WAC Ain't All That

MWC, not the WAC, is best non-BCS conference

June 22, 2007

By Trev Alberts

Special to CSTV.com



Trev Alberts is a football analyst for CSTV and CSTV.com.
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You've got college football questions and CSTV football analyst Trev Alberts has answers and opinions. Each week Alberts will be answering questions and queries on the world of college football. So if you've got a question for Trev, just ask him.


Everyone knows why the WAC is the best non-BCS conference in the country because of Hawai'i and Boise State. But who would you say is the best team in the WAC? - Jason, Fremont, Calif.




I think that's being a bit presumptuous, I've read elsewhere in major publications that the WAC is the best non-BCS conference. I don't know if I'd agree with that. I think the Mountain West Conference remains the best non-BCS conference top to bottom. You don't just judge a conference based on one year, and in terms of long-term stability and overall consistency, when you throw in teams like BYU, TCU and Utah, you're talking about some stable programs. They aren't present in the WAC as much.


I do think Boise State has established that sort of program in the WAC. They have a commitment from the university, the fans and they've displayed consistency. Boise can compete with any team in the Mountain West, but I just think top to bottom, the best non-BCS conference is the Mountain West.


Do you give Penn State any shot at challenging for the Big Ten title, even with Michigan and Wisconsin clearly ahead of them? - Henry Smeltz, Ohio


I don't give them much of a shot. I think it's going to be a rebuilding year of sorts for the Nittany Lions. Not only would I say Michigan and Wisconsin are ahead of Penn State, but Ohio State, even though they've lost all those players, is ahead of the Nittany Lions. I don't think they're at the level of an Ohio State.

They're in there fighting in the middle of the pack with an Iowa team trying to rebound, but I just don't see them competing with the Big Ten elite. Of course a lot of what happens in the Big Ten is based on the schedule. It's ludicrous how you can have a conference that allows teams to not play everyone. If Penn State doesn't have to play Michigan, then they're a player. But that's just not the case for the Nittany Lions this year. I think they're battling for fourth best team right now.


But there's a lot that can happen. Sitting here in June, next thing you know someone could go down and a whole season's shot.


Are they playing too many games on the weekdays? Thursday and Fridays, even Wednesdays and sometimes Tuesdays teams are playing. I thought college presidents were concerned about the "student-athletes" and their academics that won't allow them to support a playoff, yet they add a 12th game? - J.B., New York


The double-speak is pretty evident. There are so many things in life that people do, and I honestly believe that those people think we don't know what they're doing. I don't know whether they think they're so much more intelligent than us or that they're just simply at another level. But the hypocrisy is pointed out time and time again whether it be Al Gore or John Travolta talking about carbon emissions and then they show a picture of their house and it's like, "Your footprint is three times bigger than mine."  


It's almost the same thing with the NCAA at times and college presidents. They say the right stuff, but then everything they do is so blatantly in the face of it, everybody knows they're not fooling us anymore. Everybody knows the sport that we love and care about happens to be a minor league farm system for the NFL that generates colleges millions and millions of dollars through branding and identity. So at the end of the day, every decision that's made - I don't care under what category they put it under - comes down to revenue. Never once has a decision been made that hasn't in some way taken into account revenue. College coaches and conferences have thought about how that conference championship game can hurt the best team in the league. If they don't play well in that one game and get burned, they could potentially lose out on a chance to play for the national championship. But on the bright side, it does bring in an extra $3 million in guaranteed revenue for the conference.


Common sense will never prevail when it comes down to the money. But I agree with the original question; schools play on whatever night the networks dictate as long as the revenues are there. I think the only way if you're unhappy if your team is consistently playing on the weeknights is to have enough alumni and boosters say you're taking away from the core thing that makes college football so great: the Saturday afternoon in the fall where the family goes to the game and there's tailgating. But it's all about revenue. You'd like something to be special, like have games played on one night a week other than Saturday. There is too much college football played midweek. And that's unfair.