The WAC, which lost three teams this past summer, is now in the market to add teams in order keep their conference affiliation in football and basketball. As a basketball league, the WAC can survive with six teams due to an NCAA provision that will allow them a two year grace period; this will allow the WAC to keep their automatic tournament qualifying bid until they can get back up to eight members.
To achieve those numbers, the conference is exploring expanding the league footprint into Texas to add two schools:
WAC commissioner Karl Benson said Texas State and UT-San Antonio will make presentations to the league's membership committee at its Sept. 28 meeting in Dallas.
"There are other schools that have confirmed their participation," Benson said. "Until they acknowledge their participation, I will defer until they make public that they're meeting with us."
Texas State currently plays football in the FCS, where UT-San Antonio is scheduled to launch its own gridiron program in 2011. A move to the FBS level would take more than one year, so if commissioner Karl Benson is planning on having eight football teams in the WAC fold for the 2012 season, he would either need to add teams from a current FBS league, or somehow fast track the two Texas programs.
Denver, meanwhile, is soliciting to join the WAC as a non-football member. Currently, Denver plays all non-football sports in the Sun Belt, where they're inconvenienced by length of travel and lack of a large alumni base. Also reportedly interested in basketball membership is Seattle University, ideally located in a state currently dominated by the Pac-10 and WCC, whose acceptance would bring the WAC roster back to ten schools.