The State Hornet

The WAC is whack

State Hornet Staff February 12, 2014
“Shuffle up and deal” are words normally heard throughout casinos, but unfortunately for the Sacramento State baseball team playing in the Western Athletic Conference, the Hornets have been dealt seemingly a new conference schedule the past three seasons.The WAC, has undergone a remodeling of sorts in recent seasons, leaving affiliate member Sac State wondering about the stability of the conference. Division. I conferences should not be changing, it’s an epidemic that is happening across the NCAA landscape.There are six new schools that have been added to the conference in 2014 including Grand Canyon University, Utah Valley, Northern Colorado, Chicago State, University of Texas-Pan American and the University of North Dakota. The remaining four are Sac State, New Mexico State, Seattle University and CSU Bakersfield.Utah Valley, Chicago State, North Dakota and UTPA came over from the now defunct Great West Conference.It is difficult to adjust to playing teams you are not used to because of the high turnover, studying new tape and having to recruit differently because the conference has expanded in distance, is now a challenge for the Hornets. The WAC is no longer just a conference that lies in the western part of the country.This season, Sac State has been selected in the WAC coaches poll to finish third. The two teams picked ahead of the Hornets are New Mexico State and CSU Bakersfield, both remaining from 2013. This shows teams coming into the conference are at a disadvantage and could be a mystery to some coaches. The selection for fourth place was Utah Valley, which had an 18 point drop off from Sac State’s 68.10 head coaches in the WAC picked the order they thought each team would finish. If the team was picked to get first place, then that team would get nine points and the point total decreased by one as the teams are lower in the standings. The coaches could not vote for their own teams.The WAC has become a turnstile for teams in the west looking to move on to bigger conferences. Schools from last season that have departed the WAC are now in stabler conferences.San Jose State moved to the Mountain West Conference for baseball as well as other sports. Texas State, UT Arlington and UT San Antonio went to the Sun Belt Conference. Dallas Baptist is now a member of the Missouri Valley Conference and Louisiana Tech is a part of the Conference-USA.For Sac State’s affiliate sports, it should try and find conferences where there is stability. The competition will likely be better because of the familiarity between teams.The WAC needs to go all in and try and keep its members, even the affiliate like Sac State. If they do not, the WAC may fold.Curtis Manlapig can be reached on Twitter @CTMstatehornet

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Football graphic
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Edward Ruhnke
Year: Sophomore
Hometown: Bayville, NJ
Previous college: Moorpark Junior College
Last season statistics: 12-15 field goals, 63 total points
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