The Western Athletic Conference was in trouble as soon as teams started to shuffle conferences to make more money. Currently the WAC has seven football members, and apparently five of them are planning on leaving after this year, and the conference has no plans to replace them. It may seem quite obvious, but it is impossible to have a two-team NCAA Football Conference. With the lack of a major television contract, nobody is clamoring in order to get into the WAC conference. This is the issue that ESPN and mainstream media has created. Small-time conferences will never be able to survive against the big boys because their teams aren’t as skilled athletically, and aren’t nearly as marketable, the result? Conferences will start ceasing to exist.
Now personally, I couldn’t care less that the WAC is no longer a conference for football; it honestly is happening a little late for me. I would have liked to have seen it done when Boise State was in their prime, so that they would be forced to join a real conference. Instead Boise State jumped to the Mountain West Conference last year, and will be moving to the Big East in 2013 and wants to move the rest of its sports back to the WAC. This is the other thing that bothers me about conference realignment. You shouldn’t get to pick and choose where you want to be. If you have a basketball team in the Big East and a football team that is independent, that is absolute crap (looking at you Notre Dame). I understand that with hockey, conferences don’t always match up, and same with some of the smaller sports. But there should be a rule that whatever conference you are in for football, the rest of your sports should have to be in it, unless that sport is not part of that conference. Why should you get to pick and choose what conferences you want to be apart of? Why should you get to get a piece of a bunch of different TV contracts?
Sure that would probably bankrupt a school like Boise State trying to get all of their teams back and forth to the Big East, but screw them. Whatever happened to playing in a conference in your region? Now that the BCS is going to be demolished, I don’t care if teams are in the non-Automatic Qualifying conferences or not. Before I would have cheered for Boise to get to the Big East in any way possible in order to try to keep them out of the National Championship game, but now that there is a four-team playoff, that has been taken care of for me. No matter what happens, I seriously hate when teams just pick and choose conferences for different sports, just because football is the big money-maker and driving the desires and actions of athletic departments everywhere. I get it, it makes sense, something has to pay the bills, and it sure as hell isn’t going to be men’s wrestling, but it’s starting to become a major joke.
In other news, the new Champions Bowl which pits the Big 12 Champion against the SEC Champion (unless they make the National Semifinals and then the conference has to provide another team), is accepting bids to see which city will host the game. Five cities submitted a bid: Houston, Arlington, San Antonio, New Orleans and Atlanta, for the game which will debut January 1st, 2015 in primetime. Apparently New Orleans and Arlington are the favorites; but personally I think you can rule out New Orleans, just because they already have the Sugar Bowl. Arlington has to be the clear-cut favorite; it is where the Dallas Cowboys monstrous stadium is located and it would generate more revenue and allow more people to attend the game, seems like a serious no-brainer for me. The Champions Bowl is going to be apart of the National Semifinal rotation starting after 2014, and it will have a game four times during its 12-year contract. For those of you at home that are bad at math, that’s once every three years.