Western Athletic Conference football
|WAC football champions|
|Conference Football Champions|
Western Athletic Conference Logo
|Conference||Western Athletic Conference|
|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.
The WAC has 26 former football-playing members.
Champions by year
|1986||San Diego State||7–1|
|San Diego State||1||1||0|
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.
|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
|Pick||Name||Location||Opposing Conference||Opposing Pick|
|1||Famous Idaho Potato Bowl||Boise, Idaho||MAC||3|
Bowl Championship Series
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.
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)
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.