ACU’s recent decision to leave the Southland Conference and transition to the WAC will provide opportunity for growth for athletic programs, despite the minor increases in travel costs.
Starting in July, ACU will be a part of the new Southwest division of the WAC, following Lamar, Sam Houston State, Stephen F. Austin and Southern Utah.
While there hasn’t been football in the WAC in years, football will return with the inclusion of the Southland schools as a Football Championship Subdivision with hopes of moving to the FBS in the next decade. In order to move to the FBS, ACU is going to have to work to improve to compete at that level.
ACU went 4-5 in conference last year against schools with smaller programs and budgets, so the jump to WAC schools is going to provide a challenge for the team.
The move to the WAC will require additional costs, as the schools are farther to travel for games, but there will be more opportunity for tougher competition. In comparison to teams in the Southland Conference, the WAC will present a greater competition with more financially sound teams to grow ACU athletics to its greatest potential.
Since the move to Div. I, ACU has proven that it can rise to the challenge, and will no doubt grow through competition with schools in the Western Athletic Conference.As ACU continues to grow and innovate, we can expect the same from its athletic departments, and moving to the WAC will do just that.