And the primary reason the WAC failed, Kurt Benson, jumped ship a few years ago...isn't he at CUSA now?
Honestly, the WAC handled things worse than the Big East commissioner handled their contract stuff leading to Miami, VaTech, BC, Syracuse, and Pitt jumping ship leading to the our invite to the AAC. A stronger commissioner at the time could have positioned the 16 team WAC to be one of the P6 conferences commanding a much better TV contact. There were some really good football schools in that conference with a ton of potential for more growth. The basketball conference was great and there were just some really good games all around before the break-up.
Benson was a water boy for BYU. Whether it was him or Aresco, we would get the same deal from ESPN. Them leaving the MWC was really about ESPN viewing the MWC conference as a net loser and BYU alone a small winner in the profit column. Benson was their man to set that up.
Both he and Aresco went along with deals with ESPN that effectively blocks BYU from joining AAC or any other conference until the numbers prove that the value added to ESPN by adding them to a conference exceeds BYU’s stand alone value for ESPN. That’s unlikely to occur and they have some real problems in 2025 up ahead.
That’s what people don’t see about all this conference realignment chatter. It’s entertaining to read and speculate but all this talk about winning and building new stadiums and the influence of this coach or that is just noise. Really no different than 14 year old girls speculating on who Harry Sytles will date next.
ESPN holds BYU and UCF and a few other P5 hopefuls hostage. And it’s the danger we face in the AAC. The money is nice now. But we could be sold off as redundant parts at anytime if they ever prove to ABC their individual or collective value higher than the rest of the AAC. Thankfully, despite the arrogance and favorably geography, UCF and Houston are no where close. Cincinnati is a different story. They are much closer and this football season helped.
The intention of this move is to restart football and at some point in the future be a FBS conference. To quote the Houston Chronicle
Born acknowledged that multiple schools within the WAC have expressed a desire to move into the FBS at some point in the future. Still, he said the both the league’s and Lamar’s first priority is establishing a strong FCS presence.