Speculation regarding FCS realignment has ramped up in recent months, especially in regards to the Western Athletic Conference, but social media reports of invitations being sent to Southland Conference schools appear to be premature — at least in the case of two programs.
A Sam Houston State source told The Item on Friday that the school has not received any type of invitation to join the WAC.
This falls in contrast to a report earlier this week, which stated that the league had extended invites to Bearkats, as well as fellow Southland members Stephen F. Austin, Lamar and Abilene Christian. SFA also denied receiving a formal invitation, according to a report from Caleb Beames of KTRE-TV in Lufkin.
However, this does not eliminate the possibility of Southland schools — including SHSU and SFA — leaving the league if significant realignment dominoes begin to fall at the FCS level.
While denying that the Bearkats had received an invitation from the WAC, an SHSU source acknowledged that they are “always open to what’s in the best interest of the university.” Hours earlier, SFA head football coach Colby Carthel liked a tweet from Football Scoop’s Zach Barnett that stated “Once college football’s top mid-major conference, the WAC could be planning a gritty reboot,’ with a link to an article titled, “Return of the WAC?? Maybe!”
Matt Brown of Extra Points — a newsletter dedicated to covering the off-the-field aspects of college sports — reported this week that multiple industry sources have told him that “the WAC is targeting multiple football-playing schools in Texas from the Southland Conference as potential additional members.”
It is no secret that the WAC, which sponsored football from 1962 to 2012, is aiming to bring the sport back to the league. Transitioning Division I football schools Tarleton State and Dixie State have joined the conference in the past year, with Tarleton’s location in Stephenville fueling speculation that more FCS schools in Texas could join the Texans in their new league.