The days of the Mountain West being just a step behind the power conferences are over, and they’re not coming back.
If anyone wanted a sense of just how much the conference has fallen, the first weekend’s results provided clarity.
Boise State lost 35-13 to Mississippi, Fresno State 52-13 to Southern California, New Mexico 31-24 to Texas-El Paso, UNLV 58-13 to Arizona, and Utah State 38-7 to Tennessee. And there were some unimpressive victories, such as UNR’s 28-19 win over Southern Utah.
That’s a far cry from the days when Mountain West schools could at least compete at a high level, but with the power grab taking place by the big five conferences, the MW and the four other little sisters are being left behind.
“To the extent that there was ever any parity in college football between the 65 power conference schools and everybody else, it is now effectively over,” USA Today college football writer Dan Wolken wrote. “In truth, it has been for the last few years.”A few years back (when Boise State was doing so well and Utah and BYU were still in the MWC), I was arguing (correctly, I still think) that the MWC was more worthy of an automatic BCS slot than the pathetic Big East was. That's not saying much, of course.
But now the Big East is dead and the Mountain West might as well be.
There's much to be said for the new set-up (anything is better than the BCS), but there are always some negative consequences.