The news that the University of Idaho will soon likely seek membership in the Big Sky Conference is all-too-familiar for New Mexico State Aggie sports fans.
In a nutshell: One team leaves the WAC, the conference is further depleted, leaving NMSU holding the bag as one of its final remaining members.
And then followed by a question: why is it the Aggies are always the ones left holding the bag? The bystanders, and not the aggressors? The victims, not the inflictors?
Forget market size, football history, or financial strain. The questions are fair, and valid.
Let alone that New Mexico State going to the Big Sky — a possibility in itself that looks dim at the moment — would have been virtually unappealing last year at this time.
It's a conference without FBS football — Idaho, and soon the Aggies, will be declaring independence on the gridiron in the near future as well — and a league that is spread across the country, yet equally as inconsequential.
Yet it still is a league, one that Idaho will likely call its home, a scenario that's better than the alternative.
If such a scenario does come the fruition, NMSU will soon be part of a three-team WAC — which really is no league at all, and probably won't be one much longer.
It's not hard picturing Seattle and Denver — the WAC's other two members — planning an escape route, why with their cozy configerations to the West Coast Conference. Easy travel, some natural rivals, and with that conference's membership numbers adding up right, it makes the right sense.
And for the Aggies?
Who knows what their plan is, other than hope, which last we checked isn't much of a plan at all.
Hope the WAC holds together for football, hope the Mountain West has an open slot for a football team, hope independent football could work for a brief time, and now hope to hold off athletics independence all together.
Ironically, perhaps it's not too far off in a certain respect.
The one thing we do know, is that the only constant in conference realignment are the changes that have taken place, and the ones that will follow.
Just like the Big Sky would have been an afterthought last year at this time, and now looks like a salvation in the present, we really don't know where things will stand in August, 2013, for better or for worse.
One would think the Aggies won't be standing on the sidelines then. But how do we know that for sure?
From where they were, to where they are, to where they're going.
We do know where it stands today. And it's at a point where it shouldn't be.
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