In 1996, the Western Athletic Conference over-expanded, from 9 schools to 16. They paid a serious price, as 8 schools eventually left [see my post of November 18, "...The Mountain West," for details, here]. The conference has been in flux ever since. If it weren’t for the very recent emergence of Boise State and Hawaii as national powers, the conference would be in serious trouble. Just look at the paltry average attendances of two thirds of the conference.