Jul 04, 2020

Locations all out of WAC

Illustration by Michael Uribes / The Collegian

A new BCS conference could give hope to mid-majors and provide better travel

Jim: It’s time for a change and no, we’re not talking about Pat Hill.

With the Western Athletic Conference (WAC) stretching across five time zones, it has become a daunting task when it comes to traveling for WAC teams.

Teams like Hawaii and Louisiana Tech have to travel across several time zones just to play one game.

Logistically, WAC teams are spread way too far apart and something needs to be done.

Logan: Louisiana Tech and Hawaii are over 6,400 miles apart – the longest distances between two conference opponents in the NCAA.

The rigorous travel schedule for WAC teams wears on the student athletes and keeps them from what they are really supposed to be doing, spending time in class.

A rearrangement of western college sports conferences would benefit every school that is currently in the WAC.

Jim: So, here’s a modest proposal.

Combine teams from the WAC and the Mountain West Conference to form a new Bowl Championship Series (BCS) conference.

This new conference would have 12 teams, a conference title game and a guaranteed spot in a BCS bowl.

It would be the perfect opportunity to give mid-major schools a chance to compete with coalition programs and save everyone tons of travel time.

Logan: The new conference would benefit both the WAC and MWC and help to get some of that BCS money out to the west.

Traditional powers of the Mountain West: TCU, Utah, BYU and Air Force, would combine with respected WAC programs: Boise State, Fresno State, Hawaii and Nevada.

Four other current MWC teams: Colorado State, UNLV, New Mexico and Wyoming would remain with the Mountain West teams and be invited to the new power conference.

Jim: This would not only be beneficial for football programs, but for the athletic programs at these universities in general.

Most of the aforementioned schools have solid athletic programs and this new conference would benefit other sports as well.

In this new conference the farthest teams would have to travel is out to Hawaii. Besides that, the two opponents that are farthest away from each other are Fresno State and Colorado State.
Hawaii’s farthest flight would be to Colorado as well, a lot better than the 11-hour journey to Ruston, Lou.

But, what about those teams left out of the new conference from the WAC and Mountain West? We’ve already taken care of it.

Logan: The Great West is an up-and-coming conference in the western United States and would be a perfect fit for some current WAC teams.

The conference is currently in the Football Championship Series (FCS), but would be able to bump up to the Football Bowl Series (FBS) division, formerly called Division I-A.

The new Great West Conference would include WAC schools: Utah State, San Jose State and New Mexico State. The move would also include San Diego State of the MWC, which would create some rivalries especially in the state of California.

The final two teams in the current WAC, Louisiana Tech and Idaho, would be moving to different conferences. Louisiana Tech could easily move to the Sun Belt, a southern conference and Idaho could drop to the Big Sky, an FCS conference.

The moves would benefit every school involved, not just the new Mountain West universities.

Jim: Think about the matchups that the new Mountain West would bring.

UNLV and Nevada would be in the same conference, BYU and Utah would get to keep the Battle of the Beehive intact and Fresno State would still get to play Boise State every season.

More fans would come out to games to see their team play against these new conference opponents, which would lead to higher ticket sales for the universities.

Every season the new Mountain West would receive payouts from the BCS and have chances to knock off the big schools.

While there would still be complaints about not having a playoff system, the new Mountain West would have the perfect opportunity to show that they can hang with the likes of the Pac-10 and Big XII.

Logan: And other schools, like Louisiana Tech and Utah State would benefit from in-state rivalries that their current conferences do not provide.
Louisiana Tech would benefit from playing in-state opponents Louisiana-Monroe and Louisiana-Lafayette each season and Utah State would get to play Southern Utah every year.
It may be beyond far fetched, but it seems like the moves make sense for every team involved.

Jim: Instead of busting the BCS, why not become a part of it?

Logan: If you can’t beat ‘em, join ‘em.

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