TUESDAY UPDATE: It sounds like this was a false alarm. Here’s the official statement from the Mountain West Board of Directors:
Over the past two days, the Board of Directors has engaged in a very thorough discussion of several key topics pertinent to the future of the Mountain West Conference. This has included, but not been limited to, issues related to television, the Bowl Championship Series and membership. The Board feels strongly the membership configuration already established going forward creates outstanding prospects for future success. In addition, we are continuing with our strategic initiatives related to our television partnerships and the MWC’s efforts to effect change in the BCS structure. The Board is excited about what is undoubtedly a bright future for the Conference.
In other words, no expansion right now. So… uh… never mind! (The WAC-enstein Zombie: IT’S ALIIIIIIIVE!!!!!!!) Original post below.
Just when it looked like the WAC might survive, shedding its status as a zombie conference in favor of just being a really bad conference, the Karl Benson #PANIC!!! Meter is back to Defcon 1 this afternoon with the news, spreading like wildfire on Twitter, that Utah State and San Jose State will apparently join a 12-team Mountain West, leaving the WAC with just three current members out of its current 9-team lineup (Idaho, Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State). With Texas State, Texas-San Antonio and Denver (non-football) set to join in 2012-13, we’re looking at a 5-football-team, 6-team-total WAC, which doesn’t meet even the newly relaxed NCAA standards.
The Mountain West, meanwhile, will have as many ex-WAC members (Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State, Utah State, San Jose State, Hawaii in football) as it does current MWC members (Air Force, San Diego State, New Mexico, Colorado State, Wyoming, UNLV). THIS IS GREAT NEWS!! FOR BOISE STATE!! [/Baghdad Bob]
Assuming these as-yet unconfirmed reports are accurate, I really can’t see how this ends well for the WAC. I suppose, in theory, Benson may be able to construct a bargain-basement conference consisting of the aforementioned Unspectacular Six plus, say, Lamar, Sam Houston State and Cal Poly (for 8 in football) plus, in the non-football ranks, Seattle, UC-Bakersfield and Utah Valley State (for 12 total). But, I mean, really?! Without Utah State as its basketball “anchor,” that conference has no real reason to exist, and “godawful” doesn’t even begin to describe its component parts. I’m not sure why anyone would want to join such a league. Surely Denver and Seattle must be on the phone today with the WCC with renewed urgency, and surely Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State must likewise be calling the Sun Belt — a good indicator, in and of itself, that Denver should perhaps reconsider its pending downgrade. As for Idaho? Sorry, guys. You’re the mini-Iowa State of this deal. Maybe the Big Sky would be interested?
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