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Friday, June 11, 2010

Super Conferences - The New Landscape 4+

As I was scouring the internet looking for more early expansion leaks, I stumbled across something that I felt supported my thoughts on the future of the WAC. Rather than include this as another update, I wanted to make it an addendum to the earlier post.
The whole article is more or less worthwhile, but this is the real gem:
Benson said there wasn't any bitterness toward Boise
State officials at the meeting, the relationship remaining quite cordial.
WAC is keeping its options open, too, scouring for schools. Benson said there
are five or six candidates from the Football Championship
the conference is keeping an eye on.
However, Benson wouldn't
elaborate on which schools might potentially be in the mix.
"Regardless of
what the Mountain West might do, or Boise State might do, the WAC is going to
continue to be a credible and recognizable conference," Benson

That's right, the president of the WAC said they are looking at five or six FCS schools to make the jump to the higher division. From what we used to call 1AA to 1A. If you recall from my previous post, I added two of them to the WAC in my projections: 1. Montana and 2. Portland State.
The other FCS schools on the radar? I would venture that they are all in the Big Sky conference, which dominates the region. The Big Sky previously churned out Idaho, Nevada, and Boise State. There is no reason to suspect that the WAC is looking elsewhere.
Here is my list:
3. Montana State Bobcats - This team will probably follow its bigger brother to the next level to keep the rivalry in tact. With just over half the endowment dollars but a similar student population, the Bobcats should be able to continue running behind the Grizzlies.
4. Northern Arizona Lumberjacks - NA boats a significantly larger student population than either Montana school as well as a sizable endowment. Being in Flagstaff, the Jacks provide access to the Phoenix area, which is an important consideration in light of the power of TV dollars.
5. Northern Colorado Bears - The Bears bring a portion of the Denver market to the table. Their endowment is second only to Montana's in the conference and their student population is nearly identical to Montana State's. If the Griz and Bobcats move up, these Bears will too.

Tribe 7