It remains to be seen how many more teams officially jump ship from the S.S. WAC, but one of those projected moves became official today.
In a press conference this morning, Texas State announced that they would be joining the Sun Belt — as expected — as an all sports member beginning in 2013. The school made the jump to 1-A football this year and was originally planning to join the WAC.
“Texas State University has worked very hard to be ready for FBS competition and joining the Sun Belt Conference represents a new opportunity for our future,” said Texas State University President Denise Trauth. “The Sun Belt Conference’s record of competitive success over more than 35 years provides a tradition of excellence that we are happy to join. Our students and alumni will bring a very strong fan base that will welcome these new opportunities. Just as Texas State is the rising star of Texas, we believe that the Sun Belt Conference is also on the rise and we are happy to be a part of its future.”
“We are very excited about becoming a member of the Sun Belt Conference in 2013,” said Texas State Athletic Director Larry Teis. “We know that our student-athletes will be eager to succeed in the Sun Belt, and we will enter the conference ready to compete. We look forward to building new rivalries with some Sun Belt schools and renewing rivalries with others. The Sun Belt Conference encompasses eight states from Texas to Florida that are rich in college athletic traditions, especially in the sport of FBS football.”
TSU’s announcement is the first official move in what is expected to be a mass exodus by current or future WAC programs. San Jose State and Utah State are reportedly very near/finished with negotiations with the Mountain West; Louisiana Tech and future WAC member UT-San Antonio have been connected to Conference USA.
Hawaii, Fresno State and Nevada are already leaving the WAC for the Mountain West.
If all the moves come to fruition, that would leave the WAC with Idaho and New Mexico State. Idaho could drop down to the 1-AA level and NMSU is now reportedly a target of the Sun Belt, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.