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Jun 8, 2010 7:49 PM by Phil Buck - Montana's News Station

WAC disusses possibly inviting FCS, Big Sky schools

MISSOULA - The Mountain West conference surprised a lot of people Monday when it decided against expansion for the time being.

Many, including members of the Western Athletic Conference, had expected the Mountain West to offer an invitation to WAC-member Boise State.

That invitation may still come, but not at the present time.

Nonetheless, WAC Commissioner Karl Benson held a teleconference Monday night to discuss possible changes in the WAC.

Benson said he expects movement among some of the major conferences to start happening soon, and that the WAC has been planning for a number of different scenarios.

Among those, the possibility of inviting more schools to join the conference, including some FCS teams.

When asked about the Griz, Benson said he could not comment on any specific school, but did say that tradition, fan base and a proven track-record would all be deciding factors.

"The WAC has a history of schools that have gone directly from the Big Sky to the next step," Benson said Monday.

"The history of college football in the west has shown that teams from the Big Sky can be successful at the next level and they can be successful in the WAC; as Boise State and Nevada and Idaho and Utah State and New Mexico State have shown."

Benson added that the WAC has looked at potentially adding more than five or six FCS teams and that Montana would fit into the league's geographical footprint.

Benson added that the conference wants to be prepared for the coming changes around college football - and that right now it has a long list of potential members.

Benson called the current state of college football an "unbelievable, volatile period," and says the poker-playing going on among schools and conferences right now is "unprecedented."


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