One of those four (soon to be six) "major" bowl games of course remains the Fiesta Bowl in suburban Phoenix, Arizona. The Fiesta Bowl has hosted several championship games and will do very well the next time it's called upon to host. But what happens to the Fiesta Bowl during the years when it's not hosting any sort of play-off or the title game?
We don't have all the answers yet, and the evolution of the play-off system is ongoing. The Rose Bowl still has its rock-solid tie in with the Big Ten and Pac 12 conferences, and the Big 12 and Southeastern Conference have set up a similar arrangement with the Sugar Bowl. The ACC locked in with the Orange Bowl. Is it just me, or does the Fiesta Bowl seem to be getting left out to some extent? Remember, most seasons the game will not part of the play-off.
A pair of at-large teams - BCS conference teams that are good but not in the mix for the national title - will play in the Fiesta Bowl. Chances are good that neither participant will have won a conference championship.
So just asking here, but why not have the champion of the Mountain West tied in with the Fiesta Bowl? Have the MW champ host one of those at-large teams.
We know the elitist arguments against this. It's the same nonsense that has kept the BCS intact for as long as it's existed. They don't think a non-BCS conference champ will be "worthy" year in and year out. Of course, the fact that the MW champ has badly outperformed the champs of the ACC and Big East over the past half dozen seasons doesn't dissuade the elitists, who have always had memory lapses at convenient times.
Here's how hollow their arguments are: One of the reasons they have decided against adding a seventh "access" bowl is, according to reports, the "difficulty of selling tickets for an annual bowl game featuring non-BCS conference teams." I guess the belief is that it will be easier to sell tickets - in Phoenix - to watch 9-3 Michigan vs. 9-3 Clemson than it would be to sell tickets to watch MW champ Air Force face the Wolverines.
Am I the only one who thinks that the Falcon fans would buy out their allotment - and then some - for that game a helluva lot faster than Clemson fans would? I could be wrong on this, but it seems logical that the MW champ would bring a monstrous contingent of fans to the Fiesta Bowl and that attendance at the game would be greatly improved by having a conference champ with a hint of geographic integrity serving as the host.
Not going to happen this way, of course. TV execs and the elitists who run the game still won't allow it. They figure they can placate followers of the non-BCS conferences by still allowing access to non-BCS conference champs the same way they've been doing.
These people are missing the boat - again. The MW is growing, and will have 10 teams by then. The conference has done very well during bowl season the past few years, including those seasons when they took on, and beat, teams from "power" conferences. That's the beauty of bowl season. Anything can happen when you tangle with the MW champ. Just ask Oklahoma, Alabama or Wisconsin. A couple of the best Fiesta Bowl's ever played featured MW teams. It would be best for the game to make it an every year occurrence.