Big Sky Expansion Rumor: Southern Utah, South Dakota, North Dakota
There’s been some chatter this week that the Big Sky could be expanding as soon as next week. At this time, this is completely unconfirmed. The specifics of the type of membership is unknown as well.
Southern Utah has long sought full membership in the Big Sky, to align themselves with nearby schools NAU and Weber St. With the defections of UC Davis and Cal Poly to the Big Sky for football, SUU has been left behind with only North Dakota and South Dakota.
SUU has long been considered the top option to replace any departing Big Sky schools such as Montana, who has been considering an upgrade to FBS and joining the WAC.
The situations with North Dakota and South Dakota make things more interesting.
Like with SUU, it is unknown if the Big Sky were to expand and include both schools, if they would be full-membership or football affiliate membership only.
It seems likely that IF this rumor becomes reality, that all three schools would be brought in for football only.
The total Big Sky football membership would grow to 14.
FBS conferences have no need to split into divisions as they cannot host a championship game and participate in the FCS playoffs. Divisions could exist to assist in travel and scheduling.
A potential 14 team breakdown could look like:
North: Portland St., EWU, Idaho St., Montana, Montana St., USD, UND
South: Sac St., Cal Poly, UC Davis, NAU, SUU, Weber St, NoCo