By Brendan Loy
Courtesy of Scout.com’s Matt Zemek:
The commissioners of the Mountain West, Western Athletic, and Pac-10 Conferences (especially new Pac-10 boss Larry Scott) need to create their own answer to the SEC and Big 12 title games on the first weekend of December: Have the champions of the three leagues and one at-large second-place team compete in two made-for-TV games. Call the event the Western Football Classic. Play one game in Phoenix on the first Friday night of December, and one game in Denver on the first Saturday afternoon of December. Give your teams exposure, publicity, and a fat schedule boost just before the BCS Selection Show. TCU and Boise State could sure use games against Oregon and Stanford, don’t you think?
I’m not only endorsing this idea because of the “game in Denver” part, although that’s certainly a bonus. :)
From the Pac-10’s perspective, however, it probably doesn’t make sense to put the conference champion in this hypothetical Western Football Classic, since that team would already have locked up a BCS berth. I suppose it might sometimes make sense, if the Pac-10 champ is competing for a national championship spot… but in the vast majority of years, that’ll either be guaranteed or out of the question by the season’s final week. And in the rare case when it might be in question, I’d argue that playing a TCU or a Boise State carries more risk than reward. Instead, the Pac-10 might want to put its second- and third-place teams into the WFC, to increase the odds of getting two at-large BCS bids (something the Pac-10 hasn’t done since 2002, and very likely won’t this year, either). The third-place Pac-10 team vs. the WAC champion on Friday night, and the second-place Pac-10 team vs. the MWC champion on Saturday afternoon? I’d watch those games.