Dixie State University, currently a Division II program from St. George, Utah, is one step closer to becoming a Division I football school.
A recent Division I feasibility report concluded that the program was in a strong position to make the jump. One reason for that is because if they do make the jump, the Western Athletic Conference will be waiting to invite them in as a member.
While there are still a lot of meetings to be held and decisions to be made, school officials have said that if they were to accept the invitation, their membership wouldn’t kick in until July 1, 2020. There is one condition though, the school would only consider a WAC affiliation if the conference sponsors football again. Fortunately, the WAC has stated they have been looking into restarting the football conference as an FCS league.
So what would the WAC need to do to make a football conference again? A lot.
But first, the WAC needs members. New Mexico State is currently the only league school that has football (and would need to drop down to the FCS), although Texas Rio Grande Valley has been exploring football for some time.
Other WAC schools have basically made it seem like football is out of the question.
But the league could ask schools if they’d like to join as football only members. They could ask schools like North Dakota, who currently is an FCS Independent, or San Diego who is in the Pioneer League, a non-scholarship football league whose closest school to San Diego is more than 1,700 miles away.
The WAC could also pull some football-only members out of the Big Sky, such as UC Davis and Cal Poly, or get other division II schools to jump up (Northern New Mexico comes to mind). Really, the possibilities are endless.
For right now, nobody knows what will happen. All I know is, that if the WAC can pull together enough schools to sponsor football again, I’ll be watching.