Hancock's comments Monday and the discussion of AQ elimination followed a remark last week made by interim Big 12 Commissioner Chuck Neinas - who helped boost West Virginia's Big 12 bid - to CBSSports.com:
"I think there is growing sentiment to eliminate the automatic qualification part of the BCS. You can see what's happening. They are gerrymandering all over the place under the intent to maintain an automatic qualification. History has shown you don't need that if you are qualified."
Neinas said that dropping the AQ status for the six conferences might curb realignment fervor and slow the haste in these moves . It also would project a more open road to the big bowl games for the so-called non-AQ leagues, like the pending Conference USA-Mountain West football alliance.
Hancock said a plan for the BCS from 2014 and beyond is expected to be formulated in the next 6-8 months, or at least prior to ESPN's exclusive negotiating window for telecast rights renewal next October.
The BCS leaders will meet in New Orleans in the days prior to the Jan. 9 BCS National Championship Game.
There has been talk that the BCS could be expanded by a game, to six, also allowing more access and getting the Cotton Bowl - at Jerry Jones Stadium - into the rotation.
There is some thought that the BCS, with five or six games, could just take the top 10 or 12 teams in the final standings, eliminating all automatics and even at-large selections by bowls. Figure the Rose Bowl, with its traditional Big Ten versus Pac-12 matchup, to be a potential hurdle with such a format change.
If the five-game, 10-team, no-AQ format had been in place in recent years, the Big Ten would have had three BCS teams last season, while the Big East and ACC wouldn't have qualified. The Big East would have been left out of the BCS in 2005, 2008 as well as 2010.
Neinas wants teams to reach the BCS on "merit" - and there's a lot of merit to that notion.
Last season, each AQ conference with one BCS qualifier received $22,515,095. The three AQ leagues with an at-large team (SEC, Big Ten, Pac-10) added another $6 million.
The Mountain West, a non-AQ that landed champion TCU in the Rose Bowl, received $12,734,033 - the kind of bucks C-USA is salivating over if Houston (10-0) runs the table this season and finishes in the BCS top 12.
Yes, the Big 12 is more likely to get multiple BCS berths with an AQ format change than the Big East might be to get even one, but success will be easier to come by in the Mountaineers' current home. Just check those current BCS standings and polls.
The future BCS decision on AQ guidelines is just another unknown out there as West Virginia changes conference zip codes.
Contact Sports Editor Jack Bogaczyk at ja...@dailymail.com or 304-348-7949.