From the Bird’s Nest: The WAC adds……Seattle!!
Ever since the defections of Boise State, Fresno State, Nevada and Hawai'i turned the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) into America's Worst Football Conference (AWFC), Commissioner Karl Benson has been looking forward to Spring, 2011 to announce the AWFC expansion plans.
Yesterday, he got his coup.
Welcome, Seattle University.
Yep, the newest member doesn't play football and has been back in Divison I for a grand total of two years.
Now, let us be fair. Seattle does have a rich basketball tradition from their days in D-I years ago. Elgin Baylor played for Seattle. But the school dropped down out of Divison I years ago and is just making its way back. The good news for members of the AWFC is travel won't be an issue. At least Seattle is easy to get to.
But, what did the AWFC accomplish yesterday?
When the big four leave and Denver, Seattle (both non-football schools), Texas State (moving up from FCS) and Texas-San Antonio (about to be a football playing school), the AWFC will have seven football schools...a bad number. They'll have nine basketball schools...another bad number.
And, while Denver is scheduled to join next year, if they get a better offer, they'll have the shortest AWFC membership in history.
AWFC's Benson did his best to put lipstick on the pig yesterday, lauding Seattle's tradition. He also said that by next year the AWFC will be ready to add football schools.
Um, you weren't ready this time? Sure you were. No one wanted to join AWFC.
Benson is banking on timing being better next year. He's still holding out hope for Montana/Montana State. Or Sam Houston State. Or Lamar. Or Stephen F. Austin.
Let's face it, Benson will take any breathing school with a 100 yard field right now.
Benson can continue to talk about the possibilities of a FBS school wanting to move to the AWFC. But reality bites. No one is interested. Not North Texas, not UL, not Arkansas State, not ULM.
Current FCS schools might be later. But they aren't right now.
So what AWFC has is a nine team league, and a seven team football league.
And one bowl tie-in.
Yes indeedy. The champion of AWFC gets to play in AWCFABG (America's Worst Climate for a Bowl Game) as they embrace the Humanitarian Bowl in Boise, Idaho.
Now, THERE'S a brass ring to reach for. Can't cha just see all those folks from San Marcos, San Antonio and Ruston rejoicing over that one?
AWFC members, thrown together mostly through convenience, look to next year in the hopes of adding an eighth or ninth football member.
In the meantime, they'll all celebrate the one thing they have in common.
No one really wants to be there.