More Bad News for the WAC

Earlier this week the Terry Ford show on the radio in Boise mentioned that Western Athletic Conference commissioner Karl Benson was in Ruston, Louisiana talking with Louisiana Tech officials after rumors were starting to float that they might be leaving the WAC.  Stories around the country are saying the Sun Belt Conference is looking to add another member or two.  And the schools whose names are being mentioned are Louisiana Tech and New Mexico State.  Both schools were reported here a few days ago by Tower Power as possible FBS expansion candidates.  The Louisiana school would make sense, being another warm-weather FBS school in the Sunbelt footprint.  Adding the New Mexico State Aggies could be an afterthought.  

The Sun Belt will add the Southern Alabama Jaguars in 2012 to get them to 10 members.  They are seeking to go to a 12 team league and the word is that the SBC wants to add two FBS schools within the next two months.  A raid on the WAC is their most likely route to get them there.

http://atlantacitypaper.com/04/12/2011/sun-belt-conference-expansion-louisiana-tech-new-mexico-state-reported-targets/

But a Sun Belt invite does not mean the Louisiana Tech Bulldogs would follow Boise State, Hawaii, Nevada and Fresno State out the door just yet.  They have been seeking membership in Conference USA for years and any thought of leaving the WAC would not be made until the Big East expansion question is settled and they are sure the door to C-USA is still closed.  Their inclusion right now into C-USA is a long shot.   

One person who is against the Bulldogs moving their program to the SBC is former NFL quarterback Terry Bradshaw.  He says that for Louisiana Tech to leave the WAC for the Sun Belt is not going forward, but "dropping back." 

But that is not to say a move to the SBC won't happen for the Louisiana school even though some like Bradshaw are against it.  Both the Bulldogs and the Aggies were members of the Sun Belt until 2001 when they left the conference for the WAC.  But now their fortunes have changed.  While the WAC has taken a sudden turn for the worse, the Sun Belt has been steadily improving.  The SBC has a better TV deal now, and one that could get a lot better with a 12 team conference playoff similar to the deal C-USA inked in January with Fox Sports.  And a move to the Sun Belt would be a better fit for the 'Dogs with geographic rivals.  The school has to know that if they continue to hold out for a C-USA invite, they might find the SBC door closed as well once the two expansion teams are added. 

Fortunately, if a formal invitation is forthcoming from the Sun Belt Conference it appears the schools will have a few weeks to think about it. 

But for the Bulldogs at least, you would think it would be a no brainer.     

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