SALT LAKE CITY — Nate has a huge crush on Maddy. Brooklyn is totally obsessing over Darin. Olivia and Ryan talked for three hours last night!
And if Kylee and Ethan break up, Emily told Chloe she'll be soooo all over that.
Ah, young love. Passing (text) notes, spreading rumors, match-making galore. It's all so deliciously gossipy.
That's exactly how it is with this conference realignment stuff, too. Just like kid romances, some of it's true, some of it's pure spam. But it's also hard not to pass along.
The buzz is that Boise State really will end up in the Mountain West Conference. I heard so Tuesday, via the rumor mill. A friend who says he has a co-worker connected with all the right people in the MWC says the official invitation is only days away. If true, I'm giving Boise State fans a heads-up: Don't get too excited. It's a better conference than the WAC, but it still doesn't put the Broncos closer to a championship.
I know all about those strength of schedule formulas, which are supposed to gauge a league's profile. But I also know the BCS can't be trusted further than I can toss a pulling guard. It isn't going to share with the Mountain West, on equal terms for equal payout, ever.
It would take an act of Congress, or something celestially higher, to make that happen.
The addition of Boise would surely enhance the MWC. The Broncos have finished in the national rankings six of the past eight years. They've gone undefeated twice and lost just one game four times, as well as going 2-0 in BCS bowl games.
But the BCS doesn't much care whether Boise is the WAC, the MWC or the League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. It's going to protect itself against interlopers, which gets me to another point. Some say Utah should sit tight and not jump too quickly for the Pac-10; the addition of the Broncos would make the conference a legitimate BCS contender.
Contender, yes. Automatic qualifying conference, no.
The MWC would still be smart to invite Boise, on two fronts. It would both strengthen the conference's profile and fill a spot if the Utes bolt to the Pac-10.
As for the Utes, I'd bolt if I were them. They can't wait for the BCS to do the right thing.
Whoever first said, "If you can't beat 'em, join 'em" must have been trying to break the BCS monopoly.
According to the formula, if the MWC has one or two more great years, it could become an "automatic qualifier" conference, with its champion guaranteed a BCS bowl berth. I used to believe that. But now I'm calling B(C)S. The rules say the evaluation process includes things like records, rankings, performance against Top 25 teams, etc. But it is also based on the BCS computer rankings, which are based largely on input from, not surprisingly, the BCS.
The computers are never going to show the MWC is an automatic qualifier, nor are they going to say an MWC team should play for the national championship.
It's like slot machines in Vegas — you think you know the odds, but nothing is really left to chance.
Mountain West teams don't have the recognition factor of most teams in the Big East or ACC — two leagues the MWC could overtake — or the number of TV sets. So the BCS isn't going to allow a boondock conference like the Mountain West in the mix.
If I were Boise State, I'd do what it's doing, which is moving up. At the same time, if I were Utah and the Pac-10 called, I'd be there before the second ring. That's because the only sure way to get a shot at a national title and play in money bowls is to play the BCS's game by its rules: get in a BCS conference.
Fairness would then be someone else's problem.