In the midst of Big East expansion talks, the Western Athletic Conference quietly announced they are getting closer to expanding by five schools starting in 2012-13.
Via teleconference Conference Commissioner Karl Benson said it was the “league’s goal” to extend invitations in the next 30 to 60 days, months earlier than initially planned.
Representatives from the schools met with the conference committee in Dallas on Tuesday for presentations about membership and all passed the “first stage.”
"The (athletic directors who make up the membership committee) were very impressed with all five universities," said Benson.
The Conference had been looking to expand after a summer that saw the Mountain West first poach Boise State, then Fresno State and Nevada. Boise State is due to leave after the 2010-11 season, while Nevada and Fresno State are expected to depart after 2011-12 if the WAC gets its wish (both schools would like to leave after this season).
"Our first goal and highest priority is to ensure that we have a minimum of eight football-playing schools for the 2012 season," Benson continued.
The next step is campus visits and the final decision belongs to the WAC Board of Directors, comprised of member presidents and chancellors.
So who are the aforementioned schools? Let’s take a look and also some others that may garner future consideration.