It’s Official: WAC to Drop Football After This Season
With one defection after another, it’s been rumored the Western Athletic Conference was on its deathbed as a football conference.
Now it’s official. The obituary can be written.
The league announced they will cease as an FBS football conference after the 2012 season.
The announcement wasn’t a surprise.
Boise State departed after the 2011 season. Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii followed suit. The WAC, trying to stay viable, added Texas State and Texas-San Antonio.
But the latest round of conference realignment was a fatal blow to the league.
Utah State and San Jose State are headed to the Mountain West after this year. UTSA and Louisiana Tech are going to Conference USA. Texas State is headed to the Sun Belt.
With just Idaho and New Mexico State remaining, the writing was on the wall.
And, last week, Idaho announced they were going to make a go of it as an FBS independent, moving their other sports back to the Big Sky Conference.
The question now is, can the WAC even survive as a conference, period.
By July 1, 2013, the WAC, as it stands today, would have only New Mexico State, and new members Denver and Seattle, neither of which play football. The WAC would have to add four or five schools to even qualify to continue in a Division I conference. Both NMSU and Denver are reportedly looking at other options.
New Mexico State hasn’t made their football plans known.
The WAC finally got caught in its own geography. With the Pac-10 expanding to twelve schools and with Boise State, San Diego State and TCU all leaving the Mountain West, forcing that league to raid the WAC for replacements, there just aren’t enough FBS schools west of Texas to support three leagues.