I don't understand why the WAC just does not go ahead and invite N. Texas. Regardless of what happens to La. Tech. (Go to C-USA or not) N. Texas makes sense.
If La. Tech Stays they have a travel partner, if La Tech. goes then the WAC moves back to nine with N. Texas and plays a round robin. There seem to be only a couple of things that would hold this up.
1) The WAC prefers Idaho over N. Texas, so if La Tech bolts then Idaho gets the invite, if not N. Texas does.
2) SDSU and UNLV are threatening to bolt to the WAC TCU and or Boise get invites without Fresno and Nevada. If this is the case the Gang of 5 are probably pondering if the threats are real or not.
I look at the WAC/Idaho situation on its own, and I am absolutely befuddled by the WAC not offering Idaho a bid. Talk all the trash you want about Idaho, they are Div1 and they are local. They have a nice TV market. They can probably hit the attendence numbers in the WAC. They would likely recruit better in the WAC. They could be moderately successful in the WAC. In other words, they are failing for the most part since they AREN'T in the WAC.
In addition, You look at the schools most frequently mentioned as the next wave of WAC expansion----Idaho St., Montana St., Montana----you think they don't see the WAC leaving Idaho out to dry? Those schools are all in LESSER TV markets.
I have to think the QWAC office realizes that this could be sending a bad message to schools thinking about the jump. So why aren't they doing it?
I suspect there is a fair amount of not wanting to kill the sunbelt. It was mentioned by someone on one of these threads that the fewer conferences out there, the smaller the voice of the non-BCS conferences.
I suspect this is the break that it slowing conference movement in the lower tiers.
I suspect that the MWC doesn't want to kill the WAC or the WAC to have to kill the sunbelt to survive. The MWC needs those voices to get the BCS expanded (They hope enough for them). Once they are in, I think they probably still won't want to cut up their share of the TV pie and expand, but all bets are off.
Right now, the WAC is the feeder conference for the MWC. I do not think the MWC wants to be the conference in the west taking unproven schools from Div 1AA. It is hard to sell yourself as an equal partner to the PAC 10 and Big 10 if you have a lot more in common with the MAC.
The MWC envisions itself becoming what the PAC 10 is to the Pacific time zone. Can't do that and also troll for Div 1-AA schools.
The MWC doesn't want to take chances. Supposing they go to 12 schools (in the process killing the WAC) and don't get a BCS invite...
They have in essence brought in lesser markets and cut their share of the TV pie immediately---for what? Supposing they cannot negotiate as sweet of a deal for the 12 team TV deal?
Their safest move is an expansion of 1 school with a great market (TCU) or a decent market nearby market with limited travel expenses (Boise). Whichever choice, the school has to be a legitimate football school as the issue that has dogged the WAC for years is that they are not competitive vs. other conferences in football.
If the WAC gets one school and the BCS is expanded, the WAC has a strong case without financially putting itself at risk.
In theory, all 3 conferences should survive---although automatic bids may be lost and the sunbelt and WAC will be hurting. The WAC for its part needs to think about conference partners. Killing the sunbelt kills a willing partner for a bowl. The reasons behind the WAC not immediately offering to Idaho may be twofold---if they offered Idaho the bid, the MWC might feel totally justified to bring in Boise St. In addition, without Idaho, the sunbelt is really scratching for teams today. Professional courtesy? An attempt to remain on good terms for the future with the sunbelt? A WAC #2 or #3 team vs. the sunbelt champion in the future?
I don't know which school the WAC takes if Boise or LTech is taken. I'd say the favorite is Idaho. The WAC should be looking to build their footprint in the pacific or in the midwest, not the SW. IMO there are more future candidates in those areas.