The Western Athletic Conference is adding Cal State-Bakersfield and Utah Valley next year as it punts away football after a half-century on the gridiron.
The 50-year-old WAC is the first Division I conference to give up on football since the Southwest Conference dissolved in 1995, but the additions of Bakersfield and Utah Valley assured at least for now that it won’t also go the way of the SWC and cease to exist altogether.
“I want to emphasize this is the first step of what I would anticipate to be a multi-step process,” interim commissioner Jeff Hurd said Tuesday. “… I think it sends a message that the WAC is here to stay, that we will be here not only in ’13-14 but beyond as we in essence reinvent ourselves.”
Hurd said he will continue looking for other new members as the league makes the transition from an FBS conference to a nonfootball-playing Division I conference in 2013-14.
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The Missouri Tigers are confronting the realities of life in the unforgiving Southeastern Conference.
A 19-15 home loss to perennial conference also-ran Vanderbilt kept Missouri (3-3, 0-3) winless in league games in its first season in the SEC after leaving the Big 12.
Few expect Missouri to get it when No. 1 Alabama (5-0, 2-0) visits Faurot Field in a coaching matchup pitting former Kent State teammates Gary Pinkel, Missouri’s coach, and the Tide’s Nick Saban.
Oregon State quarterback Sean Mannion is expected to have surgery to repair meniscus damage in his left knee as early as today. He will be week-to-week following the procedure. After two years spent mostly watching from the sidelines, quarterback Cody Vaz gets the start for No. 10 Oregon State this Saturday when the Beavers travel to BYU. … Stanford’s top receiver, sophomore Ty Montgomery is unlikely to play Saturday against the Irish because of a lower body injury. … Suspended TCU quarterback Casey Pachall is leaving school for the rest of the semester and enrolling at an inpatient rehabilitation facility. The junior starter was arrested on suspicion of drunken driving near campus five days ago. That came eight months after Pachall admitted to police that he smoked marijuana and failed a team-administered drug test. … Tennessee coach Derek Dooley said he will coach against Mississippi State after undergoing surgery Tuesday to repair a fractured right hip.