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Posts Tagged ‘WAC’

OK. Forget everything I said on my last post. I think my mistake is that I trust people too much. Apparently there’s more to it than the eye can see. Despite easing travel costs a lot, Hawaii’s departure from the WAC seems to have been the grain of sand that has tipped the teeter-totter of factors to the slow eminent demise of the WAC.

The reality is right now, there are too many schools that want to be in the FBS and not enough real chances to be affiliated with conferences that have stable membership and know how to work together.  I’m going to finally say it. The only solution that feels good in your bones. You know it. You feel it too. the MWC/WAC merger to fit the schools that naturally fit together in geography, academic achievement, size and competition in all sports. Not just football. The idea of the Super Conferences isn’t that bad at this point.

Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii (Football only), Idaho, Louisiana Tech, Nevada, New Mexico State, San Jose State, Utah State, UNLV , San Diego State, Colorado State, Wyoming

But obviously there’s got to be some sort of bad blood going on in the background cause this would make way to much sense, From a travel cost point of view, similar academic institutions point of view, Olympic sports and the ability to elevate a conference. This plan leaves out Air Force which could easily go Independent and  the new comers Texas State, UTSA and Denver,  hopefully to find homes in the Sun Belt while La Tech makes it to the C-USA. Maybe the MWC/WAC could get UTEP back and make it even more relevant. I actually see the Texas schools as a strong addition to the conference so if you really wanted to make a Super Conference add the trifecta to get the new/old wac Super 16. In any case there is a much more viable solution slapping us right in the face.

What I find ironic about this proposal is that if the WAC was a bit more progressive in their leadership and the MWC not so slimy and selfish in leadership this solution would have been a perfectly viable solution to the departure of the Utah & BYU. But I guess it’s hard to play like a team when you’re always trying to be competitive. Come on folks, straighten up, sink that joke of a network called the Mountain work together, broker a deal with ESPN. You’d have 6 states with interstate schools and rivalries. Now think about the exposure & payout from a bowl perspective if you competed on the same level for the combined 8 bowls and played PAC10, Big 12 & C-USA teams in bowls games rather than each other? Sadly there will probably not be a Rally to Restore Sanity for this cause. Jon Stewart can you help out?

What I find the most tragic, is that prior to this year we had a bunch of schools trying to beat the system by growing conferences to bust the BCS and build a playoff system. Now all we have are a handful of schools joining the system. Almost as if the power of the dark force got deeper as Anakin Skywalker slays the Jedi children and solidify his alliance with the Empire of Evil.

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So it looks like the old WAC (Western Athletic Conference) got around to making itself useful and cobbled itself back together.

The reports: (SBNation, San Marcos Record) I  love how these news article basically reference each other as sources, but don’t really embellish on anything. I wonder if news in the future will be a series of daisy chained links to one source.

Now of course the marquee value of what the WAC once was is LONG GONE, but it’s not all bad. As one who loves the underdog element of the college game, this adds a little more flavor to the mix. Let’s take a look on the bright side of things. The Mountain West poached Nevada, Fresno State , Boise State and tried to steal Utah State (who’s the only institution with a thread of integrity here), in order to promote their conferences’ chances of becoming a BCS automatic qualifying conference. But I’m pretty sure that’s forgone conclusion, since we all know the BCS is about money. In College Football money is about ticket sales and TV money.

Let’s see how the WAC fairs out with their “lesser” conference.

According to reports the WAC will be inviting, Seattle U, Denver U, Texas State and UT-San Antonio into the conference. Sure none of those schools have any marquee value, EXCEPT for the regions in which they are located. Texas State is located in what’s considered the Austin TV Market, #5 in the state. San Antonio #3. Plus the WAC is now well entrenched in the best football recruiting state in the nation……wait for it……. Texas. This duo brings a built-in rivalry and also does nice job of sewing up the geography gap the WAC has long struggled with, giving each other travel partners’ along with Lousiana Tech and NM State. The addition of Denver builds the bridge between the two natural divisions making conference travel seem more like a long trip to grandmas house. Say what you want about LaTech being in the WAC, but every team is indeed west of the Mississippi.

Seattle and Denver do not have football teams but it certainly doesn’t hurt to have TV coverage in either of these two cities. Both of them are much higher in TV ranking than, Reno, Fresno & Boise combined. In fact each of the new schools alone make up bigger TV markets than the departing 3 combined. The incoming schools mean average size is a few thousand larger than the exiting schools. Which doesn’t mean much, except that there are a lot more alumni around to donate funds and buy tickets. Remember how CFB makes money?  Now pay attention to the BCS for a moment. Yep Boise State, Fresno State and Nevada help the quality of play in the Mountain West and possibily get BCS money. But that indeed is a slippery slope. It only takes one bad year for a non-auto qualifying conference to fall off the BCS landscape.

Let’s talk bowl money.

The Western Athletic Conference has three regular bowl tie-ins, with a contingency to fill a spot in a fourth game. Which is the Poinsettia Bowl, given  the Mtn West can’t fill it’s spot. This year looks good, but next? You never know.

  • #1 The Humanitarian Bowl will host the WAC champion, unless that team is selected by the Bowl Championship Series. In that case, the bowl will get the first selection among the remaining WAC teams. Payout:$750,000
  • #2 The New Mexico Bowl receives the second choice of WAC teams. (Guess who they play? Uh yeah a Mtn West team) Payout:$750,000
  • #3 The Hawaiʻi Bowl will host the University of Hawaiʻi team if it has at least seven wins, and is not selected by the BCS (which happened in the 2007 season). In years where Hawaiʻi does not qualify, the bowl will receive the third choice of the remaining eligible WAC teams. Payout:$750,000
  • #4 The Poinsettia Bowl will select a top WAC team for 2011 & 2012. Payout:$750,000
  • #5 The Kraft Fight Hunger Bowl will have the first or selection from the WAC in 2010 & 2013 unless that team is selected by the Bowl Championship Series.Payout:$900,000

The Mountain West Conference has five bowl tie-ins.

Granted there are a few more feathers in the Mtn West’s cap, but not many! In years when neither conference qualifies for a BCS game, it’s pretty much a wash. Hawaii is almost always guaranteed a bowl game as long as they win 6 games.

A few snags to think about, Hawaii could be seen headed for the independent route soon since their geography gives them the ability and need to do that. Utah State may also be on the jump overboard watch since they were  the first school invited to play the role of Judas in the Mtn West raid. But even if Hawaii bails, you’ve got the likes of a powerful Montana team that’s gearing up to make an immediate impact when invited. Not to mention a plethora of FCS schools in the area with similar profiles of the newly invited, EWU, Portland State, Sac State, NAU, UNT that could really fill in the holes. Lastly you’ve got a big time coach like Larry Coker helping UTSA fill that beast of a stadium called the Alamo Dome.

All in all if the WAC is having to make lemonade out of lemons, it’s poised to power up again. Just maybe the WAC is destined to play the role of innovator and pioneer to keep the rest of the conferences just a little bit scared of whose dreamin’ of  taking the next step up. Just ask Oklahoma, Virginia Tech, Oregon State, Cal , and Cincinnati how it feels to get beat by a “lesser” conference teams in big games. They’ve all been beat by current WAC teams who were in Div 1AA not long ago.

News Flash…..This just in TCU, is listed as the top team for a possible invite by the Big East in their plans to expand. The cards are always movin’. Just ante up and keep playin’ Check out this scenario.

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Ok CFB fans. You don’t hear this argument as much as we used to, but as I was looking at the Map of CFB programs it totally dawned on me as to why. Sure the west has some powerful teams and a lot of talent. But look at the density of programs east of Colorado.That means all of those programs are recruiting against the same geographic area.It makes me wonder how much better those teams would be if we equaled out the number of eastern programs to western. Would the west even have a chance? Or is California a big enough recruiting grounds to provide the rest of the west with talent?

FBS Football in the USA

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