RE: Miami Herald: Sun Belt might add 11th school to membership
What's the saying?
Those who ignore history are doomed to repeat it?
The WAC developed a name brand.
They started with Arizona, Arizona State, Utah (all now in the Pac-12), BYU (MWC now indy), Wyoming and New Mexico.
As they lost teams they added teams. Colorado State and UTEP (both gone), then San Diego State, Air Force, and Hawaii (all gone), then Fresno (going), the Tulsa, SMU, Rice, TCU, UNLV, and San Jose ( TCU to Big East now, all gone but for SJSU). and on they've gone.
I can name two leagues with a similar history.
Alabama, Auburn, Clemson, Georgia, Georgia Tech, Kentucky, Maryland, Mississippi State, North Carolina, North Carolina State, Tennessee, Virginia, Virginia Tech, and Washington & Lee (all be Washington & Lee went to greatness). Next came Florida, LSU, Mississippi, South Carolina, Tulane, and Vanderbilt. Then Sewanee, Virginia Military Institute and Duke. Wake Forest, West Virginia, East Carolina, and Marshall also came through but each addition moved further down the line and now its a great FCS league but few schools with potential to come to FBS (there are some) and no one looking to recapture what the Southern once was.
The Missouri Valley
Iowa, Iowa State, Kansas, Missouri, Nebraska, Drake and Washington (St. Louis). Then Kansas State, Oklahoma, Oklahoma State and Grinnel. Later Cincinnati, Houston, UNT, Tulsa, Memphis, Louisville, and finally New Mexico State came through. Like the early days of the WAC and Southern, schools came through that became major players, then schools who became mid-level players, since the addition and then departure of NMSU, no one has made it in that looks to be heading FBS any time soon.
The WAC is turning into the Valley and Southern. That's not a bad thing, both have many high level achievements but neither is what it once was. The WAC is following this path. They've added a non-football, they are rumored to be considering another. They are adding one from FCS, one that hasn't played football to play football and rumored to be adding one or two more FCS.
The Southland has followed a similar path. In the past 21 years they've made two FCS title appearances winning none. The eight years prior? Four title appearances with one win. It's just that three of those appearances were made by teams who aren't there any more.