It appears as though the conference expansion business has settled down for now. With Utah officially joining the Pac 10 yesterday, the Mountain West's Commissioner Craig Thompson stated in a press teleconference (as reported by Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal) that the league is not looking to add any more teams at this time.
“Our intention is to move forward for the 2011 season with a nine-member conference,” Thompson said.
“We are done. Parroting what fellow commissioners in the Pac-10 and Big 12 and to a degree in the Big 12, I think our endeavor in expansion is over for the time being.”
That is certainly good news for the WAC for the time being as it looks like they'll only have to replace Boise State, which in itself will still a major undertaking.
We would caution WAC fans to take Thompson's word with a grain of salt however. This is the same league that last Monday had a press conference stating that they would not be inviting Boise State to join the Mountain West, only to turn around and invite Boise State a few days later.
It's clear (at least to us) that Fresno State and Nevada wish to be the next two WAC teams to head to the Mountain West. Matt James of the Fresno Bee has some strong words for Fresno State supporters:
"The only realistic upward move for Fresno State is the MWC, and the only thing that matters to the MWC is becoming an automatic qualifier BCS conference.
For better and worse, it's a football world, and Fresno State needs to put its resources and efforts toward that team. Every coach and administrator on campus should be asking, "How can I make the football team better today?" Silly? Of course it is. But football pays the bills and eventually changes your department.
If that's not your vision, then become I-AA and move on."
Chris Murray of the Reno Gazette-Journal reports that Nevada was one of the teams that inquired about potential Mountain West membership.
Nevada was among the schools to express public interest in joining the MWC if a spot opened up in the league.
Wolf Pack athletic director Cary Groth said neither she nor UNR president Milton Glick ever contacted Thompson, but that she will continue to monitor future opportunities.
We're afraid it's just a matter of time before the WAC loses Fresno State and Nevada (and Louisiana Tech for geographical reasons).
Blue Ribbon Yearbook announced their Preseason All-WAC team and Davon House was named to the Preseason All-WAC team. The Blue Ribbon Yearbook folks predict that the Aggies will finish 8th in the league ahead of San Jose State.
On the subject of Aggie football, NM State is shooting for 9,000 season tickets to be sold this year. According to the Sun-News story, the Aggies have increased season ticket sales in each of the past two years from 5,499 in 2008 to 7,438 in 2009.
The Aggie football season ticket prices start at $44 which according to a report by Olin Buchanan of Yahoo! Sports and Rivals.com, only Florida International ($40), Western Kentucky ($30) and Kent State ($30) have cheaper starting price points for season tickets. Basically, Aggie football season tickets are one of the best deals in the entire country. (UNM's cheapest season ticket is $72 and UTEP's cheapest season ticket starts at $99).
Aggie fans who renew their season tickets before July 15th will receive a Pistol Pete bobblehead.
On to today's links...
Aggie Men's Basketball
Jason Groves of the Las Cruces Sun-News blogs that the Aggies have been approved to take an international tour this summer.
Ferd Lewis of the Hawai'i Star Advertiser writes that the WAC is offering change in a world where dollars rule.
Tony Jones of the Salt Lake Tribune reports that Montana A.D. Jim O'Day says any conference move involving Montana would also likely have to include in-state rival Montana State as well.
Adam Nettina of the Utah Statesman bids adieu to Boise State.
Rachel Bachman of The Oregonian reports that Portland State, another school rumored to be on the WAC expansion list, has seen their men's basketball team lose two scholarships and a postseason ban for the 2010-2011 season.
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