Commissioner calls bowl matchup of two MWC teams 'a travesty'

Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson is livid with the matchup of two of his conference's teams, Nevada (6-6) and Colorado State (7-5), in the inaugural NOVA Home Loans Arizona Bowl on Dec. 29.

"It is a travesty the Mountain West has been forced into this situation," Thompson said in a lengthy statement released Sunday. "Clearly, the system is broken."

Thompson said he understood the need for select teams with 5-7 records to be granted bowl eligibility, but his primary complaint seems to be that those teams were not used to fill bowl spots that would have otherwise gone unfilled.

"The NCAA decision to allow 5-7 teams to be added to the pool on an equal footing with 6-6 teams was flawed," Thompson said. "Our Conference representatives argued steadfastly for an approach whereby all 6-6 teams would first be placed according to primary and secondary agreements among the conferences and bowl games. Our position was that only then would the safety net of 5-7 teams be activated for those games which had not yet secured participants, rather than allow those teams to fulfill conference agreements and usurp 6-6 teams from conferences with backup agreements."

Nebraska (5-7) will play UCLA (8-4) in the Foster Farms Bowl. The Quick Lane Bowl, which was supposed to feature an ACC team and a Big Ten team, took Central Michigan (7-5) from the MAC and Minnesota (5-7). The third 5-7 team, San Jose State of the Mountain West, will play Georgia State (6-6) in the Cure Bowl.

Thompson said the conference worked throughout the week to find alternatives to an all-MWC bowl, but "unfortunately, no one was willing to adjust, and those efforts were to no avail."