June 22, 2010
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With the departure of the Boise State Broncos, the strength of the WAC took a major hit. Since the WAC has always been considered a weaker Non-AQ conference anyway, they should look into expanding merely to fill the BSU void. They may not be able to land any big name D-1A teams obviously, but there are good options that should be considered.
I think this would be a good idea, however, there may be aspects I have not considered. In my opinion, these teams would be great additions. The numbers preceding the teams are their FCS rankings for 2009. Geographically, they're not bad for the WAC either:
#2 Montana Grizzlies -The Grizzlies won National Championships in 1995 and 2001 and have qualified for a record 16 consecutive playoffs.
#13 Eastern Washington Eagles -Higher enrollment than TCU, yet the stadium is smaller than the Kibbie Dome - Univ. of Idaho
Both teams would provide great rivalries as well. Any time a neighboring state has to play against an Idaho team, it brings a huge crowd. Montana may actually do very well in the WAC. One can argue the point that these two teams bring nothing to the WAC, but you can't ignore the flip side of the coin. The additions of Montana and Eastern Washington would not only increase the footprint of the WAC (not by much), but also boost recruiting and money for those 2 schools. A step up to the FBS level can do wonders for recruiting. Going on that alone, I would expect both schools to experience financial, recruiting and enrollment gains, which in turn, the WAC would gain by having two more legitimate competitors. Remember, Boise State wasn't as big as it is now, before joining the WAC.
With a few key Seniors leaving Nevada and Fresno after this season, the Bulldogs and Wolfpack may not be the best in the WAC in 2011. Boise State's departure to the Mountain West may actually affect the recruiting for the remaining WAC teams as well, since the conference would be even weaker. At this point in time, anything is only speculation, but it does make sense. The WAC has nothing to lose at this point, other than another conference seeing a reason to take Nevada or Fresno. I can only imagine Nevada and Fresno are wishing on a star right now.
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