WAC FLIGHT RISKS
UCSB - is waiting on the Big West invite.
UMKC and Chicago St - are waiting on anyone in the Midwest to invite them except the Summit (and they might rethink that if they decide the travel is too much in the WAC)
UTRGV - is waiting on a Southland invite
NMSU - is waiting on a Sun Belt full invite (or Southland non fb in invite)
Seattle - is waiting on a WCC invite
While some of these schools might eventually
be flight risks....they aren't flight risks, right now because there is no where for these schools to go, currently.
And the only way to make UMKC, CSU, and UTRGV 'flight risks', right now...is to add schools in Alaska. There is no way the eastern schools in this conference would want to travel to Alaska. NJIT is much closer.
UTRGV to Seattle is 2370 miles.
UTRGV to Fairbanks is 4251 miles.
UTRGV to Newark is 1952 miles.
Chicago to Seattle is 2063 miles.
Chicago to Fairbanks is 3455 miles.
Chicago to Newark is 780 miles.
Round trip to Fairbanks for UTRGV would be 8500 miles.
Adding Alaska schools to this conference would be disastrous for the travel budgets and student welfare.
A: The conference would have to vote for it for Alaska schools to get invited.
B: Even if somehow the WAC managed to shove this down the throat of the WAC schools, only UMKC/ChiSt likely have an "open" invitation to leave right now. CSUB and UTRGV aren't leaving a post season bid in all sports to be independent, and neither will NMSU unless this pushed their fb to FCS (which I doubt). And Seattle is not a travel issue (further to UTRGV than to Alaska)
C: Distance doesn't really matter, they make the Alaska travel partners a long weekend trip so each school only travels there once a year in every sport. And quiet honestly at that level of sports the student athletes will benefit from telling stories about where/who they played. People are playing football games all over in places Ireland and bball tourneys in Hawaii while talking about playing games in Mexico and Asia for the experience of the student athlete. Having a kid playing at Chicago State being able to tell his grandkids about the time he went up to Alaska and had a double double will be something they can talk about for years and years...more so than going to Las Crueces, Edinburg, and Bakersfield.
D: Travel budgets would go up only slightly it cost $400 commercial to fly to Seattle from most WAC schools, Alaska is $800, that also removes a few random trips to travel to schools on the East coast for games and having to pay DII schools (often more than the increase in their travel budget) to come in to play them.
Still I'm not sure the Alaska school will upgrade, but if they did the WAC is the best option. If Alaska thinks its beneficial then the WAC should do everything is can to make it happen.
Fan of the Big 12 Conference, the Mountain West Conference and...