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Big Sky Considering WAC Takeover?

Jul
19
2012
By
Category: Big Sky Expansion & Realignment, Featured News, NCAA Conference Expansion & Realignment, WAC Expansion & Realignment

bigwac Big Sky Considering WAC Takeover?Over the past few weeks, all eyes have been on Idaho and the possibility of them joining the Big Sky. But in recent days, some interesting points have been made.

First, Idaho AD Rob Spears, has made it clear that Idaho and the Big Sky have indeed had discussions, but they involved Idaho joining the Big Sky for non-football sports. In other words, Idaho would not be downgrading to FCS and would remain in FBS.

But it’s a recent radio interview by Big Sky commissioner Doug Fullerton that really has people scratching their heads.

Fullerton has hinted that the Big Sky might take a more proactive role in regards to the WAC, considering a move that would partially absorb the WAC into the Big Sky. The idea would have some current Big Sky schools moving to the WAC in order for the WAC to retain their NCAA auto bid.

The idea is an interesting one. If the Big Sky were to simply absorb all WAC members, it would mean quite a large conference, adding 4-5 new schools to a 13 school conference. That would mean 17-18 schools fighting it out for a single at-large NCAA bid. But in moving a few schools over to the WAC, it would mean (2) NCAA bids for the 17-18 total schools.

So for basketball, there would be two conferences. For football, there would be one. And for some of the other sports, when there are not enough members to have (2) conferences, there would be one.

For an idea of how things might look, you would have your existing (5) WAC schools (assuming Boise St. does not join the Big West), moving over a handful of schools to balance out membership.

Western%20Athletic%20Conference Big Sky Considering WAC Takeover?
* Boise State
* Idaho
* Seattle
Eastern Washington
* Denver
Northern Colorado
* New Mexico State
Northern Arizona

Big%20Sky%20Conference Big Sky Considering WAC Takeover?

 

 

 

Sacramento State
Portland State
Weber State
Southern Utah
North Dakota
Montana
Montana State
Idaho State

 

This is still just an idea, not something that has been finalized, and for good reason. You’ll have schools that might not want to be split from others. For instance, is Northern Arizona going to want to be in a conference that spreads from Las Cruces, NM to Seattle, with nearby Southern Utah in a different conference?

The idea is strong, it just needs some time to see if it could actually work. But any opportunity to secure (2) NCAA bids would be a huge plus. Safety also comes into play…and if a school or schools were to leave the WAC, the Big Sky would be able to just absorb the remaining schools in the WAC.

 

For a look at how these schools would generally play out on a map. visit the NCAA Map:

bigwacmap Big Sky Considering WAC Takeover?

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  • David Stroud

    You may not see this happened, but with the WAC’s Interim Commish, and Northern Iowa and Missouri State upgrading their facilities, there could be an idea that the WAC and MVC are working together on an idea. Have the Dakota schools join the WAC for all sports including football. The rest of the MVFC can merge with the WAC for football only. This means Idaho and New Mexico State will have a lifeline to rejoin the WAC as full sports teams. That could mean North Dakota could be added as an all sports program. This would give these MVFC schools exposure, and be at the FBS level to be targets of future expansions like C-USA, AAC, MAC and Sun Belt. We might see Wichita State readd football. They diffently will be looked at for expansion because of their tv market. The idea seems is to kill the Summitt conference.

    WAC all sports schools.
    Idaho
    New mexico State
    Seattle (no football)
    Denver (no football)
    Cal State-Bakersfield (no football)
    Utah Valley (could add football)
    Grand Canyon (could add football)
    North Dakota State
    Noirth Dakota
    South Dakota
    South Dakota State
    Nebraska-Omaha (re-adds football)
    UMKC
    West Texas State
    Chicago State
    Texas Pan America (name change soon)
    Lamar

    WAC Football only members
    Missouri State
    Northern Iowa
    Southern illinois
    Western Illinous
    Illinois State
    Indiana State
    Youngstown State
    Wichita State (readss football) started playing club football in 2012
    Washburn

    MVC
    Evansville (non-scholies football)
    Bradley
    Drake (patriot for football)
    Illinois State
    Indiana State
    Loyola-Chicago
    Missouri State
    Southern Illinois
    Wichita State
    Dallas Baptist
    Washburn
    IUPUFW
    IUPUI (mentioned in Q&A that football could be in the future)
    Orel Roberts

    Now, that will get rid of the Summit. If these MVFC schools do get picked off in the future? MVC might become just a non-football conference.
    If the Monatanas not interested, Eastern Washington and Weber State both will jump to the chance of joining. Eastern Washington is upgrading their facilities, and they are the next sleeping giant like Boise State to win at the FBS level. North Dakota State, Towson, Fordham, South Dakota State, Delaware, James madison, and Jacksonville State all are sleeping giants at the FCs level.

    Good call on benson’s part of inviting UTSA to join the WAC. 7-5 record this year, and piled up points in their lost against Oklahoma State this year. Finished 2nd in C-USA west.

    Everybody knows that the WAC could be the only hope to get into bowls and into FBS football right now. Am I looking at this right that MVC could wind up splitting up since they are a hybrid conference like the Big East? The football schools look like they want something better than be with the basketball schools, and they are now starting to show that they are really serious about football. Look at the success of NDSU? I read talks about NDSU to the Big 12 might happened, but not so sure. They could cause some excitement and people would watch Big 12 games.

  • Ben

    WAC should re-add football, and just take 10 FCS schools to have this conference:

    North:

    North Dakota State
    South Dakota State
    Idaho
    Montana
    Montana State
    Eastern Washington

    South:

    Portland State
    Sacromento State
    UC Davis
    New Mexico State
    Southern Utah
    Cal Poly

  • Drew

    Imagine that … an FCS Conference attempting to pick up a D1-FBS Conference. In these economic times, I didn’t realize that FCS leagues were paid that well? Unless this FCS league is looking at extracting from any WAC post season appearances.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1683393806 David Stroud

    There is a tweet coming from the AD of Northern Iowa about going to FBS. Seems that rumors of a merger of football conferences could be coming true between WAC and Missouri Football Conferences. So, if this is true, we could see a lineup in football with:
    Idaho
    New Mexico State
    Southern Illinois
    Western illinois
    Indiana State
    South Dakota
    South Dakota State
    North Dakota State
    Missouri State
    Youngstown State
    Illinois State
    Northern Iowa

    Plus with Wichita State adding club football, might see some schools move to the WAC for all sports. You might think Wichita State adding football would want to be in FBS.

    Plus with basketball schools like Denver, Seattle, Grand Canyon U., Bakersfield State, Utah Valley and Texas Pan America.

    This could also get Montana, Montana State and other Big Sky schools upset. We could see more schools making a move to the FBS to join this mess? Delaware, James Madison, Liberty, Appalachian State, Jacksonville State, Georgia Southern, North Dakota, Montana, Montana state, portland State, lamar, Sam Houston State, Eastern Washington, sacramento State and the two Big West California schools. So far the only door for any FBS schools that want to go FBS right now is with the WAC.

  • Sam Parson

    How about this for an idea. Lets get away from just the WAC and Big Sky for a second and think of the entire country. If you consider the Big 5 conferences are locking out everyone but themselves from the large money and the national title playoff, isn’t it time to consider a complete overhaul of the conf’s other than the Big 5. Lets say, all schools resign from their current conf and make four new ones. Call them American Conf North, East, West and South. Each conf will have 15-16 members, based on current programs available including WAC, MWC, C-USA, Big East, Sun Belt, MAC. With four conf’s, all would be assoicated with one another and negotiate TV rights and game rights as a group. All monies would be shared equally among all confs and schools. As for football games, 8 conf games, three interconf games, one with each of the sister conf’s. Then a conf champ game. Then a four champ game for a national champ of the conf group. As for the 12th regular season game, sell it to the Big 5 for big bucks and the school playing gets to keep that money. Or maybe does a 50/50 split with its conf. You could sell that game for up to $5M each. That would allow some of the money from the Big 5 to move to the other schools.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1683393806 David Stroud

    According Bilo on his Twitter account where he was at the WAC media day that the WAC could announce in 2 to 3 weeks new football playing members. Eastern WAC is not dead since Jacksonville State coach spilled something to a reporter a couple of days ago that they are in talks with the WAC in emails along with several FCS schools. No schools mentioned in the article who he talked to. It assumes it is up to 6 to 8 schools.
    Also on the Bilo’s Twitter that there seems to be some preparations by Denver and Seattle with their fields as a possibility that they would be adding football, and it could be announced that they will be adding football in the announcement in 2 to 3 weeks. You can assume that any other schools that wanted to join the WAC could be adding football:Utah Valley, Bakersfield State, Grand Canyon U., Western Washington. It could be part of the merger deal with Big Sky which could take some of the best football FCS schools to the WAC, and add others to the FCS that are in the area. This could bring in all the other Dakota schools which could mean North Dakota State and South Dakota State in the WAC and South Dakota joining North Dakota in Big Sky. Central Washington, Humboldt State, Western Washington, Grand Canyon U., Colorado State-Peublo all could join the Big Sky to keep that footprint in football. I could see New Mexico Highlands or Western New Mexico as a travel partner.

    Jacksonville State, Appalachian State, Georgia Southern, Delaware, James madison, Youngstown State, Liberty, Lamar, Sam Houston State and Central Arkansas could be in as well. With the WAC FBS football could look like this.

    West
    Montana
    Montana State
    Idaho
    Eastern Washington
    Weber State
    New Mexico State
    North Dakota State
    South Dakota State
    Lamar
    Sam Houston State

    East
    Central Arkansas
    Jacksonville State
    Delaware
    Georgia Southern
    Appalachian State
    James Madison
    Liberty
    Youngstown State
    Villanova (football only)
    Stony Brook/Furman/Fordham/William and Mary/Richmond/New Hampshire/Delaware State/Alabama State/Florida A&M/Jackson State/North Alabama could be the 10th

    Big Sky
    Portland State
    Denver(football only)
    Seattle(football only)
    Cal.-Davis
    Cal.-Poly
    Bakersfield State(football only)
    Utah Valley(football only)
    Southern Utah
    Sacramento State
    Northern Arizona
    Grand Canyon U.(football only)
    Northern Colorado
    North Dakota
    South Dakota
    Western Oregon
    Central Washington
    Idaho State

    Olympic sports

    WAC
    Boise State
    Denver
    Seattle
    Idaho
    New Mexico State
    Utah valley
    Grand Canyon U.
    Bakersfield State
    Lamar
    Sam Houston State
    North Dakota State
    South Dakota State
    Central Arkansas
    Jacksonville State
    Georgia Southern
    Appalachian State
    Delaware
    James Madison
    Texas-Pan America
    Chicago State
    New jersey Tech
    Liberty
    West Florida
    Youngstown State

    After several years, I do not think there is a rule that the WAC east could split to form a new conference if they are all from an FBS conference.

    Big Sky
    Montana
    Montana State
    Idaho State
    Eastern Washington
    Portland State
    Sacramento State
    Cal-Davis-
    Cal-Poly
    Central Washington
    Western Oregon
    North Dakota
    South Dakota
    Northern Arizona
    Northern Colorado
    Southern Utah
    Weber State

    It depends who the MWC want to take in as full members in the future of these schools. Idaho and New Mexico State will have even more of a problems getting a MWC invite since if these schools with football.

    Denver
    Seattle
    Montana
    Montana State
    Eastern Washington
    Portland State
    Sacramento State
    Cal-Davis
    Colorado State-Peublo
    West Texas A&M which could help pull or draw UTEP to MWC.

  • HuskyAllan

    A potential configuration scenario:

    1 Sacramento
    State – FCS

    2 Northern Arizona
    - FCS

    3 Portland
    State – FCS

    4 Eastern Washington – FCS

    5 Idaho
    - FBS

    6 New Mexico
    State – FBS

    7 Seattle

    8 Cal State Bakersfield

    9 UCSD

    - Cal Poly SLO – FCS football only

    - UCDavis – FCS football only

    - San Diego
    – FCS football only

    1 Montana
    - FCS

    2 Montana
    State – FCS

    3 North Dakota – FCS

    4 Northern Colorado – FCS

    5 Idaho
    State – FCS

    6 Weber State – FCS

    7 Southern Utah
    – FCS

    8 Denver

    9 Utah
    Valley

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Bradley-R-Koenig/1379560922 Bradley R. Koenig

    Both Idaho and NM State should jump at this. They need a home for football and going independent would be suicide. How would they get enough home games? Much better to be competitive than to drop the sport.

  • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1683393806 David Stroud

    There are also schools that are associated members to the WAC like Cal. State-Bakersfield.

    But, I think there could be more teams in the play as well. I do not think it will be just these. You could see one of the Cal.Davis/Poly become a full member to slip Boise State in as a Big West member.

    You also have Cal. State-Bakersfiled, Cal.-San Diego, Utah Valley, Western Washington, Grand Canyon U. as rumors to the WAC for Olympics sports. There also talks about some D-2 football schools also been rumored, but no names have been mentioned, but I suspect it could be Central Washington, Western Oregon, Colo. State-Pueblo, New Mexico Highlands, West texas A&M, Fort Hayes State, Colo.-Mesa and Nebraska-Kearney. Some of the eastern D-2 schools the Big Sky could be interested in to help balance with North Dakota.

    Plus, we also have some schools from the Southland like Lamar, Sam Houston State, SFA, McNeese State, Central Arkansas could get WAC invites. Plus, you also have rumors of North Dakota State, South Dakota State, South Dakota, Missouri State and Northern Iowa as members as well. Texas-Pan America could go to Southland, and Chicago State and NJTech to an eastern basketball conference.

    Plus, we still have all those rumors about the eastern FCS schools and D-2 schools that want to move up.

    Now, if they do merge the two, and WAC keeps the football at FBS, you will see some Big Sky schools with a couple of other FCS schools from other conferences for football only up there. Then, you can bring some D-2 schools up for football and other sports. Lets say some D-2 will join the Big Sky for football only, and the rest of the sports be WAC.

  • http://collegesportsinfo.com CollegeSportsInfo.com

    UC Davis and Cal Poly are not members of the Big Sky. They are associate members for football only. So unless the topic is ONLY Big Sky football, those schools are not a factor.

  • Rick

    What would this mean for the football teams? Would it mean that the current Big Sky schools would be FBS level members and take up the WAC’s bowl bids?

  • Frank

    You’re missing the Big Sky football-only members UC Davis and Cal Poly. But I guess the football conferences would remain separate with this interesting idea.

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