BYU: The Key To Conference Realignment
In my opinion, the decision BYU makes to stay in the Mountain West or go independent will shape how conference realignment turns out.
Should they stay in the Mountain West, the conference will have 11 teams. It would only make sense for them to add one more team and go to two divisions and hold a conference championship game.
Houston is the only logical team at this point. None of the remaining WAC teams would bring much value to the conference. The top teams from the Conference have already been taken. Hawaii may still have an outside chance but it is unlikely.
With the addition of Houston here are some options for divisions
San Diego State
I like this option as it seems very balanced in my opinion.
San Diego State
To be honest this is just as balanced in my opinion but keeps all three former WAC members together. Is that good or bad?
With the movement of Houston to the Mountain West it opens up a spot in Conference USA. I beg anyone to argue that Louisiana Tech wouldn’t jump at the chance to join and leave the already falling apart WAC. Even if the WAC were still viable, the decrease in travel costs alone would be more than enough reason to switch.
The remaining five WAC schools will be left in limbo. There is a small chance they could make a pitch to someone like UTEP but I think it is unlikely they would switch. North Texas from the Sun Belt is another school that may come up. If the WAC could land one of these schools it may have a chance at surviving.
There are a couple of other Texas schools that will be attempting to move up from DI-AA to the DI-A ranks. Texas State and Texas San Antonio are planning on moving up within the next few seasons. There have been lots of other schools that have also been suggested from the FCS level but it isn’t just a matter of wanting to move up. Certain requirements must be met to even petition to make the move. Primarily schools from the Big Sky and Great West Conference have been those mentioned.
As I said though, this is if and only if, BYU stays in the Mountain West. If they do go independent then the Mountain West would most likely stay at 10 teams. With no other shifting of the other conferences the WAC may still do as I suggested above but would then also keep Louisiana Tech.
Things could still change if other conferences such as the Big East or Big XII decide they want to expand sooner rather than later. I will throw my two cents out at those times as well.
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