Earlier this week we learned that Dixie State will make the transition to Division 1 with intent to join the WAC.
Dixie State will move 14 of 15 of their sports to the Western Athletic Conference (WAC), while football will become an FCS independent.
With a 10,000 seat stadium, 7-4 record (5-0 at home) and 100 percent support from the university leadership Dixie State looks for a successful transition.
Dixie State is moving at a considerably quick pace as they were a JUCO in 2005 and prior.
In the 2006-2007 season they made the jump to D2 in the Pac West conference.
Last year, they moved to the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference (RMAC) and are now moving once again.
Dixie State will land in the WAC in the 2020-2021 season to start play.
One downside to the move is Dixie State will serve a four-year probation from post-season play.
The first playoff eligible season will be the 2024-2025 season for the Dixie State Trailblazers.
Who Else is Coming to the FCS?
Bison and Southern Utah fans were able to witness the newest FCS addition of the North Alabama Lions.
The Lions will be the earliest full fledged FCS team by finishing their transition in 2022.
North Alabama will be joining the Big South in 2019.
Two new faces will be entering the FCS this season as members of the Northeastern Conference.
Merrimack College Warriors from North Andover, Massachusetts will be moving up from Division 2.
LIU has a more unique situation as they will be consolidating LIU-Brooklyn and LIU-Post.
The new nickname/ mascot has not been decided yet by the two school’s staff and students.
The LIU-Post campus will host the football team and games since they had Division 2 football, while LIU-Brooklyn did not have a football team.
Both new teams will join for the 2019 season, but Merrimack will be on probation until 2023.
WAC Rumors, More To Come?
There have been rumors and fan inspired conversations about the WAC sponsoring football.
Unfortunately, these are purely fantasy at least for the short term.
According to KSL.com of Salt Lake the WAC is not currently considering adding football to the conference.
There has been conflicting reports on whether or not that will be the case or not, but some fan theories definitely make sense.
Adding football programs to some feasible current WAC members and dropping down some unsuccessful FBS programs are certainly interesting to entertain for competition sake.
FBS New Mexico State and San Jose State could make sense to join along with other WAC members currently exploring the feasibility studies such as UTRGV and Chicago State.
Invites and considerations outside of those have been mostly speculation or unconfirmed.
One confirmed no has been Colorado Mesa out of Grand Junction, Colorado who deemed the finances were not right to move to Division 1, but they would consider a move up in the future.
Also, with increased teams in the West this could allow the WAC to form some members in-house, but also take pressure off the Big Sky that has 13 current members.
One last consideration geographically would be to invite San Diego to ditch the long travel and non-scholarship woes of Pioneer League membership.