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From the Anchor Desk
Tuesday, June 24, 2003
By Brian Bailey
Sports Anchor of WNCT-TV 9

MWC gearing up; C-USA had better be ready


Mountain West Conference commissioner Craig Thompson put it better then anyone else that I have seen regarding expansion.

Commenting on the three most important items on his league's agenda, Thompson told “The big issue is No. 1, BCS status; Now. 2, BCS status; and No. 3 BCS status.”

It’s really as simple as that.

With that said, the MWC is actively gearing up to move forward, regardless of what happens with the ACC-Big East fiasco.

The conference will look to the the league its members once called home — the WAC — for teams to go to twelve. The problem there, of course, is that all of the schools involved have hooked up before and found that 16 teams caused more problems then it was worth.

Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada are the four programs the Mountain West will target. However, Texas Christian from Conference USA would be an attractive addition if the Horned Frogs can be lured away.

There are certainly detractors.

In the same story, WAC commissioner Karl Benson sarcastically noted, “The Mountain West isn’t going to get an automatic BCS berth unless they add UCLA and USC. I just don’t think us or another conference going to 12 teams will necessarily enhance anyone’s chances at a guaranteed spot.”

ACC’s court appearance looms

School presidents from the Atlantic Coast Conference held another conference call over the week, and apparently came up with three scenarios.

  • The first called for the league to add just Miami, going to ten teams.
  • The second is for the ACC to add Miami, Virginia Tech, Syracuse and Boston College, going to 13 teams.
  • The third idea is to add Miami, Virginia Tech and either Syracuse or Boston College.

Monday included another idea pitched at the ACC.

The athletic director at Rutgers suggested a compromise in which Miami would be allowed to join the ACC, if the ACC would end its recruitment of any of the other schools in the Big East.

The ACC had originally targeted Miami, Syracuse and Boston College for expansion. However, Virginia Tech and four other Big East football schools filed suit against the ACC, Miami and Boston College, alleging the three were conspiring to destroy the Big East.

Late word on Monday night had the Big East lawsuit against two of its members and the Atlantic Coast Conference going to court Thursday. A Connecticut judge will hear preliminary arguments in the suit.

Connecticut, Pittsburgh, Rutgers, Virginia Tech and West Virginia filed the suit June 6, charging that Boston College and Miami have abandoned their financial duties to the conference. The suit also accuses the ACC of attempting to destroy the Big East as a contender in football by stealing Syracuse and putting the conference at risk of losing its automatic berth in a BCS bowl game.

Ironically, one of the plaintiffs, Virginia Tech, is one of the four schools now getting serious consideration for membership in an expanded ACC.

Rutgers athletic director Robert E. Mulcahy, III, said he hoped the dispute could be resolved if Miami was the lone Big East school defecting to the ACC.

Virginia lawmakers put pressure on those at Thomas Jefferson’s University to get Tech, an in-state rival scorned by the Cavaliers under more normal circumstances, in the mix. So, on the one side Tech is suing, on the other, they may be courting the affections of the ACC.

It’s like trying to get a divorce and get a date from the same woman!

It’s still to early to tell just what would be the best-case scenario for East Carolina. We all know that the ultimate goal is direct access to the Bowl Championship Series.

But there may be way too much BS to get to the BCS!

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02/23/2007 01:26:14 AM

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