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WAC won't be a football conference beyond 2012

By Arnie Stapleton

AP Sports Writer

POSTED:


ENGLEWOOD, Colo. >> The commissioner of the Western Athletic Conference said Monday that it has become apparent the league won't have enough football members to compete after this season, and his focus now is on trying to keep the conference together for other sports.

The 50-year-old WAC would be the first Division I conference to give up on football since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995, and it might go the way of the SWC, too, and cease to exist altogether.

"It doesn't mean we've given up on the idea of football for the future, but it's apparent we don't have enough members in 2013 to play football," Jeff Hurd told The Associated Press.

That means New Mexico State would have to join Idaho and play as an FBS independent next year. The WAC's five other football members — Louisiana Tech, San Jose State, Texas State, Utah State and Texas-San Antonio — leave the league after this year.

San Jose State and Utah State are joining the Mountain West. Louisiana Tech and Texas-San Antonio will join Conference USA, and Texas State will go to the Sun Belt in 2013.

So, the WAC would have to add six FBS programs to continue playing football.

"The bottom line is those numbers are not out there," Hurd said. "So, my goal is to add enough schools to maintain the conference in all other sports, but football would not be one of them."

The league must still add two or three members to maintain its Division I status as a non-football league, and there is no guarantees that will happen.

"Right now, our goal is to keep our league viable in '13-'14 as a non-football playing conference," Hurd said.

The Denver Post first reported the story.

The WAC has been around for half a century but found itself irrelevant in the rapidly changing landscape of conference realignment. It has recently lost Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii while adding Denver and Seattle as non-football playing members.

The league was formed in 1962 with six schools — Arizona, Arizona State, BYU, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming — that jumped ship long ago. Colorado State and Texas-El Paso were also long-time members that left, leaving the league with a hodgepodge of smaller schools.

The high mark of the WAC's football existence was BYU's national title in 1984 under coach LaVell Edwards. Cougars quarterback Ty Detmer won the league's only Heisman Trophy winner six years later, and Boise State had two unbeaten seasons (2006, '09) in its nine-year stint as the league's heavyweight.







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allie wrote:
Not a loss. It is a horribly weak league
on August 21,2012 | 06:23AM
Bdpapa wrote:
now, it is
on August 21,2012 | 06:33AM
jrboi96786 wrote:
It is now but wasn't always. It was unfortunate. Remember this is the league where Utah, TCU, BYU, Boise State, the current MWC members including Hawaii and some CUSA schools came from. If they only sticked together it would have been a great conference and might even be able to compete toe-to-toe against PAC-12. The problem was the leadership of the conference.
on August 21,2012 | 07:53AM
kk808 wrote:
Agreed! Leadership is everything.
on August 21,2012 | 08:07AM
HawaiiCheeseBall wrote:
Yes but you have to feel sorry for the WAC. It was our home for decades and it served us well. Unfortunately it became a stepping-stone league where schools joined and eventually moved on when their athletic programs matured. New Mexico State and Idaho are going to have it rough, can't see how they maintain their D-1 standing in football unless the Sun Belt extends an invite, otherwise its the wild west world of being a football independent or a trip down to the Big Sky Conference.
on August 21,2012 | 09:13AM
allie wrote:
true..best teams left long ago
on August 21,2012 | 11:36AM
mr808surfguy wrote:
bye bye and now the food chain is getting stronger
on August 21,2012 | 08:06AM
HawaiiMongoose wrote:
The WAC's big mistake was expanding east of El Paso to pick up the SWC leftovers. Until then it was a solid 10-school far western conference that competed head-to-head with the Pac-10. But when it grew to 16 with members as far east as Louisiana, there wasn't enough gravity to hold the far-flung membership together. Hopefully the MWC won't make the same mistake. Keep the membership regional and don't overreach. Focus on building rivalries and winning out-of-conference. And continue to cultivate relationships with Boise State and San Diego State. With any luck those schools will eventually come to their senses and abandon the Big East just as UTEP, TCU, Tulsa, SMU, Rice and Lousiana Tech abandoned the WAC.
on August 21,2012 | 08:21AM
BTO wrote:
When BYU, Air Force, Wyoming, Colorado State, SD State left, that was essentially the end of the WAC. Give Hawaii credit for being loyal and sticking it out for so long. The WAC has done tremendous things for the University of Hawaii. I am saddened to see this entity dissolve. The WAC still lives just the name changed to Mountain West!!
on August 21,2012 | 09:20AM
allie wrote:
very true. But after they left it gave the UH fan base the illusion that we had a great program. We never did.
on August 21,2012 | 11:37AM
uh4eva wrote:
what do you mean "we" Do not consider yourself a UH fan as you put down UH every chance you get.
on August 21,2012 | 06:16PM
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