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College Football Spotlight

The Big Picture

September 07, 2003|Elliott Teaford

These are difficult days and nights for the Mountain West Conference, eight hardy schools desperately trying to measure up to the 62 big shots in the BCS. Respect is tough to come by, however.

Wednesday, Congress agreed that the bowl championship series is bogus because it excludes such conferences as the Mountain West, but it also decided it wasn't in a position to break the BCS monopoly and the millions of dollars it produces for its schools. It was a mixed victory for the Mountain West.

Saturday, the Mountain West took its lumps on the field, with all eight conference members hitting the road to face BCS schools. Oh, the conference had its moments, as in San Diego State's narrow 16-13 loss to No. 2 Ohio State, and in victories by Colorado State over California and Air Force over Northwestern.

But five other teams were defeated and, by day's end, the Mountain West had failed to prove the point that it deserves to be included with other BCS conferences, including the Big Ten, Big 12 and Pacific 10. It wasn't as if it didn't have its shot. It simply failed to deliver the goods, although it would appear the BCS isn't safe just yet.

Scott Cowen, president of Tulane (11-0 but shut out of a BCS bowl in 1998), and 43 other university presidents will meet with BCS representatives Monday at Chicago to talk about possible changes that could benefit conferences like the Mountain West.

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-- Elliott Teaford

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