move into the top 10. They are 14 right now with a win over a ranked team who was the runner up in the Pac-10. Look ahead at who still has to play. Penn State and LSU go at it, they are 12 and 13. Iowa and Georgia Tech go at it, they are 9 and 11. Oregon and Ohio State go at it, and they are 8 and 10. Heck, TCU and Boise State go at it, and they are 3 and 6. A Boise State loss and BYU could pass them too. So BYU will likely pass Penn State, Ohio State and Iowa when they all lose. If Florida loses, they might pass them as well. Utah will likely be in the top 20 to close out the season as well.

This is looking like a great year for the MWC. Still a lot of bowls to be played, but they are off to a great start.