Thursday, July 14, 2011

UT-Arlington joins WAC

This conference is abysmally bad.

Can anyone even name the mascot of UT-Arlington? Honestly, I just had to look it up, it’s the Mavericks.

It’s sad because this conference realignment business is all predicated off of money. The WAC was a competitive league — now it’s borderline Division I. Can that change down the road? Sure, but there are no guarantees and the schools that have been added are in wait-and-see mode.

When NMSU went from the Sun Belt to the WAC it was a boost. People were excited to face Fresno State, Boise State, Hawaii and Nevada. This has an entirely different feel.

I will say this — geographically it makes sense for the Aggies. If they're not going to be in a major D-I conference, at least have some regional opponents that can alleviate travel problems and take NMSU to areas where they can recruit.

And here’s the overriding key: the time is now for the Aggies to make a move in the league standings. Their athletics program is under question and they need to have success. The four premier athletics programs in the WAC — Boise State, Nevada, Fresno State and Hawaii — are either gone or will be gone after this year. NMSU has to jump to the top of the pack and needs to have success in football. The door is open.

Is the new WAC a good thing for the Aggies? If they win, yes. I really think the fans of the Aggies just want to see them be successful. They’ll support them if they win.

The new WAC is a time-will-tell league with a lot of new, unproven programs and leftovers who had nowhere else to go. The time is now for the Aggies to make a move in the standings.

8 comments:

Anonymous said...

What are you talking about???? Are you really that stuid Groves. UTA is a great addition. They are going to increase its athletic budget, hire better coaches, and recruit at a higher level. They are going to add football and be able to recruit the state of Texas really good. They will be able to outrecruit anyone in the Sun Belt who recruits Texas. They are also building a new basketball arena. They are also in a big tv market in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. You are an idiot Groves. You don't know anything about sports. Why don't you just quit. I can't stand reading this crap from you.

Anonymous said...

I do not believe that the WAC is in the dire straights you and many others have indicated. Instead of the addition of UTA being a sign of desperation, it is looking more and more like a shrewd move. What I see is the signs that they are acting strategically.

Many people have said that it makes no sense to add UTA without football when Lamar is ready and willing to join and has a football team. On the surface, that seems logical, since the pressing need is to add at least one football playing school.

But, think strategically. There is also a strong push to move to divisional play for sports other than football. UTA has put the WAC at the tipping point for divisional play. Adding two teams who play football puts the conference in a 9-12 alignment. That will be the next move made public. The recent action signals that those schools have already indicated a willingness to join the conference. But, for reasons we do not yet know do not want to take formal action yet.

But the recent developments provide the elements needed to figure it out. There are two Big Sky schools that have signalled their intention to join the WAC. Who are they? Despite the previous declining of the invitation, the signs point to Montana and Montana State. Montana has teetered back and forth, before choosing not to move up at the last invitation, primarily for financial reasons and the fact that MSU, their chief rival, was not included.

MSU has undertaken a stadium expansion, and is otherwise positioning itself to be better able to move up. The financial drain has just been minimized. The WAC will be ready for divisional play with the two new additions, and costs will not be so great. These two universities should be able to be competitive from the get go.

If not UM and MSU, my guess is CPSLO and either Portland State or Sac State. I believe at least one of the pending members is located in a small media market. Why? Because UTA is in a big market, and that can help balance a small market football school or two. Think UM, MSU or CPSLO. Since UTA is in the east, it sets up divisions with two west/north additions. It has also eliminated their angst that the divisions might not come about.

You might ask why I am convinced that it will include one or more Big Sky schools. Big Sky Commissioner Doug Fullerton let the cat out of the bag with his statements immediately after the WAC Board meeting. When he took shots at the WAC, stating that the Big Sky members had turned down the WAC, and made his claim that the Big Sky was a better conference than the WAC, it signalled his concern over the loss of members. In fact, his invitation to Idaho and USU reeked of an attempt to pull a MWC move like broke up the project, the ill-fated plan to have BYU enter the WAC for all sports except football. It appears that his statements did not change any minds. His timing look very much like he had just received the bad news that some of his members were getting ready to leave.

Wait and see. It may take a few years, but the WAC is relevant and will again become a strong conference. The pieces are in place, and before long we will see the result.

Teddy said...

Never call me Groves. That can earn you a lifetime ban from the board.....

Anonymous said...

Even the Border Conference of the 1960's is currently better than the WAC!

Very, very, sad to see the top non-BCS conference salavating over cookie crumbs...just like a hungry dog would do.

jd35 said...

The league is pretty sad as it stands today. But it seems like the WAC is looking for big market teams with "potential." Now, as for if that potential will translate into anything is a different story.

You're right about it, Teddy. Now is a perfect time for NMSU to make a move and own the conference.

Anonymous said...

Looks like that one LONG comment was from someone in the WAC office or by someone on that lousy AD's staff at NMSU. Homers.
TEDDY; fans aren't going to care if the teams are winning. They will just say; "right, we are beating lousy teams". This area is all about middle school and high school sports and taking care of our own kids from this area. The coaches don't recruit our kids and that fool of an AD thinks he can just push us aside while he steals our money. Why will the fans buy tickets to watch those new teams when they werent buying tickets to watch Boise, Fresno, Hawaii and Nevada? Think about it.
Before we get that far along....why don't you do a story on why that idiot AD here is running off our good coaches who are good people and worked hard for our area kids and coaches? Lets do that. Boston is a fool.

Anonymous said...

Morons on this post. First, someone refers to Teddy as "Groves", then the ultimate knucklehead writes a "short story" boasting on how Montana schools joining the WAC is a postive. Gag!! Frankly, NMSU needs to take an honest look at their budget, and if football is unprofitable, then we need to seriously consider dropping football. One thing for sure - if we did, we would have plenty of WAC company. Men's BB was the money maker when I attended NMSU, but not anymore based on what I see on TV and the few games I get a chance to see in person when in LC. If football is a losing proposition, eliminating it would result in more money to hire a better BB coach, and possibly a better AD. Bad times indeed.
- Aggie Glare

Anonymous said...

The WAC has gone from the Western Athletic Conference to the, Weak Ass Conference.

Nice Shot Karl Benson!