Louisville, WVU, Syracuse have all been to one of the current BCS bowls in the last 20 years. To my knowlege the only school that can close in MWC was BYU championship year in the Holiday bowl. This was perfect timing for BYU to get a championship game out of a non major bowl that particular year.
I think Louisville is a consistent program. One way to measure if a team is consistent is if they can go through some coaches and still be a player. Louisville had Howard Schnellenburger, then had a replacement, can't think of his name that wasn't too good, but then came John Logan Smith from Utah State, in which he became John Louisville Smith, and they were good again. Then John Louisvile Smith became John Lansing Smith (now at MSU), and Coach Petrino seems to show they can continue it, after John Louisvile -- I mean John Lansing Smith left.
This is where I see a problem with taking some of the other CUSA teams in addition to other issues that I have discussed. Are these coaches just on a stepping stone if their team is good.? And if they do leave, can that school sustain it?
Now on the BYU thing. BYU won a deserved National Championship 20 years ago in 1984. They also went to the Cotton Bowl (a very traditional New Years Day Bowl game, that prior to 1995 crowned and could crown a National Champion), in 1997 for the 1996 season, going 14-1 that season, which, up until that point was the most wins ever in a season. Ohio State has since tied that record in 2002.
Last year the MWC had one of the most balanced leagues. They had 4 teams with winning records, they had two .500 teams and only 2 teams with losing records. They have 1/2 of their stadiums that have either just recently been expanded or will soon be expanded. BYU's stadium is 65,000 and they average over 60,000 in attendance. That's in the top 1/3 of the nation. AFA has a 50,000 seat stadium and has good following. Utah's stadium was expanded for the 2002 Winter Olympics (which is now at 46,000) and is said could easily be expanded over 50,000. CSU has a smallm stadium of 30,000, and they are planning on expanding it to 35,000 soon, and have long-range plans of going up to 50,000. UNM just expanded to 37,000 and has plans to go to 42,000 and their attendance has been increasing as well. UNLV also has long-term plans of building to an excess of 40,000. So there could be only 1 team with a small stadium of less than 40,000 soon, which is Wyoming. Wyoming might be their weakest school now, though it has had some bright seasons in the past.
The MWC has been noted as a balanced league, and now Utah is showing shades of being a good team. Utah has a good shot at going undefeated this year. Last year they beat California, Oregon, and narrowly lost to Texas A & M. The only sound defeat they had was to New Mexico.
The attendance also shows the MWC is 7th, just below the BE. Also, again as I talk about in other threads. The MWC is an "out-front" conference in 3 states (Utah, Nevada, and New Mexico), and partially shares another state (Colorado). These are some of the fastest growing states in the nation, and rising attendance, rising market population, and with the rise of Utah or the balance teams and consistent teams of CSU and AFA, and some consistency from UNM, as well as the addition of the consistent TCU, this is a conference that could get more attention paid to it, and be a bigger player as time goes on, provided they don't lose two teams to the Pac 10, or something.
I still don't see this BE vs. MWC vs. CUSA battle here, for a 6th BCS spot, as their will now be, it appears, up to 8 BCS spots being battled for among 11 conferences.