Sun Belt won't add Idaho, New Mexico St.; FCS the next step?
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson confirmed Wednesday that his league has no intention of adding either Idaho or New Mexico State after the WAC's demise left them orphaned. Do they have any choice other than to drop to the FCS?
Idaho's and New Mexico State's chances of remaining FBS schools look slimmer than ever after the Sun Belt announced Wednesday that it will remain at 10 football-playing members for the foreseeable future.
Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson addressed the plight of the Vandals and Aggies during his league's announcement that non-football-member Texas-Arlington would be officially joining the SBC in 2013 after a single season in the WAC.
With the Mountain West having already declined to bring either the Moscow, Idaho or Las Cruces, New Mexico schools aboard, either's road forward at the FBS level appears extremely, extremely difficult. With the WAC down to just two football-playing members (i.e., the Vandals and Aggies) and no apparent way to bring itself back from the brink as an FBS entity, Idaho and NMSU face either convincing an FCS cavalry to ride into FBS to save the WAC, scratching out an existence as independents -- and becoming by far the two hardest programs in the country to recruit to, if they aren't already -- or dropping back to the FCS.
Of those three options, it's hard to conclude that the latter route isn't the best option for two programs already struggling to make headway at the FBS level even before the WAC's demise. But that won't make it any less difficult for the athletes or coaches at the two schools.
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