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Western Kentucky / MAC / MVC Talks

Category: expansion, Featured News, MAC Expansion & Realignment, Missouri Valley Expansion & Realignment

Just when you thought the “Western Kentucky to the MAC” talks were over, they come back from the dead. The issue seemed to lose some steam last month, but it appears that the MAC might be ready to extend Western Kentucky a formal invitation. Specifics of the situation are not known, such as setting a timeline for an upgrade to I-A or an entrance date. WKU is currently a member of the geographically challenged Sunbelt, but does not sponsor I-A football. Joining the MAC would require less travel and would be a a more favorable situation than the Sunbelt should a I-A upgrade come to fruition.

One would think that the MAC scenario would prompt a quick acceptance response by WKU. But that might not be the case. WKU could have its eyes set on the Missouri Valley Conference, a Division 1 conference that does not sponsor I-A football. With members such as Southern Illinois, Northern Iowa and Creighton, the MVC has received multiple bids to the men’s NCAA basketball tournament, something that the Sunbelt has not been able to do on a regular basis.

WKU could play a pivotal role in the futures of both the MVC and the MAC. With the addition of Temple as the 13th football member of the MAC, the league could be looking for balance by adding WKU as the13th all-sports member, and inviting a non-football member to make 14 for non-football sports. Any MAC / WKU scenario seem to include a WKU upgrade to I-A. That wouldn’t be the case for WKU to join the Missouri Valley Conference. The MVC could add WKU as its 11th member. But in doing so, they would give the MVC a 6th I-AA football program, the mandatory number to sponsor the sport and qualify for an automatic I-AA playoff berth. The MVC previously sponsored football but abandoned it. The (5) football playing members of the MVC currently participate in the Gateway Football conference, a football only conglomerate of regional I-AA schools.

UPDATE: 10/28/05

of the The Wichita Eagle recently spoke with MVC commissioner Doug Elgin regarding expansion. Elgin claims that expansion has not been a hot topic as the members currently favor tehe 10 team round-robin format. Suellentrop thinks that if expansion happens, it will be (2) teams.

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  • Anonymous

    wku should be in a better conference than the sbc. given our program. but the mac rumors are going on 3 years now


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