You thought Big Country was big? Wait until you wade into the details from a consortium that would include more than a quarter of all Football Bowl Subdivision schools.
Under the plan being circulated by the Mountain West and Conference USA to FBS administrators, those two conferences would hope to join forces with the Big East in a grouping of 28 to 32 schools in football only. The Big East is still pursuing a 12-team football league.
The idea is for the three conferences to stay viable to the BCS for automatic qualification to a BCS bowl or bowls. For now, call it the Global Conference.
Those conferences would reorganize to compete in four, eight-team divisions or four, seven-team divisions. It’s not clear from the document how many automatic bids would emerge out of the group.
The Boston Globe and CBSSports.com received the document detailing the plan. The Globe first reported its details on Friday.
“In the event the concept of the AQ (automatic qualifier) goes forward,” the document states, “the decision of which conferences receive it, will likely be based on multiple factors, some of which are tangible and others intangible.”
It adds that nothing is assured in the postseason landscape after the 2013 season, the final year of the current BCS/ESPN agreement. The document acknowledges that the five power conferences have “clearly distinguished” themselves – Pac-12, Big Ten, Big 12, ACC and SEC – but that the Big East “has not compared well to most Power Conferences from a competitive standpoint”.
The document goes on to say that there is a “low probability” the Big East would retain its automatic BCS bid after 2013. It states what is already known -- that the conference needed a waiver from commissioners to retain BCS membership in 2008. It also says that the Big East is so low in the current qualification standards that it wouldn’t even qualify for a waiver to remain a BCS league at the moment. It concludes the Big East in its current form does not merit BCS inclusion over “the MW/CUSA.”
That could be self-serving propaganda from the Big Country. Conference USA and the Mountain West announced last week a 22-school alliance from which a champion could emerge that would snag a BCS bowl. Separately, the Mountain West recently proposed a 16-team FBS playoff.
The document obtained by CBSSports.com and the Globe goes on to detail “an alternative path” for the Big East worthy of “serious consideration.” If there is a BCS going forward after 2013, it states, the Big East’s best future lies with a “cooperative initiative” rather than individual efforts to rebuild.
“We are at a crossroads,” states the document.
The Global Conference divisions
San Diego State
Texas –El Paso
The 28-team model would be slightly reorganized and not include San Jose State, Temple, Louisiana Tech, Navy