Rumor has it that the Mountain West Conference is about to deal a death blow to the WAC.
… Well, apparently the MWC is going all-in on this “WAC 2.0” business, because according to a report from the Honolulu Star-Advertiser, the Mountain West has offered a conference spot to Hawaii:
The University of Hawaii is being extended an offer to join the Mountain West Conference, the Star-Advetiser [sic] has learned.
A 7 p.m. [HST] press conference has been called for Bachman Hall to make the announcement.
The MWC presidents met today to approve conditions under which the conference would accept UH, which is expected to join the Big West in all sports except football.
If true, this puts the WAC on the brink of going defunct; NCAA rules state that for a conference to receive an automatic postseason bid — or really be recognized by the NCAA in any way — it must have a group of five member schools that have been in the same conference for at least five years. With Boise State, Nevada, and Fresno State all headed to the Mountain West and now Hawaii joining them, the WAC would be down to the bare minimum of five tenured schools in 2012: Louisiana Tech, Idaho, New Mexico State, Utah State, and San Jose State. If even one of those schools leaves before 2017 (when brand new members Seattle, Texas State, and UT-San Antonio hit the five-year mark), the WAC will effectively cease to exist. That would be its own special brand of history, wouldn’t it?
I’ve seen speculation that this move is motivated by a belief on the MWC’s part that it makes it more relevant in the BCS AQ discussion, but methinks there’s a more primal motive in play here. Craig Thompson is finishing the job he started. At the time, I referred to the move as “like watching Mary’s Lemonade Stand attempt a hostile takeover of Jimmy’s Newspaper Route”, but this is more like watching something out of The Untouchables [some NSFW language, folks].
Makes you wonder what he’s got in mind for the Big East if TCU leaves.