The Sun Belt Conference announced on Wednesday that it will not expand its football-playing membership beyond ten schools in the near future, making it increasingly unlikely that Idaho and New Mexico St. will be able to remain in the FBS.
As Jerry Hennin of CBS Sports writes, Sun Belt commissioner Karl Benson spoke with reporters recently about the conference's direction:
We are not pursuing additional members at this time. At this juncture, the Sun Belt shouldn't be considered a landing spot whether it's an FCS member or an existing FBS member. [This announcement will] allow both Idaho and New Mexico State to know the direction the Sun Belt is headed. Personally, I wish the best for the University of Idaho and New Mexico State.
It's looking bleak for both schools as the WAC's football-playing membership has effectively fallen apart. With just two football-playing teams remaining in the conference, Idaho and New Mexico St., it's unlikely that the WAC will be able to sustain itself as an FBS conference.
In that case, Idaho and New Mexico State can either pray for a variety of FCS teams to come to save the WAC, hope to survive in the FBS as independent schools, or simply fall back into the FCS.