clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

ADDITION PUTS WAC IN THE ROLE OF CHOOSER AND NO LONGER BEGGAR

No more accusing the Western Athletic Conference of shuffling along unrhythmically. Here a dodder, there a dodder.

What a great move the WAC made last week by adding Fresno State. Talk about peeling out, blasting gravel.Bottom line: Now both San Jose State and UNLV are obliged to knock at the WAC's door, not the other way around. It's not the WAC that needs a dowry anymore.

Here's why: Fresno, San Jose and UNLV have been the big football and basketball names in the Big West Conference, which is considered a step below the WAC in general sports society. Neither are Nob Hill, mind you. Both are on the other side of the tracks, but the WAC isn't quite as clapboard.

Fresno's departure weakens the Big West, which can only go a step lower for a replacement. Talk is the Big West hopes to replace Fresno with either the University of Nevada at Reno or Boise State. Both are from the shantytown Big Sky.

San Jose and UNLV, then, would certainly be better off in the WAC, which is composed of Air Force, Brigham Young, Colorado State, Hawaii, New Mexico, San Diego State, Utah, UTEP, Wyoming and now Fresno State. It would then be a 12-school conference, which would split into six-school divisions.

How about this? Since Fresno already has a postseason football bowl game, the California Bowl, how about the two WAC divisional football champs meeting there for the league championship? The winner would advance to the WAC's bowl, the Holiday Bowl, in San Diego.

The extra game, certainly a TVer, would mean more money in the WAC coffers. The Southeastern Conference is already planning to have its divisional champs meet in Birmingham for the right to go to the Sugar Bowl.

Of course, the losers of playoff games would still eligible for a bowl too.

San Jose and UNLV help the WAC because they bring population markets to a league spread over deserts and mountains in few-man's land.

The WAC can help San Jose and UNLV, who are now in a football league with Utah State, Cal State Fullerton, Long Beach, New Mexico State and Pacific.

Maybe it's nervy to call Irvine (ritzy Newport Beach) or Santa Barbara clapboard. But we're talking about athletic oomph here, not the number of yachts per household.