Big Upgrade Coming For WTAMU Sports? Division I Is A Possibility.
The college sports landscape changed a lot over the last week. You have the PAC-12 conference being completely obliterated with teams jumping to other Power 5 conferences and leaving the conference with only 4 schools left in it.
One of them is my favorite college, the University of California. The other three that remain are Stanford, Oregon State, and Washington State. This morning, news came out that Cal and Stanford are beginning talks with the ACC to join their conference.
So what exactly does any of this have to do with the panhandle? Opportunity, that's what it means for us. West Texas A&M is currently a Division II school, and it's not overly easy to break in to the Division I ranks, however this could be a chance for SEVERAL of these programs to find their way in.
The chances of the PAC-12 remaining a conference are slim at this point, 100+ years of history down the drain unless they find a way to resurrect it with teams from other smaller conferences. The American Athletic Conference (AAC), Sun Belt Conference, or Mountain West Conference would be immediate targets to grab schools from to plug into the PAC-12. There are complications there though.
Exit fees from the Mountain West are astronomical, and that's the conference with some of the stronger schools. The AAC has a lot of schools based on the east coast, so travel will get expensive. The Sun Belt has the most regional teams that could make it work. So where does WTAMU fit in here?
Well, if schools start leaving any of those conferences, those conferences will then need to fill the spots left by vacating teams, and it becomes a domino effect. Ultimately, one or two of the smaller conferences will be left with several vacancies. This is the PERFECT opportunity for West Texas A&M to apply to become a Division I school.
Smaller conferences don't get other Division I schools to transfer in, they typically only move out. The teams that come into those conferences are ones that move up. So is it possible that we could start seeing Division I athletics in West Texas and NOT have to travel to Lubbock for them?
Yes, it's absolutely possible. Now, how do we get in touch with the powers that be over at WTAMU to make this happen?