Western Athletic Conference football

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WAC football champions
Conference Football Champions
Logo WAC.png
Western Athletic Conference Logo
Sport Football
Conference Western Athletic Conference
Played 1962–2012
Current champion Utah State Aggies (Final Champion)
Most championships BYU Cougars (19)
Official website WACSports.com Football

The Western Athletic Conference sponsored football and crowned a champion every year from 1962 to 2012. Once considered one of the best conferences in college football, steady attrition from 1999-2012 forced the WAC to drop football after fifty-one years.[1]

Former members[edit]

The WAC has 26 former football-playing members.

Team First Season Last Season WAC Titles Current Primary Conference
Air Force Falcons 1980 1998 3 Mountain West
Arizona Wildcats 1962 1977 2 Pac-12
Arizona State Sun Devils 1962 1977 7 Pac-12
Boise State Broncos 2001 2010 8 Mountain West
BYU Cougars 1962 1998 19 WCC
Fresno State Bulldogs 1992 2011 3 Mountain West
Colorado State Rams 1967 1998 3 Mountain West
Hawaii Warriors 1979 2011 4 Big West
Idaho Vandals 2005 2012 0 Big Sky
Louisiana Tech Bulldogs 2001 2012 2 C-USA
UNLV Rebels 1996 1998 0 Mountain West
Nevada Wolf Pack 2000 2011 2 Mountain West
New Mexico Lobos 1962 1998 2 Mountain West
New Mexico State Aggies 2005 2012 0 WAC
Rice Owls 1996 2004 0 C-USA
San Diego State Aztecs 1978 1998 1 Mountain West
San Jose State Spartans 1996 2012 0 Mountain West
SMU Mustangs 1996 2004 0 The American
TCU Horned Frogs 1996 2000 2 Big 12
UTEP Miners 1967 2004 1 C-USA
UTSA Roadrunners 2012 2012 0 C-USA
Texas State Bobcats 2012 2012 0 Sun Belt
Tulsa Golden Hurricane 1996 2004 0 The American
Utah Utes 1962 1998 2 Pac-12
Utah State Aggies 2005 2012 1 Mountain West
Wyoming Cowboys 1962 1998 7 Mountain West

Champions by year[edit]

Season Champion Conference Record
1962 New Mexico 2–1–1
1963 New Mexico 3–1
1964 Arizona 3–1
New Mexico 3–1
Utah 3–1
1965 BYU 4–1
1966 Wyoming 5–0
1967 Wyoming 5–0
1968 Wyoming 6–1
1969 Arizona State 6–1
1970 Arizona State 7–0
1971 Arizona State 7–0
1972 Arizona State 5–1
1973 Arizona 6–1
Arizona State 6–1
1974 BYU 6–0–1
1975 Arizona State 7–0
1976 BYU 6–1
Wyoming 6–1
1977 Arizona State 6–1
BYU 6–1
1978 BYU 5–1
1979 BYU 7–0
1980 BYU 6–1
1981 BYU 7–1
1982 BYU 7–1
1983 BYU 7–0
1984 BYU 8–0
1985 Air Force 7–1
BYU 7–1
1986 San Diego State 7–1
1987 Wyoming 8–0
1988 Wyoming 8–0
1989 BYU 7–1
1990 BYU 7–1
1991 BYU 7–0–1
1992 BYU 6–2
Fresno State 6–2
Hawaii 6–2
1993 BYU 6–2
Fresno State 6–2
Wyoming 6–2
1994 Colorado State 7–1
1995 Air Force 6–2
BYU 6–2
Colorado State 6–2
Utah 6–2
1996 BYU 8–0
1997 Colorado State 7–1
1998 Air Force 7–1
1999 Hawaii 5–2
Fresno State 5–2
TCU 5–2
2000 TCU 7–1
UTEP 7–1
2001 Louisiana Tech 7–1
2002 Boise State 8–0
2003 Boise State 8–0
2004 Boise State 8–0
2005 Boise State 7–1
Nevada 7–1
2006 Boise State 8–0
2007 Hawaii 8–0
2008 Boise State 8–0
2009 Boise State 8–0
2010 Boise State 7–1
Nevada 7–1
Hawaii 7–1
2011 Louisiana Tech 6–1
2012 Utah State 7–0

By school[edit]

School Total Outright Shared
BYU 19 13 6
Boise State 8 6 2
Arizona State 7 5 2
Wyoming 7 5 2
Hawaii 4 1 3
Colorado State 3 2 1
Air Force 3 1 2
Fresno State 3 0 3
Louisiana Tech 2 2 0
New Mexico 2 2 0
Arizona 2 0 2
Nevada 2 0 2
TCU 2 0 2
Utah 2 0 2
San Diego State 1 1 0
UTEP 1 0 1
Utah State 1 1 0

Championship Game[edit]

The Western Athletic Conference staged a conference title football game during the three years (1996–98) the league consisted of sixteen members. During this time, the league was split into two divisions, Pacific and Mountain, with eight teams in each division. The top finisher in each division played for the championship, which was held at Sam Boyd Stadium in Las Vegas. When conference membership was cut in half in 1999 with the formation of the Mountain West Conference, both the championship game and two division format were discontinued. As indicated by the table below, every team that participated in the three title games were among the defections to the MWC. The rankings next to a given team's name represent the last AP poll prior to the game being played. ABC Sports televised all three games.

Year Winner Score Opponent Venue
1996 #6 BYU 28–25 OT #20 Wyoming Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)
1997 #20 Colorado State 41–13 New Mexico Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)
1998 #17 Air Force 20–13 BYU Sam Boyd Stadium (Las Vegas, Nevada)

Results by team[edit]

Rank Team Appearances Record PCT. PF PA
1 BYU 2 1–1 .500 41 45
2 Air Force 1 1–0 1.000 20 13
2 Colorado State 1 1–0 1.000 41 13
4 New Mexico 1 0–1 .000 13 41
4 Wyoming 1 0–1 .000 25 28

Bowl games[edit]

The lone WAC bowl game tie-in for the 2012–13 postseason was the Famous Idaho Potato Bowl.

Pick Name Location Opposing Conference Opposing Pick
1 Famous Idaho Potato Bowl Boise, Idaho MAC 3

Bowl Championship Series[edit]

The WAC champion received an automatic berth in one of the five BCS bowl games if they were the highest ranked non-automatic qualifying conference champion and either of the following:

  • Ranked in the top 12 of the BCS Rankings.
  • Ranked in the top 16 of the BCS Rankings and its ranking was higher than that of an automatic qualifying conference champion.

By qualifying under the first criterion above, the 2006 Boise State football team landed a berth in the 2007 Fiesta Bowl, and the 2007 Hawaii Warriors football team received a bid to play in the 2008 Sugar Bowl. In 2009 the Mountain West champion TCU received the automatic BCS bid by finishing higher than Boise State in the final BCS rankings; however, the Broncos received an at-large BCS bid to the 2010 Fiesta Bowl. In three BCS bowl games, the WAC boasted a record of two wins and one loss. In addition to those three teams that played in BCS bowls, four other WAC teams qualified for a BCS berth but were not selected for a bid, including TCU in 2000 and Boise State in 2004, 2008, and 2010.

Rivalries[edit]

Football rivalries involving WAC teams included:

Teams Rivalry Name Trophy Meetings Record Series Leader Current Streak
Idaho Boise State Governor's Trophy 40 17–22–1 Boise State Boise State won 12
New Mexico State New Mexico Rio Grande Rivalry Maloof Trophy 102 31–66–5 New Mexico New Mexico won 1
New Mexico State UTEP The Battle of I-10 Silver Spade, Brass Spittoon 88 35–51–2 UTEP UTEP won 2
San Jose State Fresno State Valley Rivalry 76 34–39–3 Fresno State San Jose State won 1
Utah State BYU Old Wagon Wheel 84 35–46–3 BYU Utah State won 1
Utah State Utah Battle of the Brothers 110 29–77–4 Utah Utah won 1

Division alignments (1996–1998)[edit]

Schools were divided into four four-team pods for division alignment. Pod one, which consisted of Fresno State, Hawaii, San Diego State and San Jose State, would always compete in the Pacific Division. Pod four, which consisted of Rice, SMU, TCU and Tulsa, would always compete in the Mountain Division. Pods two and three were scheduled to swap divisions every two years, with the new alignment to take effect in even-numbered years. Pod two consisted of Air Force, Colorado State, UNLV and Wyoming; pod three consisted of BYU, New Mexico, Utah and UTEP.

References[edit]