We'll welcome any excuse to use this photo.
DEATH OF THE WEST
Note: No, it's not strictly SEC news, but a 50-year-old college conference is falling apart
The WAC is dead
At this point, the only question is what happens to Idaho and New Mexico State. All of the new Texas teams are going to stay only long enough to catch their breath before moving on to more stable conferences.
So let's learn lessons here. The first is that a 16-team conference does not work. The WAC has essentially been collapsing since its disastrous attempt to make a megaconference work back in 1996. The SEC and ACC should stop at 14 and not try to create ginormous leagues unless they want to risk the very real risk of their conferences spinning apart.
The other lesson: None of this is new in any way.
Maybe this is all payback -- albeit 50 years later -- for how the WAC started. Back in 1962 the league was founded with six members: Arizona, Arizona State, Brigham Young, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming. Because of the creation of the WAC both the Border Conference and the Skyline Eight Conference were forced to fold.
The set of criteria driving conference realignment reasons might be new -- BCS AQ status before that goes the way of the dodo and TV contracts -- but conferences have been shifting almost since the first conferences were established nearly a century ago.
Don't feel sorry for what's left of the WAC -- not much -- because the WAC set off this scramble by trying to poach BYU's non-football sports from the Mountain West while the Cougars went independent in football. The Mountain West responded by raiding the WAC and taking its best football programs, essentially killing the league. The WAC has tried to stay afloat, ironically by adding some of the teams that are now bolting, but it never really had a chance once Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii joined Boise State in leaving the league.
New Mexico State might be the odd man out
I'm sure there are plenty of Pac-12 and SEC schools that would be willing to make a charitable donation to keep one of their favorite cupcakes around.
Or maybe there's hope
Let this sink in:
Now re-joining the Sun Belt may now be both programs’ only hope of staying afloat in the FBS. The Sun Belt is said to be losing North Texas and Florida International to Conference USA, which could open up spots for the two remaining WAC programs.
When you know you're in trouble: When your only hope is joining the Sun Belt.
At least USU has some spiffy new uniforms for its new conference
Um, I think the shoulder patch is going to have to change.
A correction -- like New Coke?*
Derek Dooley talks about the "correction" of having seven coaches leave in what were largely lateral moves. And then he continues to sound like someone with a tenuous grasp on reality.
I think some left because they maybe allowed the fear … the fear made the wolf a little bigger than it was.
There's a wolf? Wait -- is the wolf the rebuilding job at Tennessee? The other teams in the SEC East? The Germans? I don't even try to figure out what the man is saying any more. It's not like he's going to be there very long.
*Did I date myself with that one?
Kentucky-Indiana series in basket-ball is on life support
Which is a shame given the history and the name brands in the series.
Billy Neighbors, 1940-2012
The star of some of Bear Bryant's earliest Alabama teams died in the lovely city of Huntsville. Thoughts and prayers to his family and friends.