NCAA Conference Realignment: Where Does the Loss Of Boise State Leave The WAC?

David HedlindAnalyst IIJune 16, 2010

It came as no surprise to anyone that Boise State made a move to the Mountain West.

The fans of college football saw it coming. The rest of the WAC saw it coming. The WAC commissioner saw it coming.

Commissioner Karl Benson said he figured Boise State would make the move at some point. The WAC board of directors and athletic directors have already been discussing contingency plans. These plans outline what the conference can do to stay afloat should any other schools move, as Fresno State and Nevada have also been the targets of realignment rumors.

Benson also stated there are five or six potential schools from the FCS that conference is keeping an eye on.

That made me ask, “Really? Five or six?” Is five or six an upgrade? And who is he talking about?

The WAC already has a relationship with at least four schools that have football programs.

Sacramento State is an associate member for baseball and women’s gymnastics. San Diego and Northern Arizona for women’s swimming and diving. Southern Utah for women’s gymnastics.

To my knowledge, none of these schools have indicated that they will attempt to make a move to the FBS level.

However, two schools who have indicated they plan on moving to the FBS level are Texas State and the University of Texas San Antonio.

The WAC has previously had members from the state of Texas. A move on either or both of these schools would increase the recruiting by the WAC schools in the state, which could help bolster some of the top teams.

Other schools from the FCS that are likely candidates are Montana, Montana State, Eastern Washington, Weber State, Northern Colorado, Portland State, UC Davis, Cal Poly, and Idaho State. Since the conference already stretches across to Louisiana Tech, I don’t rule out any of the schools in-between.

Although it wasn’t stated, it would not surprise me if the WAC went for a few schools that are already at the FBS level.

I would count out any Pac 10, Big XII and Mountain West schools as well as schools that have previously been apart of the WAC such as Tulsa, Rice, UTEP and SMU from Conference USA.

You may ask what that leaves. As I said before, the conference already extends into Louisiana. Geographically, that brings North Texas, Louisiana Monroe, Louisiana Lafayette and maybe Arkansas State from the Sun Belt into play.

The WAC has reached into the Sun Belt in the past when they grabbed Idaho, Utah State and Louisiana Tech.

Boise State isn’t moving until 2011. At that time the conference will play as an eight member conference, and the WAC will look to see if staying with the remaining schools is a viable option or if these possible plans for expansion are necessary.


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