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Saying good-bye to the WAC: So long and thanks for all the wins

The Western Athletic Conference, with its storied past and fugly present, is on its last legs now that every football-playing member but New Mexico State and Idaho is rumored to be headed elsewhere. And rather than the shrug that I reserve for most realignment stories, the WAC's saga has me feeling feelings. I'm sad, I'm nervous, I'm elated, I'm nostalgic. I need to vent.

Let's begin with the sadness. Before the WAC turned into the UPN of college football conferences, it was remarkably entertaining (imagine the MAC of today, except not a novelty) and highly respected (BYU won a national championship there). The conference existed for 50 years, was the first to toy with the idea of superconferences, and offered up innovation on offense that was ahead of its time. A college football landscape with no WAC strikes me as oddly depressing. Like if Keith Jackson started calling WNBA games.

Then there's the matter of my nerves. Boise State's Olympic sports had planned on participating in the soon-to-be-deceased WAC. Now what? There are tiny leagues around the West that could maybe accommodate BSU if it asks real nice, but the school has already been turned down by the Big West and the West Coast Conference. Will Leon Rice be playing for conference championships and tourney play-in games against Utah Directionals? Gah, I hope not.

The demise of the WAC also has me elated. Idaho might have to go back to Division I-AA! Oh happy day!


But ultimately, the thought of no more WAC has me feeling nostalgic. As my DVD tower of Boise State highlight videos can attest, the Broncos had some good times in the WAC. The Golden Era of Boise State football largely took place under the watchful eye of Karl Benson and his conference of misfits. Winning WAC championships was a team goal for a decade, and we fans cheered every single one of them. Some of my best Bronco memories are from the WAC.

Losing the WAC as a football conference is like falling out of touch with a best friend from high school - you can't help but remember all the good times, even if in hindsight the good times were mostly quoting 3rd Rock from the Sun and playing N64.

Your turn

How does the WAC's impending demise have you feeling? Are you sad to see it go? Or do you see it as good riddance? Share your thoughts in the comments.