LA Tech & the WAC
Let’s face it LA Tech fans, being in the WAC now is a liability & not the advantage it was a year ago compared to the Sunbelt.
Since 2001, LA Tech has been a member of the WAC. Many have questioned their membership as the conference was comprised of schools as west as Hawaii, San Jose and Fresno and north into Idaho. Meanwhile LA Tech remained a member, despite being all the way in Louisiana. That wouldn’t be much different than Boston College being in the Big 12 or LSU being in the Pac-10.
Despite the high costs of travel for every single LA Tech sports program to fly to these WAC school locations, the WAC had something to offer: a better football conference.
Buy “better” is relative.
Since the inception of CUSA, LA Tech has wanted to gain membership. But each time CUSA expanded, they looked at other schools. They added a number of Texas schools such as TCU (now in the MWC), Rice, SMU and UTEP. CUSA also expanded north into West Virginia with Marshall and into Oklahoma with Tulsa. LA Tech never made the cut.
So LA Tech has had (2) real options:
* Remain in the WAC
* Join the Sunbelt
The answer of what to do has for years been easy: remain in the WAC, a superior conference to the Sunbelt, and hope that there is movement within CUSA and an invitation is extended. If LA Tech proved itself a worthy program while in the WAC, then CUSA might make a move.
But with the recent defections of Boise St., Nevada and Fresno St. to the Mountain West conference, the WAC is no longer a superior conference over the Sunbelt.
In the blink of an eye, the WAC went from light-years above the Sunbelt to quite far below.
So if you’re LA Tech, perhaps it’s time to make a move.
In joining the Sunbelt, LA Tech would immediately see the revenue benefits via their travel budget. Despite losing 3 programs though, the WAC still has a better TV contract than the Sunbelt. But for how long?
LA Tech wants to join CUSA, but CUSA has no need to expand now. So if your LA Tech, which home is better right now to prove your worthiness? You can prove yourself to be the top school in the CUSA footprint as a member of the Sunbelt, participating against other potential CUSA candidates like North Texas and Troy, along with others like Florida Atlantic, FIU, South Alabama, MTSU and WKU. Or you can stay in a league that is hoping to get FCS upgrades like Texas St., Montana, UC Davis, Portland St., and Sacramento St…as well as UTSA, a school yet to play a football game.
One thing is clear, the LA Tech administrators have some thinking to do.