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WAC Expansion: The Implications Of Hawaii's Departure Extend Beyond Football

Although Hawaii has confirmed that they will relocate their football team to the Mountain West Conference, the reports of them moving the rest of the athletic programs to the Big West have not yet been confirmed.

But if both of those moves do happen, it would be disastrous for the conference.

If the WAC loses Hawaii, there is not only the problem of losing a football member, but also lacking the six continuing members needed to even get an automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament, according to Jon Wilner of the San Jose Mercury News.

Hawaii to the Mountain West: If true, it’s bad for the WAC (very, very bad) | College Hotline
And if the WAC doesn’t have at least six continuing members, it would lose its automatic bid to the NCAA Tournament — and the multi-million annual payout that goes with it.

With just seven football-playing schools (the quintet listed above plus newcomers Texas State and UTSA), the conference would also be in danger of losing its status as a Football Bowl Subdivision member.

Then there are the other post-Hawaii issues involving the TV contract, the bowl partnerships and whether the incoming schools would still want to be a part of a league without an automatic bid and without FBS status. So there’s a lot to sort out … assuming the Hawaii departure happens.

So even if the WAC were to add more schools - whether that be a young program like Seattle University or any one of the more established ones mentioned - they would essentially be a conference without any of the financial benefits of post-season bids. If that's the case, it's hard to imagine a non-football school like Seattle U being at the top of their list of priority adds.

Regardless of implications for Seattle, as Wilner states very, very clearly, this is "very, very bad".