The day of reckoning has officially arrived. The WACpocalypse is upon us – and nobody is surprised.
The Mountain West has officially added Utah State and San Jose State. Conference USA has announced the additions of La Tech and Texas-San Antonio. The Sun Belt had already made official on Wednesday their addition of Texas State.
As expected, New Mexico State and Idaho are left twiddling their thumbs and pondering their futures in big time Division I football.
There may have been hope it seems. Brian Murphy of the Idaho Statesman reports both NMSU and Idaho vied the Mountain West for inclusion, with New Mexico lobbying hard on behalf of NMSU.
Thompson says Idaho and New Mexico State were considered. Presidents and ADs from both schools made presentations to join MW.
— Brian Murphy (@murphsturph) May 4, 2012
This shouldn’t be surprising. While Idaho may have been hoping they could ride out the WAC storm, every school has been fending for themselves looking for an exit, including the Vandals.
The Mountain West seems like a logical fit, except for one major factor – Television markets.
President Duane Nellis issued a statement on his facebook page earlier this week bemoaning the financially driven motives of peer institutions and conferences, stating that Idaho is being left in the cold because of its lack of a premiere television market. Athletic Director Rob Spear states that the University of Idaho’s major markets are Spokane and Boise.
Coupled with the fact that the school is behind the curve in the facilities game, Idaho becomes a tough sell to conferences looking to maximize their television dollars.
We will find out just what the Athletic Department is thinking later today when Spear addresses the media in a conference call this afternoon. Judging by statements released by the school earlier this week it would be surprising if Spear laid out a specific plan for conference affiliation today.
Instead, it would more likely that Spear advocates patience as he and President Nellis continue to mull over the options in front of them.
Follow us on Twitter for up to the minute quotes and updates from the conference call at 3 p.m.
Athletic Director Rob Spear will hold a teleconference this afternoon to discuss Idaho’s future plans regarding conference re-alignment.
— Vandal Nation (@VandalNation) May 4, 2012