I don't really agree with that Big Sky article.
The author wrote that the Big Sky expanding to 16 "inevitable." Really?
For one, we've heard rumors that Montana and MSU are headed to the WAC, and that they are only waiting until December to do it so that they can compete in the FCS playoffs one more time.
If that does indeed happen, we have one school that is absurdly outside the footprint - North Dakota - which has no desire to be in the WAC, and would no doubt prefer to join up with NDSU, South Dakota, and SDSU elsewhere (I think it's the Summit League where those three play).
If those two things happen - neither of which is implausible - the Big Sky is sitting at 8 full-time members, and 10 football members. They have no decent candidates in the entire Western United States who are decent candidates to move up from Division II.
Plus there's always the risk that California's public education crisis prompts Sac State to slash athletic dept spending and move into the Big West, where they can take bus trips everywhere instead of expensive 1,000 mile plane flights for most their sports.
The Big Sky is not anything close to inevitably moving toward 16 members. If anything, their additions of Southern Utah and North Dakota were a proactive move against the very real threat that their two best programs - Montana and MSU - could possibly join the WAC in four months.
The other thing is his comments about money. The other acted as though there is no reason whatsoever to go FBS if you can't be a part of the BCS. He's ignoring the payouts for road games. If Cal Poly goes on the road to Wisconsin, they get $300,000. If San Jose State goes on the road to Auburn/Alabama, they get $900K. Ohio State has paid $1M (!) for a lay-down home game. What's the difference? It's the difference between I-A and I-AA status.
You can practically fund your entire football program by scheduling three lay-down road games per year in FBS.
Anyways, obviously my points are open to disagreement, but those are issues that should've been mentioned an article that a man was paid to write. We're just unpaid bloggers, and we discuss this stuff at a better level of sophistication sometimes.
Yeah, unless they know something we don't you're right, 8 is far more likely than 16. I'm not sure how Fresno St and SDSU are about to get left out in the cold.
But I'd sure love to see the Big Sky move up together and bring in SJSU and Idaho. But that probably only happens if the BCS splits off.
At this point though, nothing would surprise me anymore.