Mountain West requesting automatic bid

LAS VEGAS -- The Mountain West Conference will ask for an automatic bid to the Bowl Championship Series for the 2012 and '13 seasons.

The MWC announced Monday that its board of directors approved making the request.

The BCS rules allow a league without automatic qualifying status to request an exemption for the next two seasons if its teams met certain performance standards from 2008-2011.

The MW met those standards, with the help of TCU earning bids in 2009 and '10. The MW was also aided by Boise State and TCU's performances this season.

Boise State finished seventh in the final BCS standings and conference champion TCU was 18th, though neither earned an automatic bid to the four marquee bowl games.

Utah earned an automatic bid in 2008 for the MW, but left the conference for the Pac-12 after last season. The league said it met the BCS' benchmarks to apply for automatic-qualifier status without Utah's results counting for the Mountain West.

TCU is leaving next season for the Big 12 and Boise State is slated to leave the conference in 2013 for the Big East.

The MWC also lost BYU after last season.

Fresno State and Nevada will join the MWC next season and Hawaii is scheduled to enter in 2013.

The league also said no further decisions were made on plans for the Mountain West to merge in football with Conference USA by 2013.