Lots of mail for our Friday mailbag, so let’s get it started. Thanks to all who submitted questions and comments. Keep them coming!
Josh Cann in Salt Lake City writes: I have a proposed solution to the BCS: The highest ranked team (not the conference champ, to avoid fluke teams) from the top 6 conferences (according to conference rankings) that year get auto bids to BCS games. After that, the highest ranked 4 teams would get in. Also, take away the 2 per conference max to allow the best teams to get in. The best team in the top 6 conferences that year benefit. It would eliminate Virginia Tech and UConn this year because the WAC and MWC are ranked higher than the Big East and ACC. It makes it fair for who gets an auto bid and leaves it up to competition and not speculation. Also this eliminates teams like South Carolina if they beat Auburn from getting in a BCS game over Auburn. With this formula, these would be the 10 teams in the BCS this year. Auburn, Oregon, Wisconsin, Oklahoma, Boise State, TCU. At large: Ohio State, Arkansas, Michigan State, LSU.
Andrea Adelson: I appreciate your attempt at a new plan to try to make things more equitable. A few points and questions: Who comes up with the conference rankings, and what is the formula to determine that? Why reward a team that isn't even a champion of its conference? The powers-that-be in the ACC and Big East are not going to want to lose their grip on the auto bid, which is a flaw to this plan. So is not allowing a conference champion in. But hey, there is no question the system needs to change somehow, some way.
Sean Cunniff in Santa Fe, N.M., writes: The rumor mill is abuzz with word that UMass is contemplating moving up to the FBS division and competing in the MAC as early as next year. Perhaps the first step en route to the Minutemen eventually landing in the Big East.
Adelson: The MAC is not confirming anything publicly, but it does appear the Minutemen are on track to potentially get a spot in the league. As for future Big East affiliation, that is a long ways away. Villanova has the first shot, and then potentially UCF. It all depends on how conference expansion takes shape in the next five to 10 years.
Anthony in Grand View, Idaho, writes: Why wouldn't Boise State get matched up against and quality 1-2 loss team like LSU, Michigan State or even three-loss teams such as ‘Bama or Big 12 championship game loser? It's sad that they might get barely bowl eligible teams like Miami or Boston College?
Adelson: No one-loss non-AQ has ever gotten an at-large bid, and the chances are slim that would happen this year. Why? The BCS games prefer to take a team from the automatic qualifying conferences with an at-large spot. Remember, the system is tilted toward those conferences.
Aaron in Tampa writes: In his attempt to reverse damage caused by his criticism of Boise St and TCU, Ohio State President E. Gordon Gee recently said, "What do I know about college football? I look like Orville Redenbacher. I have no business talking about college football." While Gee's sentiment is appreciated, this is still a major problem for non-AQs. University presidents are the decision makers when it comes to the conference affiliations and BCS arrangements that keep the little guy pinned down. but they are completely ignorant of the current competitive landscape of college football.
Adelson: Couldn't have said it better myself.
Quentin in Toledo writes: Besides Boise State, Nevada, TCU, and Utah, which non-AQ team do you see on the rise? San Diego State and Miami (Ohio) both have big improvements from last year to this year. For three years straight Northern Illinois' record keeps getting better and better and now they rank 25 in BCS in Week 14. Do you see any of these teams getting better or they will never be on Boise State's level?
Adelson: TCU and Utah won’t be non-AQ for much longer. I think a lot depends on what happens with Brady Hoke at San Diego State. He is the big reason why that team has turned it around and is competitive. If he leaves, the Aztecs are going to need to find somebody to continue the hard work he has already put into the program to make them potentially the next Boise State. It's hard for me to see a MAC team as the next Boise State. You thought people laughed at the WAC strength of schedule? Nobody will take that strength of schedule seriously. One school to keep an eye on is UCF. If the Knights do not get into the Big East, there is the potential for them to continue to rise. What we need to see out of them is consistency, and more wins over teams from AQ conferences.
Mike in Fort Smith, Ark., writes: I read an interesting idea and I wanted to know if you thought it was a possibility. Adding Boise state and Memphis to the big 12. Boise would fill the Mountain Time zone slot of Colorado while also filling the northern void that Nebraska left while adding a team rich in football tradition. Memphis would add a team in SEC territory while adding a basketball power. Placing both of these teams in the north would allow the big 12 to keep their valuable championship game. To me this makes great sense! I want to know if this is something that could actually happen?
Adelson writes: Boise and Memphis simply don't provide a big enough footprint in terms of TV money, so it is very hard for me to envision this scenario. Remember, it is all about what revenue new members can add to the league.
Jon in Charleston, W. Va., writes: I don't think the Big East deserves to be treated as the "Black Sheep." 2010 has been a bad year for the league, no questions there. But why are people so quick to down a league that has seen 6-8 teams in the top 10 at some point in the past 5 years. (Every Big East team except UConn and Syracuse can say that). Louisville and Syracuse are on their way back to being quality programs. One down season doesn't make a conference. We're 3-2 in BCS bowl games since the ACC raid went down. That's more wins than the ACC has had since the BCS was created. But one bad year and the Big East is The "Big Least" C'mon give me a break. In the Big East, there are no cupcakes, anyone can beat anyone. No other conference can say that like the Big East can. People need to remember what the Big East has accomplished since the ACC poached two of our top teams and Boston College. It deserves to be seated at the BCS table with or without TCU.
Adelson: Jon, perception is reality and right now the perception of the Big East is not very good. It took how long to get a team back into the Top 25 rankings? And it is a team that may not even get the BCS bid. I appreciate what the Big East has done in the past, but we are a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately society. And lately, the Big East has done nothing for college football fans.