So much for the MWC getting stronger: Utah headed to Pac-10

When the Mountain West Conference added Boise State to its ranks last week, it was one step closer to finally earning an automatic BCS bid for its champion.

But then Utah had to go and ruin the party.

Utah UtesESPN.com reports that the Utes are likely headed to the Pac-10, as an announcement about their decision should be forthcoming. Along with recently added Colorado, the Pac-10 (which would have 12 teams if Utah officially joins) can now implement a conference championship if it so desires.

It’s hard to criticize Utah for the move. They’ve wanted the opportunity to play for a national championship for the last couple of years and never had a realistic shot at that goal playing in the MWC. But a move to the Pac-10 would at least give them the opportunity to play for a national title as long as they were crowned conference champions.

But while the move makes total sense for the Utes, it leaves the MWC in a bind. One of the reasons why the Mountain West doesn’t receive an automatic bowl bid for its champion is because the average computer rank at the end of the regular season for all the teams in their conference is so low. Adding a consistent winner like Boise was going to help in that area, but losing Utah (a team that hasn’t had a losing record in the last seven seasons) hurts the MWC from getting closer to its goal.

It’s going to be interesting to see how Utah fares against the likes of USC, UCLA, Stanford, Cal, Oregon and the rest of the Pac-10. But it arguably would have been more interesting to see how quickly the Utes and their MWC partners could gain an automatic BCS bid.

Follow the Scores Report editors on Twitter @clevelandteams and @bullzeyedotcom.

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